Does your organization work for the causes of families, child welfare, healthcare, mental health, or crisis support? Are you looking for volunteers who are passionate about helping in these areas?
Yeah, we thought so. We think you’ll love a new partnership we’ve cooked up with the folks at the MSW@USC. We’re really excited about it!
You may have heard about this online Masters in Social Work degree program in previous emails, newsletters and blog posts from us, but this new partnership is different: It’s a way to connect more volunteers with organizations like yours, to make a bigger impact in social services. We’ve even got a cool new Volunteering & Social Work page for you to explore and share with your supporters!
Check out the interactive map that includes volunteering needs and opportunities across the U.S. and in your own community, or view an infographic showcasing some fun facts about how much people volunteer, where and why. You can also access information about how your volunteers can expand their passion for helping others into an actual career.
We hope this partnership with the USC School of Social Work will help you connect with passionate, talented volunteers to help your cause and make your community even stronger.
People who are active in other aspects of their lives are often active in their communities, as well. They tend to be dedicated, committed, and eager to involve others in what they’re doing. So naturally, they’d make great volunteers!
Think creatively about what your organization needs help with, and how that could be portrayed to seem like a fun, active opportunity. A beach clean-up can certainly provide some exercise, for example. Helping to set up or volunteer for a charity run is another great way to involve health nuts. Chances are there’s some way to express you volunteer opportunity to highlight the moving parts, so to speak.
Treat Them Liked Skilled Volunteers
…Because they are. Recruit someone to lead a yoga class at your shelter. To teach students about nutrition. To put together information packets about healthy living. These folks have skills and experience that could provide added value for your community in ways you’ve never even considered.
Make It a Group Thing
People who are health conscious and active are often also very social. Make sure your active opportunities are group-friendly, and encourage people to bring friends and family. What’s better than volunteering with your friends on the weekend AND spending time being active outside? Win-win-win.
No, we’re not talking about the much-desired second sequel to the movie “300.” Even we aren’t that ambitious. Instead, we’re referring to the 3,000 connections made every single day on VolunteerMatch.org between nonprofits and volunteers.
As the Web’s largest volunteer engagement network, this is just what we DO. We make it easier for your nonprofit organization to find the volunteers you actually need. We’ve got all sorts of awesome free tools.
So are you one of the 3,000? If not, get right on it. It takes about 5 minutes – another happy number – and your organization’s needs will be seen by millions of skilled, dedicated volunteers. So all-in-all, it’s kind of a no-brainer.
We’ve all experienced it before – the call of the wild, that insatiable wanderlust that has us staring dreamily out of our windows imagining a completely different place. And we all envy those who turn our fantasy into reality with their own travels.
Why, though, would we want to engage these travelers as volunteers? Sure, they may be transient, but traveling folk can contribute quite a bit to your organization:
If someone on vacation wants to give their time to your cause, you know they must be really passionate about what you’re doing.
Travelers may be itching to do something for others, after spending their vacation focused on themselves.
It takes a lot of energy to pack up and travel around – imagine all of that energy working for your organization.
You should always be encouraging diversity among your volunteers. Folks who have been traveling will infuse new life into your existing volunteers with their refreshing uniqueness.
These savvy wanderers may not be swayed by the usual listings you post up to recruit volunteers, however. Here are some tips for designing volunteer opportunities to attract travelers:
Your title should be witty and eye-catching, yet also descriptive. Travelers on the move won’t have a lot of time to browse through volunteer search results, so make sure your title stands out.
Focus on the Experience
Highlight the unique nature of the volunteer opportunity – will they get a taste of local culture? Meet interesting people? These are both great ways to attract folks who are looking to explore.
Be Specific About the Time Commitment
If you want a traveler to fit you into his or her busy schedule, make sure the time commitment is clearly stated in the opportunity. This will ensure a good fit between you and a potential volunteer.
Design a Training-Free Opportunity
As mentioned above, travelers are not going to have a lot of extra time. Expecting them to go through hours of volunteer training is simply not realistic. So think of ways for savvy, energetic people to help your organization that doesn’t require more than 30 minutes of training.
Say It Straight: We Welcome Newcomers!
Here’s an idea: Engage travelers as volunteers by specifically welcoming them in your volunteer opportunity! Many people search sites like VolunteerMatch looking for ways to help in the areas they will be traveling. So speak directly to them.
Have you engaged travelers as volunteers for your organization? Tell us about it below!
Here’s something you might not realize: When you post your nonprofit’s volunteer needs on VolunteerMatch.org, they’re not just seen by the people who type www.volunteermatch.org into their browsers.
Your opportunities are also seen by 3.5 million employees who volunteer through companies that work with VolunteerMatch Solutions. Your volunteer opportunities are also found via our partner websites – and this gets your organization added exposure to millions more people.
For example, on March 9, 2014 the world will celebrate Good Deeds Day. This is quite simply an annual celebration of good deeds – and a way to inspire and incite action to create even more impact. You can watch this video to get an idea of how big this movement has become:
This idea is so simple, yet so inspirational. And that’s why it’s so successful. Focusing on thinking, speaking, and doing good is something everyone can do in some way. Good Deeds Day founder Shari Arison believes that if we mobilize enough people to act, we can reach a critical mass, and change the world.
So what is your organization’s critical mass? What support do you need in order to make a real difference for your community and fulfill your mission?
Good Deeds Day is helping its millions of participants to get involved using VolunteerMatch’s network. You can harness the energy created on Good Deeds Day by making sure your volunteer opportunities are posted and updated on VolunteerMatch.org. And get your existing community of supporters excited to join in on March 9 to change the world.