<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-KVC3WS8" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">
7 min read

Facebook Messenger Can Transform How You Engage With Volunteers

December 13, 2018

With nearly 3 billion social media users across the globe, social good organizations are increasingly adopting a more digitized approach towards social activism and engaging their volunteers.

Facebook Messenger marketing and chatbots are two of the most powerful tools revolutionizing the way nonprofits work by dramatically increasing their outreach program while cutting costs! In fact, if you want to boost your reach exponentially, build a strong brand identity and advance your cause without spending a fortune, look no further than these two tools.

In this blog, we'll delve into the world of Facebook Messenger — more commonly known as Messenger —  and talk about how it can help you engage volunteers.

Let's start with the basics.

What is Messenger?

Messenger is an instant messaging service that can be accessed on your computer via Facebook, Messenger.com or on a smartphone via a Messenger app. But it doesn’t just send text messages — it can also send pictures or videos, make calls, transfer money and more.

What are Facebook chatbots?

Facebook chatbots are artificially intelligent computer programs that can carry out basic communication with a human user in Messenger and make it feel like an organic conversation!

They’re constantly in development, and with new updates coming out often, these chatbots have the potential to do more and more powerful things when it comes to marketing.

In fact, they’re already being used by many businesses such as 1-800-Flowers and by nonprofits like The Climate Reality Project in a variety of ways that are proving extremely useful in extending their reach. So why would you not use a chatbot to do more for less?

So what does this mean for your nonprofit?

Think of chatbots as a digital assistant. You can use these nifty tools to automatically send personalized messages to new followers, answer many of your supporters' frequently asked questions, gather data and conduct surveys — that’s just scratching the surface! Chatbots can take care of most of your customer support needs, promote your organization’s cause and spread your message to thousands of users across social media!

And while humans can only juggle a handful of chats at a time, bots can interact with thousands of individuals around the world 24/7.

In many ways, Messenger and chatbots are far more efficient than traditional direct mail marketing strategies that have been a go-to in the marketing space for a while now. These are indeed some amazing tools that can drastically extend your nonprofit's visibility and help you secure more supporters.

How can you use Messenger and chatbots to engage with your volunteers?

So now that you have an idea of what Messenger and chatbots are and how useful they can be, we'll explain how these technologies can transform your organization's interaction with volunteers and make engaging volunteers more efficient!

1. Spread Awareness

The only way your nonprofit can grow and gain more recognition is by spreading awareness about your organization's work and educating people on the issues you’re working to solve.

Chatbots offer a creative and highly efficient way of doing so by directly engaging with interested users and volunteers through interactive messages.

Charity: Water and Lokai perfected this strategy when they launched Yeshi, a highly advanced chatbot that assumes the persona of a young girl in Ethiopia walking two and a half hours to collect clean drinking water for her family. Not only does Yeshi educate users about the water crisis in other parts of the world, but she can also ask and answer people's questions, share images, videos and maps, and offer a highly engaging and informative conversation.

Chatbots like Yeshi can provide a lot of ways to connect with people across the world, spread awareness for your mission and propel your cause forward!

2. Recruit & Engage Volunteers for Your Cause

Volunteer recruitment remains one of the top challenges that volunteer managers face in their profession. This can be especially true for smaller nonprofits that don’t have the same global outreach as larger, well-known ones.

Capturing the attention of potential supporters and encouraging them to take action typically requires spending a lot of money on marketing campaigns. But traditional marketing channels can be expensive and receive a low response rate.  Plus, with email marketing campaigns or direct mail marketing, you have to compete with a lot of other organizations trying to get real estate in an individual ’s inbox or mailbox.

That’s where Messenger comes in. You can use Messenger chatbots to send automated messages directly to an individual's Messenger inbox with information on how and why to join your cause. You can also guide them to sign up for action alerts, notify them of upcoming volunteer events or encourage them to visit your VolunteerMatch profile to sign up for volunteer opportunities that match their interests and skills.

Since these messages are delivered as push notifications, people are much more likely to open them and sign up. In fact, open rates on Messenger can be as high as 80% and click through rates are around 40%!

3. Collect Data

It’s important to measure the success of your volunteer program and identify opportunities for growth. One way to do this is to collect and analyze data from your volunteers. What was once a time-consuming and costly undertaking can now be automated with Messenger chatbots, which can actually fill the role of a human surveyor and allow you to collect information that would otherwise have to be done manually.

These bots can automatically ask your volunteers and other followers questions by sending them messages via Messenger. You could have your bot ask how they found out about your organization, why they’re interested in volunteering, what they would change about your program, etc. This will enable you to collect information from hundreds of your supporters around the globe, so you can see what you’re doing well and what can be improved.

You can also analyze the interactions between users and your chatbot. For example, you may want to identify common keywords or questions that appear in a large number of user queries. This could lead to insight about updates you should make to your organization's website to make certain information is easier to find or give you information about the audience you’ll want to target in future marketing campaigns.

4. Increase Donations

The more public interest and visibility you can drum up with Messenger, the more donations you’re likely to receive. But don’t sit idly by waiting for this to happen. Use chatbots to drive up the results of your fundraising campaigns by thoughtfully engaging with your volunteers, donors and other followers on Messenger.

You can use chatbots to send automated messages to your biggest supporters with guidance on setting up Facebook Fundraisers or other peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to double their impact and support of your organization. Your chatbots can also answer the questions your volunteers might have regarding the technicalities of these campaigns or even thank individuals when they donate to your organization!.

All these tasks would normally require valuable human resources, but with Messenger Chatbots, you can now automate these tasks and build staff capacity for other more strategic tasks.


Messenger and chatbots are exciting new tools that have the power to revolutionize your nonprofit's strategy. If used correctly, they will not only change the way you interact with and engage your volunteers but also cut down costs of promoting your volunteer opportunities.

We hope our short guide on Messenger and chatbots has answered some of your questions and made you realize how amazing these tools can be! Have a tip to share? Comment below 👇

Guest post by Steve Page.
Steve Page is the VP of Digital Strategy for Giant Partners, a full-service digital marketing agency that accelerates leads and drives sales. Steve has been in the digital marketing industry for 10+ years and enjoys keeping up with the latest trends for the success of his clients. When he is not focused on marketing, he is enjoying the outdoors in one way or another.

Guest Contributer

Written by Guest Contributer

This article was written by a VolunteerMatch Guest Contributor.