As you might already know, volunteers are critical for nonprofits to achieve their missions and impact their communities. In a sector where there’s usually more work to do than staff, volunteers help balance tasks and increase impact. Most importantly, volunteers believe in an organization’s cause and want to make a difference.
But, how do we find these people who willingly give their time, energy and skills for free? Where are they all? Here are four ways to find your volunteer base:
#1 – ASK PEOPLE!
Alright, it seems obvious at first. But, it’s one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle. Getting people to volunteer requires actually asking them. You may think your friends and family know your organization is in need of a volunteer, but the community at large might not know. It’s important to get the word out. Here are some ways you can ask others:
A. Showcase volunteers on your website, in newsletters, across brochures and on social media platforms. Make it easy for potential volunteers to access information and calendars of future events.
B. Encourage your current volunteers to invite and chat with their network to attend a volunteer event, or to even research your organization.
C. Have a media kit handy. It should note that your nonprofit is always looking for volunteers.
#2 – DON’T DISCOUNT ENTHUSIASM
Volunteers often provide fresh energy and a boost of positivity to the heart of any nonprofit. As a leader, you need to show this enthusiasm, much like a coach of a sports team, to inspire your team to stick with the cause and to motivate others to contribute. Let’s be very clear: volunteers want to make a difference. They want to change lives and take pride in their work. But, it is very helpful for their work ethic and for your organization if they can have fun along the way. Along the journey to achieving the goal of your not-for-profit, they will need the encouragement that success is likely.
#3 – MORE HANDS ARE BETTER THAN NONE. ALLOW FOR SHORT STINTS TO BUILD A SOLID FOUNDATION.
Life is busy. You and I are busy. That’s not going to change. So, you need to be as respectful of others’ time as they are of yours. And depending on the volunteer, some will be capable of committing to volunteer full-time. In comparison, others will be looking to volunteer once a month for a couple of hours, or even just a few times per year. You can increase the number of volunteers that you will have if you remain flexible and understanding. Appreciate, then take the help where you can.
Are these strategies that you are implementing in your nonprofit today? You need to be if you haven’t already! You’ll find the results will be incredible.
Or, are you a new and upcoming nonprofit leader? If you are, The Charity CFO welcomes you to this amazing, but sometimes challenging, space. But don’t assume you need to jump head-first into the nonprofit world alone. Check out this video from A Modern Nonprofit Podcast below to learn how you can best tap into your passion as you create an organization you can be proud of.
And don’t forget- Tosha Anderson is always available to meet with you to discuss how our accounting and bookkeeping services can help your organization stay on track so you can focus on your mission.