Charity Digital – Topics – The best ways to attract volunteers in 2021

Charities have spent the pandemic hunkering down and braving the storm. Now that restrictions are easing, it’s time to energise your staff and workforce. Volunteers from diverse backgrounds are a great way to keep your enthusiasm going.


Volunteers are also vital to many charity operations. They can help jazz up your event, fundraise, and even lift some of the administrative burden from your employees.


But the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) says that involving volunteers is not just about additional resourcing. Volunteers foster relationships in communities, provide feedback on service delivery, and help raise awareness, aligning with many strategic goals. They are the best ambassadors of your cause, and attracting them is essential.


At Charity Digital, we think the best way to attract volunteers is digitally. Now that the world is opening up again, it’s time to get back out there and recruit. Here are our top tips to attracting volunteers of all types.



Engage your trustees for specialist roles


Trustees and board members are valuable resources for identifying volunteers. Many charity trustees and board members are recruited from sectors with specialist skillsets. They may already have a network of candidates for that special volunteering position.


Hand-picking volunteers is also a way to engage trustees within the organisation. Ahead of making the request to senior staff, check out LinkedIn’s group functionality for recruitment.



Use digital platforms to help build your workforce


Digital platforms help charities advertise volunteer positions and promote charity projects. Reach Volunteering, Team London volunteering, and Volunteer Scotland are digital resources to know. The platforms also provide guidance and templates on how to recruit volunteers.



Turn to social media outlets to get the word out


Getting your call for volunteers out on social media is vital. To maximise your post, use hashtags to generate buzz in your community. Create secure and clickable bitly links for each channel to direct audiences to your application or job specification. Remember to share the links in your bio and posts, and track them to see where interest has come from.



Spread your grassroots movement


Our top tip for grassroots movements is to be ready for the call to action. In our case study of grassroots movements, empowering community groups is key to going viral.


Charities should be prepared to post downloadable banners, toolkits, and any helpful templates for local action groups.



Promote your existing volunteer force


Let your existing volunteers sing your praises. Have your experienced members share their fond memories of volunteering. Online videos, live streaming, and digital photos are good ways to promote the experience.


Ask volunteers to share their own stories with their network. Volunteers’ Week recognises how motivating these stories can be. To help guide your ambassadors, check out some of the best volunteering stories on their website.



Ensure that your volunteering roles are as flexible as possible


To make your roles as attractive as possible, being flexible is key. At Charity Digital, we’ve highlighted how mobilisation can help empower your volunteers. For organisers, devices allow volunteers to manage their own time and space.


Volunteering roles need to work for both individuals and the charities. Volunteer Scotland suggests allowing potential supporters to try volunteering before committing. The organisation also says that once your call-to-action is out there, volunteers might even suggest roles for themselves. Ensure that opportunities aren’t just limited to individuals, but can accommodate groups willing to donate time.


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