VolunteerMatch’s website includes a plethora of resources for nonprofits that are easy to overlook – but even easier to use. Even if you already know how to use the site, the VolunteerMatch 101 webinar includes some useful tips and insights about recruiting volunteers that you may have missed. The webinar was most recently presented on Wednesday, June 29.
VolunteerMatch team members Kevin Johnson and Carey Fritz explained how to add a VolunteerMatch listing, how volunteers search and express interest in opportunities, and how VolunteerMatch users can access resources and assistance to run a successful volunteer program.
Kevin and Carey reminded users how to access the “Add a Listing” page and manage administrators. Users can specify one or more “opportunity contacts” who will only receive notifications when volunteers express interest in an opportunity, or “administrators” who can also exercise administrative access within their account.
Kevin detailed how to create the most successful opportunities, including:
- A Great Title: Choose a catchy, super-specific title that will attract users to your opportunity.
- Short and Sweet: The text of an opportunity should be only about 100 words or five sentences. Use short, succinct sentences with paragraphs no longer than three sentences.
- Relay the Opportunity in a Positive Way: Let the volunteer understand the goal and importance of the specific opportunity.
- Spelling and Grammar: Volunteers generally steer clear of opportunities with spelling and grammatical errors. Have others proofread your listing and use the spell-check feature embedded on the “Add a Listing” page.
- Make Separate Listings: VolunteerMatch allows an organization to create an unlimited number of listings. A more specific listing is more likely to garner volunteers.
- Don’t List a URL: VolunteerMatch simplifies the process by allowing volunteers to “Express Interest” through the VolunteerMatch website instead of having to navigate the organization’s website.
- Utilize the “Advanced Search” Feature: It is often helpful to specify keywords and categories so that when volunteers do an advanced search, they are more likely to locate and respond to a particular opportunity.
- The More Skills, the Better: Because volunteers respond well to specific opportunities that will utilize their professional skills, organizations can name and describe up to three skills that they are looking for in a volunteer.
- Create and Maintain a Great Organization Description: Administrators can keep organization information updated by clicking the “Edit Organization Profile” link. VolunteerMatch recommends having at least two administrators so that the account remains active despite job turnover.
- Make the Opportunity Pop: When reviewing a listing, an administrator can pay for an advanced Community Leader account, which comes with a suite of additional tools that make volunteer opportunities more attractive to users.
- Share, Share, Share: Administrators can elect to share their opportunity with hundreds of other networks, from Facebook to Blogger.
During the webinar, Kevin also explained how to edit the duration of an opportunity listing, how to use the multi-zip code feature, and how to view the number of views and referrals per opportunity. He discussed the community-powered support page where organizations can find and provide answers to other nonprofits.
Participants of this webinar received a coupon entitling them to three months of free Community Leader status. Kevin encouraged listeners to participate in the upcoming Community Leader webinar on Wednesday July 20 at 11 AM PST.
You can learn more about this and other webinars at the VolunteerMatch’s Learning Center.
Laura Weiss is an intern at VolunteerMatch. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.