Important Parts of Volunteer Recruitment - Volunteer Sign Up & Volunteer Applications | Track It Forward

Important Parts of Volunteer Recruitment - Volunteer Sign Up & Volunteer Applications

Written by Kasey Murphy

Volunteer recruitment is often thought of as simply getting more volunteers. But many Volunteer Managers know that there is quite a bit more to volunteer recruitment than that. 

There is, of course, the process of finding volunteers, then initiating communication and interaction with them to get them to sign up to volunteer. Then, after they sign up, you want them to come to an information session or to learn more about your organization and the volunteer program. Then, after the information session, you’ll want them to apply to be a volunteer. And then, after the volunteer application goes through successfully, the volunteer then needs to do a volunteer orientation and training! 

The volunteer recruitment cycle is definitely an extended one, but this is how it works best! In this article, we will specifically discuss two important parts of volunteer recruitment: volunteer sign-up and volunteer applications. 

To view more creative ways to recruit volunteers - check out this article! 

Steps of Volunteer Recruitment 

Finding volunteers & Finding the avenues that work! 

Transitioning into volunteers being contacts and coming to information sessions. 

Then, after volunteers feel knowledgeable, they apply to be full-time volunteers! 

The application is viewed as successful and the volunteer is placed within the program!  

Volunteers go through orientation and training!

Volunteer Sign-Up 

It is important to have the ability for individuals to sign-up to volunteer in as many methods as possible. The most important thing is to gather a volunteer’s name, contact information, and a date to give them for the next volunteer information session or meeting. 

You can do a volunteer sign-up via a sign-up sheet, an online form (like a google sheet), or even having a QR code for people to scan at all times that leads them to a form! 

If a potential volunteer shows up to a volunteer event wanting to start right then or to follow a volunteer around for training, or even at the volunteer information event - you can have volunteers complete their volunteer sign-up registration with a Track It Forward check in kiosk. This way, volunteers will be in the system that you track volunteers’ hours on before they are even official volunteers. Then, their hours will still count even if they don’t become a full-time volunteer! 

Creating multiple options for volunteers to sign up to become full-time volunteers within your organization is important because the opportunity to recruit volunteers and have volunteers sign up is everywhere! You can have volunteers request to sign up at: 

  • A fundraising event 

  • In public, while others are volunteering

  • When they see you or others wearing your organization’s clothing

  • At a community event

  • Through other volunteers at a volunteer opportunity 

  • And more! 

So, the main takeaway is to always be prepared and have a method for interested individuals to sign up to volunteer, or at least be contacted about volunteering. Then, decide what this sign-up process looks like - this could be anything from emailing you to filling out a form for your organization’s database software! 

Volunteer Application

If your organization has a lot of volunteers or just wants to double-check the type of volunteer you will be welcoming into your organization, a volunteer application is a good idea. Not only is it a great way to screen potential volunteers, but it is also a great way to gain more information about the individual and attempt to see their future in the volunteer program. 

Volunteer recruitment might bring along one-time volunteers or long-term volunteers, and a volunteer application helps showcase what kind of volunteer you might be bringing along, as well as flagging for any issues. 

There are a few different categories of information that you can gather from volunteer applications when recruiting volunteers. 

  1. Where the volunteer should be placed within your organization.

  2. If the volunteer is going to be long-term committed and scheduled or more of one-time volunteer status. 

  3. If they have any criminal or dangerous status that needs to be examined or flagged.

  4. Their level of interest. 

  5. Potential skills they can add to the volunteer team.

We have a Google Forms Template and a Google Document template that you can make a copy of and use for your organization in our downloadable Volunteer Application folder - check it out!

A volunteer application is a great way to really know how invested your recruited volunteers are in becoming a volunteer. And, a volunteer application can really be added at anytime through the process. Volunteers could be recruited and have a trial run with a few shifts before applying officially, or it could be done immediately after sign up! 

Volunteer applications can be as complex or as simple as your organization would like. For example, these are some things that are optional on a volunteer application: 

  • Background checks 

  • Estimate of committed volunteer time 

  • Schedule/availability

  • Areas that volunteer feels comfortable working with

  • Committees/events volunteer would like to work in 

  • Prior Education

  • Health Screening (COVID)

  • Why are you interested?

These are all optional to have and include in your volunteer application! Customize your volunteer applications however you’d like for your recruited volunteers 

Volunteer recruitment is a very important part of volunteer management! If you are struggling with recruiting long-term volunteers, or volunteers at all - it is important to take a look at ALL the steps of volunteer recruitment that your organization is currently taking, and make some improvements!