Creative Ways To Recruit Volunteers | Track It Forward

Creative Ways To Recruit Volunteers

Last updated by Kasey Murphy on 03/27/2021

Volunteer recruitment is an essential part of being a volunteer manager. Volunteers are obviously the core part of your job and usually a vital part of nonprofit or other organizations! 

There are many different types of volunteers, and this is one thing you need to be flexible in accommodating when you find that it is time to recruit volunteers for your organization. Volunteers can come in groups; they can be repetitive volunteers, regular volunteers, one-time volunteers, or even microvolunteers.

It is crucial that when you are going through volunteer recruitment strategies that you assess the audience, you are recruiting and offer them the most compatible volunteer options. 

So, before you dive into the work that is volunteer recruitment, be sure to have specific volunteer programs, activities, and a volunteer’s roles & responsibilities laid out in the open. 

A pivotal hint to volunteer recruitment is not making potential volunteers feel pressured to do a specific role or come back and volunteer regularly. Of course, it is ideal to gain regular volunteers, but the best way to recruit repeat volunteers is to have the volunteers come back because they want to, not because they feel forced.

For more information on what to do before recruiting volunteers, visit this blog post by CauseVox, they lay out all the information you may want to know! 

Now, before we dive into the creative ways to recruit volunteers, we should touch on the primary ways to set up volunteer recruitment. Sometimes, this is enough for some organizations! 

Different Ways To Creatively Recruit Volunteers

1.  High School and University 
2. Community
3. Promotion and Marketing

Post on your organization’s website

This seems pretty straightforward, but this is the one way that you can just showcase to anyone who is visiting the website that you need more volunteers. You can do this in a multitude of ways, but these are our favorites:  

  • Do a feature on the homepage that links to different volunteer opportunities.

  • Create a blog post saying you need more volunteers, and then talk about the different  opportunities

Volunteer recruitment starts from your organization; then, it branches out to other places.

In-person marketing at community events

If your organization is attending an event or a large community event, many people will be attending, show up, and market your organization! In-person marketing is still very efficient in this digital world. Bring a prop that will interest people and have either a volunteer sign up sheet or digital version for people to give their information to show interest. 

Pro-tip: Have a “free giveaway” or something that people can enter to win- this will give you their contact information to do a marketing campaign showing that you need more volunteers!

Post on Facebook and Social Media

Your organization’s social media is also a great place to reach out to people who may already be following or interested in your organization. Create a post that links to your website’s page where potential volunteers can sign up to attend an info session

You can be very creative with volunteer recruitment and social media, make Instagram stories, Facebook stories, and more that people may share or find creative! 

Pro-tip: do a “volunteer of the week” post to showcase happy volunteers, this can be a creative way to recruit new volunteers by showing other volunteers like them!

 Lastly, Post to volunteer sites like Volunteer Match.

Volunteer recruitment sites like Volunteer Match help find people interested in volunteering but are not already tied to an organization. This is a great way to post your volunteer vacancies! 

There are so many different places to post volunteer opportunities online, download our volunteer recruitment guide to see what we think are the top 5, and how to use them! 

Creative Volunteer Recruitment 

Okay, now that you have the basic volunteer recruitment practices down, it is time to showcase some more creative and thoughtful ways to recruit volunteers. 

This type of work may take some digging, but it can pay off in the end with the number of volunteers you can gain, and the exposure your organization will get as a whole! 

We are listing our creative ideas here, but for a full guide on how to really implement these ideas into your organization, download our volunteer recruitment guide. 

1. Contact High School Administration for students looking to volunteer- this is great for college applications, so be sure that your organization is prepared to write recommendation letters for colleges or keep track of your volunteer hours.

2. Reach out to Middle School and High School Clubs- places like honor societies require a community service commitment, and other clubs may want to volunteer as a group for fun! 

3. Contact local or nearby sororities and fraternities - there are many different ways that local sororities and fraternities may want to send volunteers your way, check out our guide to see four different ways that you can recruit volunteers from sororities and fraternities.

4. Buy an ad in high school or college newspapers or yearbooks- this would be a great way to deliver an advertisement of volunteers needed to a large audience!

5. Find college courses that are interested in the business of nonprofit organizations- chances are, the students are also interested in nonprofit organizations, and this can be an excellent source for volunteer recruitment!

6. Some universities have courses that support doing professional work for free as a learning incentive- take the time to research this within local higher education near you!

7. Talk to local businesses about group volunteering- especially near the holidays, and some businesses actually pay their employees to volunteer! 

8. Within your community, look for large foundations or chapter organizations that may want to create a project with you. Junior Auxiliary chapters and Assitance League Chapters are examples! 

9. Reach out to faith-based organizations- these organizations usually have a group of people who like to devote their time to giving back. See if your organization can be featured in a bulletin or at one of these meetings! 

10. Throw a social event like a dinner party and promote your organization and the volunteer opportunities- this is a creative way to recruit volunteers while they are at your event!