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6 min read

How To Recruit Volunteers Using Social Media

March 24, 2024

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How to Recruit Volunteers Using Social Media

Nonprofits can leverage social media in many ways, such as a news resource, a fundraising platform, or even an advocacy tool. However, one of the most valuable uses of social media for nonprofits is as a marketing tool to secure volunteers.

Volunteering can have a low barrier to entry compared to donating—your organization just needs to convince new people to sign up. Social media is an ideal tool to show your followers the tangible impact of volunteering through photos, videos, and other shareable content.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to convert your social media followers into loyal volunteers. Follow these tips to add social media to your marketing plan and recruit volunteers who are as passionate about your cause as you are:

  1. Share impact-based content.
  2. Leverage different types of posts.
  3. Ensure communication is two-way.
  4. Use influencer marketing.

As we review these tips, consider how your nonprofit currently approaches social media and if any of these opportunities would align well with your volunteer recruitment strategies. Let’s get started! 

1. Share impact-focused content.

When volunteers give their time to your nonprofit, they’re investing in your success just like monetary donors. Secure their trust and continued commitment to your cause by sharing impact-focused content on social media. Use these best practices to infuse your posts with impact:

  • Be specific. Include as many details as possible about your volunteer projects. Let’s imagine you’re a volunteer who recently helped an animal shelter build a new kennel. Which message is more likely to inspire you?
    • Our group of volunteers worked hard to build this kennel.
    • Our group of volunteers put in over 200 hours of work to build a kennel with 30 dog crates, which we expect to increase our capacity by 75%.
  • Highlight individual volunteer contributions. Personal shoutouts for a job well done can demonstrate how much your nonprofit values its volunteers and motivate recruits to join your ranks. For instance, you might spotlight a volunteer who contributed the most hours throughout the year and highlight the projects that they contributed to.
  • Use before and after comparisons. Visuals can be extremely useful for demonstrating tangible results, especially via social media. Take pictures of your projects before and after volunteers get to work and use the side-by-side to show the team’s efforts.

Given the rapid pace of social media, most people tend to skim through their feeds without pausing unless something sticks out. Be sure to make big impact metrics stand out to catch your followers’ attention, either through eye-catching images or bold infographics.  

2. Leverage different types of posts.

There’s a social media platform for everything these days—which means the sky’s the limit when it comes to posting creative content. Enhance your social media strategy beyond simple photos and text posts with these media elements:

  • Stories, which are temporary posts that vanish after 24 hours. They provide more real estate for posting about your volunteer program and can host links to your sign-up page.
  • Livestream, which is when your nonprofit can share live video feeds. This is especially useful for promoting nonprofit events and hosting Q&As. Most social media platforms support this option, including Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. 
  • Interactive elements like quizzes, polls, and donation buttons, which you can add to story posts to increase engagement with your posts. For example, you could poll potential volunteers on what type of roles they may be most interested in. This is a great way to encourage your followers to interact with your posts.

Each platform has unique features that you can leverage to share volunteer stories, promote upcoming opportunities, and spread the word about your mission.. Just ensure that your posts appeal to your target audience and maintain consistent branding to reflect your nonprofit’s professionalism. 

3. Ensure communication is two-way.

Social media is a powerful channel because it provides an easy way for you and your followers to communicate. You can start conversations with your followers on social media that inspire them to join your volunteering program by:

  • Monitoring your direct messages. Your direct message inbox is an ideal place for potential volunteers to get in touch with you privately. However, it only functions if you check it regularly and respond promptly. 
  • Responding to comments. Most social media platforms allow you to reply directly to comment streams. Make sure you respond to inquiries and “like” supportive comments to show your followers that you care.
  • Commenting on supporters’ posts. Even if the post isn’t related to your nonprofit, show interest in your supporters’ personal lives and passions by posting supportive comments on their posts. For example, you could congratulate supporters on milestones like anniversaries, graduations, and retirements. 

Engaging in authentic conversations with your followers humanizes your nonprofit and increases the chances that casual followers will join your volunteer program. 

4. Use influencer marketing.

People with large followings on social media have significant digital marketing value for your volunteering program. By partnering with a social media influencer, you can broaden your reach and attract new volunteers with a simple tag on the influencer’s profile. Here are some tips to start your own influencer marketing campaign:

  • Leverage your current connections. Getting in touch with influencers with millions of followers isn’t realistic for most nonprofits. However, if you have a connection with an influencer within your supporter base, you can leverage it to secure a partnership. Ask your supporters if they have any influencer contacts by sending a survey out or personally asking those in your network.
  • Work with micro-influencers. While macro-influencers have the most reach, micro-influencers can provide significant value to your campaign as well. With between 15,000 and 50,000 followers, micro-influencers are more likely to have a stronger bond with their followers, which can boost your conversion rates.
  • Offer creative input. Influencers have grown their following with their unique brand and style of content. While collaborating with influencer partners, ensure that you communicate creative preferences so that you’re both happy with the end result and the content feels authentic to their followers.
  • Only partner with like-minded influencers. For example, an environmental nonprofit should not partner with an influencer who has shown disdain for recycling or other green habits. During the interview process, ensure that you’re both on the same page about what your mission is and that you both support it. 

Influencer marketing is new for many nonprofits, but with the right attitude and tactics, it can be a win-win situation for both parties; your nonprofit gets exposure, and the influencer gets positive press for being associated with a socially responsible organization. 


Your nonprofit’s volunteer management can be complicated enough on its own, and constantly having to source new team members can feel exhausting. By using these tips, you can easily attract qualified additions to your team and focus more on what matters: your mission. 

Guest Contributer

Written by Guest Contributer

This article was written by a VolunteerMatch Guest Contributor.