Derek Dunham

Volunteers form the backbone of many retirement community programs. Whether they are current residents that volunteer their time to make the community better or outside volunteers looking to give back, both groups provide valuable services at little cost to the community. However, finding reliable individuals for volunteer commitments can be a struggle. We’ve identified three recruitment methods that you might not have thought about that could help you boost your volunteer program.

VolunteerMatch.org

VolunteerMatch is the biggest player in online volunteer recruitment. The site lets you post volunteer openings and search a database of potential volunteers, based on interest and location. You can also find experienced volunteers with skills that relate to what you need for your population. This is especially useful when looking for individuals to work with more challenging groups, such as those with dementia or mobility issues.

Website Recruitment

Businesses have gotten very savvy at the recruitment process for employees. They have online applications, screening systems and processes in place to help streamline onboarding. Why don’t we treat volunteers the same way?

Your website should have a volunteer portal, where prospective volunteers can submit their application online, including what areas of volunteering interest them and how much time they are willing to give. Accepting applications this way can help you build your own database of potential volunteers to help in times of need.

Just putting up a portal may not be enough, though! If your online portal isn’t getting many submissions, you may want to think about running an online volunteer recruitment campaign. Social media marketing offers a great way to advertise your volunteer program to those who may be interested. For less than $500, you can run several ads on Facebook, targeting different demographics, and have them taken right to your volunteer portal to learn more and submit an application.

Ask Your Donors

Donors are the bread and butter of many nonprofit retirement organizations — they provide the funding to accomplish the mission. However, have you ever asked them to donate something other than money? Getting your donors to give of their time, instead of their wallet, could be more lucrative than you realize. For instance, if you have a donor base of professionals, the services they could offer pro bono might be worth more than the dollars they are giving. How much would it cost for you to hire someone to do the job they are willing to do for free? The best part is, you already have the names and contact information for these individuals. Taking a moment to ask for their time could pay off with big returns.

At Varsity, we know the value of volunteers and the struggle communities can have to recruit them. However, if you adjust your recruitment strategy just a bit, you may find a new source of volunteers that not only boosts your programs but reenergizes your entire organization.