Guest post by Rick Riddle
Most nonprofit organizations need volunteers to achieve their goals. Yes, you can count on your staff, but volunteers can add freshness and new insight to any campaign you might have. They bring skills, expertise, and resources with them — plus a passion for your cause. Assets that are crucial to the success of your program.
It’s understandable that those same nonprofits sometimes struggle with recruiting new volunteers.
Your team, for example, might have the best intentions and be hard-working, yet can’t find the right people to help. Alternatively, you might think you found the right volunteers, but they only stay for a few months and then leave, leaving you to start all over again.
If the scenario above is something you can relate to, it may be because you’re committing one of the five deadly sins of recruiting volunteers, as outlined below. So let’s have a look at them and discuss how you can avoid them from now on.
1. Ignoring your local community
One mistake that’s easy to commit while looking for volunteers is ignoring your local community. You don’t want to bother your neighbors, friends, former teachers, and others you know or meet on a daily basis. But the fact is that they can be some of the best volunteers you find. They know you and you know them, and in turn, are more willing to trust your input.
2. Selecting volunteers who only need work experience
You’re probably aware that many people volunteer because they are looking for work experience to add to their resume. And there’s no problem with that in principle. The problem is when it becomes the only reason they volunteer. When screening volunteers, ensure that they also share your passion for the organization’s cause and that they are willing to l commit to the project long-term if you need them to.
3. Making the process too complicated
Sometimes, there’s so much paperwork and obstacles that volunteers have to deal with that they give up on volunteering for your organization in the first place. Of course, you need to follow regulations and ensure that you are recruiting reliable and trustworthy people. But don’t turn the entire process into an interrogation unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’ll only put your best candidates off.
4. Not recruiting volunteers online
VolunteerMatch is one of the best places to find volunteers online. Each day, they welcome over 4,000 new connections between nonprofits and volunteers. Not sure where to start? Check out these three easy steps to creating a successful posting on VolunteerMatch.
Social media promotion is another necessity. If you’re not recruiting on social media, you are missing a great opportunity to find truly devoted people. You can join Facebook or LinkedIn groups that support your cause and let them know you are interested in new volunteers. To get started, here are 8 tips for establishing your nonprofit on social media.
5. Not calling the same person twice
You might’ve really wanted a volunteer to join your team, but couldn’t reach an agreement with them for whatever reason. Now, you have a new volunteer opportunity to offer them that could fit their skill-set but don’t feel like you should give them a second chance.
If you’re facing this situation, please do call him or her. Circumstances change, and it is possible that a happy ending comes the second time around.
The bottom line
Yes, it is possible to recruit volunteers without falling into any of the deadly sins mentioned above. And yet, so many nonprofit organizations can’t do it. Now that you’re aware of them, you can avoid them yourself. And your next recruitment process will bring much better results for you, your program, and your organization.
Author Bio: Rick Riddle is a content manager at UrgentEssayWriting and an up-and-coming blogger whose articles aim to help people with e-learning, career, entrepreneurship, and self-development. Connect with Rick on Twitter and/or LinkedIn to keep up with his latest publications.
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