Virtual Volunteering, Welcome Station, and Recruiting | Track It Forward

Virtual Volunteering, Welcome Station, and Recruiting

Written by Melissa Davis

August 2nd - August 8th

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion this week in our Facebook community! Here are some of the most popular topics this week. 

Virtual Volunteering

During the past year, many organizations have restructured their volunteer programs. In some cases, volunteering was completely suspended or limited to specific roles. For some programs, traditional volunteer roles were shifted to a virtual environment so volunteers could participate from home. 

Can you share examples of virtual volunteering?

Ideas from the Group

  • “I’m volunteering as a volunteer coordinator and one way I volunteer virtually is managing a Facebook group for volunteers and the community of the nonprofit I volunteer with.”

  • “I’ve done virtual exercise classes, career panels, legislative letter writing campaigns, notes of encouragement, resume reviews, advice surveys, at-home kit assemblies, and various other options based on need and focus.”

  • “We host English Conversation Partners over Zoom for English language learners to practice their English with fluent English speakers.”

  • “Processing online applications, marketing, social media”

  • “We went COMPLETELY virtual for the Covid year….. all on zoom: cooking classes, arts and crafts, book club, coloring, conversation, bingo, it all just takes a little planning!”

Check out all of the comments here!

Volunteer Welcome Station

Volunteer appreciation is a key aspect of any volunteer program! Finding ways to integrate recognition on a daily basis can make volunteers feel appreciated and a member of the team. Consider free or low cost options such as snacks, a copy of the newsletter, positive quotes, or cards. 

I’ve been setting up a volunteer welcome station outside my office with copies of the newsletter, extra cleaning supplies, and this basket of free goodies. It has been well received! Does anyone else do something similar? What do you include?

Comments from Others 

  • “I try to rotate items when I can! These are our organization’s branded items that our marketing department gave me. Sometimes I do snacks, or a book exchange, or I even had our social worker put together little mindfulness cards with activities on them.”

  • “We do waters, cookies or another sweet, limited fresh fruit and a gluten free option.”

  • “We have snacks/coffee/water station. I also update the bulletin board that is near the station with events and quotes. I like the idea of providing copies of the newsletter there and some gimmies that aren't refreshments.”

  • “I have volunteer break rooms at each of my sites filled with drinks and snacks for my volunteers. Being celiac myself, I make sure to have an assortment for everyone's dietary needs. For my regular volunteers, I try to have their favorite snacks on hand. Ice cream bars and popsicles during the summer are always a hit.”

Add your own thoughts here!

Recruiting Volunteers

Volunteer recruitment is always a popular topic among coordinators. Unfortunately, there isn’t usually a single source of recruitment that works for all volunteer positions at an organization. In many cases, organizations need to modify their recruitment method based on the type of role they are promoting and who they hope to attract. 

Where have you posted current volunteer opportunities that provided the best (or most) responses? I've posted on VolunteerMatch, shared our flyers on Facebook and through our newsletter, but we aren't gaining much traction on a few roles (front desk greeter and

Suggestions from Others

  • “I have always found that volunteers are the best referral source for other volunteers. If you have a specific volunteer newsletter consider posting something in there about referring others to volunteer. Other than that, our top referral source came through websites like VolunteerMatch.”

  • “Check out HandsOn Suburban Chicago! I have had a lot of luck with them”

  • “We have done Community Help on FB (selecting the volunteer option) and also various FB groups that are specific to our area.”

  • “If you're a military museum, I'd try reaching out to military/veterans groups like the VFW. Every local area has their own resources like Facebook groups, community organizations that promote volunteering, etc. Good luck!”

Join the conversation here!