Two volunteers at a shelter examine a dog.

How to Find and Recruit Volunteers Who Really Care

Finding volunteers who can genuinely embrace and evangelize your nonprofit’s mission is critical to its success. This is why talent brand initiatives around shaping and communicating organizational culture and employee experience are gaining more and more traction in the nonprofit world: they have a big impact on attracting hired staff as well as volunteers who generously donate their time.

Sharing an authentic look at your work culture is one valuable way to draw the attention and interest of volunteers who are more likely to care about what you do. LinkedIn Career Pages provide the perfect platform to promote the qualities of your organization and the energy of your team.

There are also more direct steps you can take in the volunteer search and recruitment process to achieve your desired results. In the spirit of National Volunteer Month, here’s an action plan.

Recruiting volunteers for your nonprofit who care about its mission

Following these tips will help you identify and engage with volunteer candidates who are more likely to stick around and spread the word. 

Post job listings and volunteer opportunities on LinkedIn

It’s no secret that LinkedIn is a popular place for job-searching activities. Nonprofits can post a free job or volunteer listing by following a simple process. Here are a few recommended tips when recruiting nonprofit volunteers on LinkedIn:

  • When typing in the title of the role, you’ll automatically receive suggested job titles, helping you surface common labels being used in posts and searches. Consider altering the language of your listing, if warranted, for more visibility.

  • For volunteer positions that have specific requirements, consider including screening questions to gather more information about the applicant, such as: Do you speak Spanish? or Do you have experience working with animals?  

  • Write detailed and thoughtful job descriptions to give potential volunteers a clear idea of what the opportunity entails. (More on this below.)

Read more: 5 Top Interview Questions to Ask Nonprofit Candidates

Write strong job descriptions that specify what you’re looking for (and why)

The way you describe a volunteer opportunity can make all the difference in finding the right person to fill it. You want your posting to be informative, but scannable. Emphasize the impact the role will have and use inclusive, welcoming language. Include keywords that relevant audiences might type into a search bar. 

Following the best practices of writing nonprofit job descriptions will help you attract applicants who are ideal for the role.

Illustration of a person looking at their phone. A thought bubble above their head shows a scene of volunteers planting a tree while a child looks on.

Build relationships and learn what drives volunteers

Focus on engaging volunteer candidates throughout the process, inviting their feedback and exploring their aspirations. By understanding a volunteer’s personal goals and values, you can tap into their true passion. 

One way to put this into practice is to collaborate on a skill-building roadmap. Showing how your nonprofit can help volunteers develop professionally is a highly compelling value proposition.

Re-engage your current volunteers

There’s no better tool for recruiting the right nonprofit volunteers than word of mouth. This is one of the biggest benefits of recruiting volunteers who really care to begin with!

The best way to motivate volunteer advocacy is by giving these individuals a great experience they want to share. Take steps to re-engage your current volunteer base, reminding them why they signed up and empowering them to become leaders for the cause.

An active social media presence helps your nonprofit stay visible to the volunteers who follow it. Volunteer appreciation posts on LinkedIn are a great way to make these folks feel recognized — and encourage them to share your posts with their networks. 

An amazing volunteer experience doesn’t happen on its own. But when you make it happen, you might find that successful volunteer recruitment does happen on its own.

Learn more about finding the right talent to drive your nonprofit’s mission.