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Strategies to Increase Volunteer Turnout for Your Nonprofit

August 31, 2016
Great staff members can be hard to come by, but what can be even more difficult is getting a steady stream of dedicated volunteers. Whether it’s for a specific event or a weekly schedule of helpers, volunteer recruitment is crucial. Here are some volunteer recruitment strategies to reach more people and get more helping hands. 

strategies for increasing volunteer turnout

Use Online Forms to Recruit Volunteers

These might seem intuitive, but in fact, many nonprofit organizations still use paper signup sheets! The problem with paper forms is that it requires people to be there in person in order to express their interest. Make it easy for people to sign up by implementing an online signup form that’s available directly on your website or send it in an email. And if you make your form mobile-responsive, people will be able to sign up on-the-go using their mobile devices. Use JotForm to put together your signup form in minutes.

Keep Your Forms Short

Think carefully about the most essential things you need to know from each of your volunteers. If it’s just their name and phone number, only include these fields on your volunteer form. Your goal is to get people involved as effortlessly as possible, including during this initial sign up phase. By only asking the most important questions, you’ll avoid the risk of losing potential volunteers to a tedious form. If there’s additional information you need down the line, ask for it then. For example, once a volunteer has signed up to help out at an event, ask them those questions when they check in.

Send Out Clear Reminders

Once your volunteers are signed up and ready to go, maximize volunteer turnout by sending out clear reminders with times to show up and what to bring. You can send a calendar invite that volunteers can add to their phone or desktop calendars, or just a neatly organized list of details. Mostly though, just be clear so your volunteers know where to go and when. Convey the information with as few distractions as possible.

Help Them Have Fun

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for recruiting and maintaining volunteers is to make sure they have the best experience possible. A positive experience will give your volunteers a sense of accomplishment because they were able to make a difference, but also because they enjoyed themselves. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even tell their friends about it and do some recruiting on your behalf without you even asking! Help people have a great time, and chances are that they’ll be back.

Have you had success getting volunteers to join your nonprofit? Let us know in the comments how you’ve achieved your goals.

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