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What to Do When You Are Looking for Volunteers

What to Do When You Are Looking for Volunteers

If you are part of a nonprofit organization or working on a community project, there is a good chance you spend a large percentage of your time looking for volunteers. As your organization expands, so does the need to find more volunteers. It's important to use every means possible to find people who are willing to join your mission. Here are some specific ways to make your needs known:


Send an email to your entire database. That includes current volunteers, past volunteers, board members, staff, former clients, donors, and vendors. Use a subject line that entices readers to open the email. Be specific. For example, if you need some people to become tutors, make the subject line "Looking for volunteer tutors." On the other hand, if you are looking for volunteers to fill multiple roles, provide a very specific number in the subject line. "Do You Know Anybody Who Would Be Good At These 5 Things?" The subject gives people the freedom to volunteer themselves or to spread the word to friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Additionally, the finite number makes the challenge feel more attainable.

Inside the email, mention the specific needs, qualifications, time commitments, and instructions about how to sign up.

Let your website work for you

Keep your website updated with current volunteer needs as well as the steps required to become a volunteer for your organization. If people care about what you're doing, they will often visit your website to find out more. Give them the opportunity to get involved.

Other websites

There are websites out there that seek to match volunteers with needs for many organizations. Sites like United Way, Volunteermatch.org, and others give users the ability to search for volunteer opportunities in their area. Simultaneously, these sites help organizations looking for volunteers to get the word out and recruit people they might not otherwise encounter.

Network with other organizations

Communicate with organizations in your area that have a reputation for community service. Contact churches, schools, businesses, rotary clubs, and sports teams to inform them of your needs and your mission. This can often be the beginning of a long-term partnership that benefits both groups as well as the community.