Archived Story

Using social media to recruit, engage volunteers at nonprofit organizations

Published 6:46pm Friday, October 12, 2012

As the nonprofit Leadership column continues discussing marketing for nonprofits, the next several articles will focus on specific social media tools.
As we discussed in previous articles there are three main reasons for starting a social media campaign. They are raising money, recruiting and engaging volunteers and spreading your message. In this article we are going to start with recruiting and engaging volunteers.
In recruiting volunteers, the key to any social media tool is the ability to have volunteers ask others to serve and volunteer for the organization. To start with, it is a great first step for nonprofit organizations to register with several online volunteer matching services. It’s free to register with most of these services. Next you will want to encourage your existing volunteers to log in and comment on why they have chosen your nonprofit as one for which they want to volunteer.
In retaining and engaging volunteers you want to make sure you have a site dedicated to providing them with the tools, knowledge and forms to do their jobs effectively.  A great way to do this is to have a secure page or portal on your existing website where volunteers and committee members can go to view updates, download forms or to get fellow volunteer contact information. A new tool that might help you accomplish the same thing is an invite only LinkedIn page. Only the administrator can invite people and now this service offers the ability to upload documents securely.
Another tool that can be instrumental in keeping volunteers engaged is a blog by the volunteer coordinator. This blog should be designed to keep everyone informed of successes in the programs, events and overall organization. We know volunteers stop volunteering when they feel they have not been “kept in the loop.” This is a great way to ensure all volunteers feel they are important to the organization, as they should be.
In the next article we will continue discussing the steps for getting started using social media for your nonprofit.

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