The driving force behind many NGOs are volunteers who believe in the idea being promoted and, for this reason, devote their free time and resources to unpaid activities. But how do you find people who will be willing to be entirely involved? Below we explain where and how to look for volunteers.
Places to find volunteers – table of contents:
- Start from within
- Virtual volunteers
- Schools, universities, youth organizations
- Social media
Start from within
You’ve already managed to get a few committed and trusted volunteers, but are wondering how to expand this group? The answer is simple – use their experience and networks! Ask them to consider whether they have a friend or family member who might be interested in joining the organization.
Globalization and the development of technology have made geographic barriers irrelevant. If more and more companies are now hiring people remotely , why can’t NGOs do exactly the same? There are numerous tasks that can be performed without being on-site, and will provide relief to other team members who work for the local community. Let them know that you’re looking for such people, too, and you’re sure to find more people willing to help than before!
Also, don’t forget to open up to people with various limitations – those in wheelchairs, those with hearing or vision impairments, or those who come from abroad and are just learning your native language. Getting rid of such barriers and promoting accessibility for everyone will also help strengthen your recruitment efforts.
Schools, universities, youth organizations
To get volunteers who will get involved in both ongoing activities and individual projects, you need to reach out to the potentially interested community. For this reason, it is worth going to schools, universities, youth organizations, sports clubs, scout troops and other such organizations with diverse members.
Putting up posters at the facility, talking about networking, attending fairs – there are many ways to let them know you’re looking for support from volunteers, while raising awareness of your organization’s work. Remember, the potential is especially in communities already working closely together!
Also note the development of so-called corporate volunteering, which is one way for companies to support the idea of corporate social responsibility. This type of support usually includes (depending on the specific company) receiving one or more vacation days dedicated to charitable activities. Conduct proper research in search of companies that operate in this way, and then approach a Human Resources representative to make sure your organization will be considered. Perhaps the person who helped you for one day will decide to stay with you for a longer period of time as a fully committed volunteer?
If you want to attract volunteers from younger age groups, you must be present on social media. When planning your social media communication strategy, make sure to give an interesting reminder once a month that you are still looking for people to support your NGO in its daily activities.
You can do this with both simple graphics and more creative solutions – a video or an interview with other volunteers, in which you don’t put the emphasis on encouraging people to join, but on showing why it’s worthwhile to work together with you and what benefits can be gained this way.
However, a profile on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok is not enough – it’s also worth joining thematic groups whose members are people who are actually interested in your area of activity or are looking for volunteer options. What’s more, social media gives you the chance to be the first to come up with a proposal – when you see increased activity from one person under your creations, why not ask if they are interested in becoming part of the organization?
Remember, however, that when it comes to social media, it’s important to be persistent and consistent in reminding people about yourself – you won’t achieve success right away, but by constantly building awareness among your audience you will eventually realize your goal.
Obviously, there are more ways to attract volunteers. You can also decide to, among others, organize an open day, show up at local events or even advertise on social media – each of these ways is an action worth taking to find hands to help. However, it’s worth considering which will be the most appropriate and will produce the desired results, creating a team of committed volunteers united by a common idea.
Recruit volunteers and plan their work more effectively with the help of Firmbee. How to do it? Store a database of all volunteers along with important documents, track recruitment statuses, and control the flow of information by giving selected users different levels of authorization. Our project management system is available to NGOs for free. Check out the details.
Read also: Effective ways to run an NGO.