On March 21, VolunteerMatch and the Arbor Day Foundation, with the help of Meredith King from the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Andy Meeks from Friends of Trees, hosted a webinar to help environment-focused and tree planting nonprofits make the most out of VolunteerMatch’s volunteer opportunity listings. Here’s a short recap.
In honor of Arbor Day, if you are an organization that focuses on the environment you receive a free upgrade to Community Leader status. This allows you more customization and enhanced privileges, such as a the ability to prioritize your listing so it shows up at the top of the search results to a document manager that allows you to send volunteers documents, amongst other features.
Here are some refresher tips on how to get potential volunteers to click on your listings:
- Include a strong call to action in the opportunity description. Why should they spend their morning/day with you, especially in the outdoors during rainy season? Why is adding trees to your community make your community a better place?
- Think of keywords that a potential volunteer might use if they are interested in the environment. You might use terminology that the average person might not use, so think about what an average person would be interested in (examples: tree planting, parks cleanup).
- Make sure the “environment” box is checked when you create the listing.
- Include images! Make use of the white space. Show pictures of volunteers in action such as hands in the dirt, planting a seedling, volunteers with shovels, before/after images. You can even ask volunteers to create these pictures. It’s a fun project and a great opportunity for more visually focused folks. Here are a couple exercises you can try out to get some great pictures for your volunteer opportunity page.
- Ask for reviews from people who have volunteered for you before. Potential volunteers are more likely to want to work with you if you have a proven track record.
- With the upgrade, you can attach documents to your organization’s profile. If volunteers have to sign a consent form or do some paperwork in order to volunteer, use this feature to send them these forms beforehand so when they show up for the opportunity, they can just hand you the forms and get right to work.
- Check your grammar and spelling! Volunteers don’t like sloppiness.
Along with the free upgrade, whatever Arbor Day related listings you post will not only show up on the VolunteerMatch search results, but also on the Arbor Day Now website. All you have to do is check the “environment” box and have words like “tree” or “tree planting” in the word description.
What are you doing in preparation for Arbor Day?