Finding and retaining volunteers is important to many charities and not-for-profit operations. Volunteer recruitment involves creating an engaging and inspiring volunteer programme, offering incentives or benefits, and building community and connection among volunteers. You’ll also want to consider where your ideal community is. You may have them following you on social media, subscribed to an email list, or in your donor community, but you may need to go out and find them. In this article, we will explore 30 places where charities can advertise volunteering opportunities or be matched with a corporate volunteering programme.
Places that connect volunteers with volunteering opportunities
These are places you can advertise volunteer roles either locally or nationally. Whilst some places acts as a ‘job board’ of lots of local volunteering opportunities, some platforms aim to more precisely match volunteers with charities based on mission & role.
Local volunteering centres
Remember you can also check your local CVS, volunteering centres or community action group.
For specific roles
These websites are aimed at matching charities with particular skill sets.
For trustee roles
These websites have specific pages for recruiting for trustee roles.
Places that connect business employees with charity volunteering opportunities
These sites help connect employees with causes as volunteers.
Local volunteering opportunities – Organisations helping to mobilise businesses to volunteer in their local communities
These organisations focus on getting people or employees to volunteer for local causes.
National campaigns for volunteers
These campaigns aim to inspire people to take up volunteering.
Considerations when recruiting volunteers
Let’s explore some key considerations for charities when recruiting and finding volunteers.
Define the requirements for volunteers
Before starting the recruitment process, it is essential to define the specific roles and responsibilities you need volunteers to undertake. Clearly define the skills, qualifications, and time commitments required for each role.
Develop a compelling proposition
Communicate the benefits of volunteering with your charity. Highlight the impact volunteers can make, the opportunities for personal growth and development and any additional information. Craft a message that resonates with potential volunteers and motivates them to get involved.
Utilise multiple recruitment channels
To maximize your chances of finding suitable volunteers, make use of a variety of recruitment channels. Building your own brand and community will be valuable in attracting people already motivated by your mission, but using the list of channels above, you can tap into the networks and talent pools of other organisations, businesses and communities.
Streamline the volunteer application process
Make it easy and accessible for potential volunteers to apply. Acknowledge receipt and keep applicants updated on the progress of their applications. Implement a structured screening process that ensures good risk management and safeguarding of beneficiaries, staff and stakeholders.
Plan training and support
A volunteer handbook can be useful as a manual and reference point for all your important information and policies but also offer ongoing support, supervision, and guidance to help them succeed in their volunteer positions. Regularly communicate with volunteers to address concerns, provide feedback, and recognise their contributions.
Build a great volunteer experience
Fostering a day-to-day culture where people understand and embed your values is essential to executing any strategy or vision you have. You could recognise and celebrate the achievements of your volunteers, provide opportunities for them to connect and collaborate with other volunteers, invest in their skills and offer personal support. Turning volunteers into advocates should be one of your goals, and will likely help you achieve multiple steps towards your vision. Moreover, seek feedback to understand their experience, to improve the volunteer recruitment and onboarding process for others.