Tips for Nonprofits
How to Recruit Volunteers Online
Ron Yakar
June 30, 2022

It’s impossible to overstate the value volunteers can bring to your nonprofit. 

When people commit their time and energy to your cause, and their skills are aligned with your goals, your potential for impact is limitless.

☝️ Vee is the tool that will connect you with the best volunteers for your cause.

Nonprofits can find motivated, qualified volunteers to carry their efforts forward on Vee. 

Let’s break down the steps you need to follow to recruit volunteers on Vee.

 

This is what you'll see if you haven't posted any missions yet

 

☝️ Tip: Your nonprofit will not be visible until you create a mission. The same goes for the mission itself - missions are not visible to volunteers until you click “Create.” Once you click “Create,” the mission will go live on the platform. Do not click “Create” on any missions with “test titles” like “test” or a bunch of random letters on your keyboard.

Step 1: one-time vs. ongoing missions

You might need volunteers for a one-time mission or an ongoing commitment.

Sometimes, you might even post a call for any help available. 

Your first step is to choose whether the mission you’re creating is for a one-time or ongoing commitment.

☝️ Tip: got a bunch of different volunteer missions? Post each one separately to get more exposure.

Always make sure to specify a date and time for missions

One-time missions have a fixed time and duration. 

When volunteers view one-time missions, they’ll see the date and time, like “Thursday, June 30, from 2 - 4 pm.”

Examples of one-time missions include an annual beach cleanup, a Thanksgiving fundraiser, or clothing distribution around the winter holidays.

You can specify a regular time commitment for ongoing missions

Ongoing missions, on the other hand, aren’t on one set date and are often flexible. 

For more complex missions, like redesigning your website or mentoring a child with special needs, you might need to interview potential volunteers and schedule the mission together. 

Step 2: location and contact info

Location

For in-person missions, be sure to list a specific address, like “Washington Square, New York, NY 10012.” 

For remote or virtual missions, just select the virtual option.

With the shift toward remote work in recent years, we understand that in-person volunteering may not be an option for some nonprofits. Some volunteers may prefer remote missions while others prefer to have face-to-face interactions with people they help. We encourage you to post both remote and in-person missions.

Contact info

This is where you’ll tell volunteers how to contact their volunteer coordinator for this mission. Make sure this info is always up-to-date so you don’t miss out on volunteers.

 

☝️ Tip: you must make the point of contact for your missions an admin on Vee. You can add as many admins as you’d like under Settings.

 

 

Step 3: filter and optimize your volunteers

You can specify requirement for a volunteer's age, gender, skills, languages, and more

Vee’s algorithm is designed to find the perfect match between potential volunteers and available missions.

If your mission requires certain criteria, like preferred age, gender, technical qualifications, or language skills, you can define those as well.

If you’re recruiting volunteers for a women’s shelter in New York, for example, you may filter for women aged 21 and above who speak both English and Spanish.

Step 4: choose a crystal-clear title

The first thing volunteers see is the name of your mission. 

You should be thoughtful and intentional when naming the missions you list on Vee. Remember that volunteers look for missions that fit their interests and experience.

 

Clearly describe the volunteer’s role

The name of your mission should reflect who you’re looking for and what they’ll be doing in plain English.

The sweet spot for a mission title’s length is 3 words. Examples include “Food Pantry Organizer” and “Social Media Strategist”.

☝️ Tip: clear and simple titles get the most engagement.

Make sure your title fits these criteria

  • Straightforward

  • Do not use words like “volunteer”, “needed,” or “looking for”

  • Do not include the location in the title - it appears elsewhere

  • Do not include your nonprofit’s name in the title - volunteers see it at all times

  • Delete the words “Copy of” from the title of duplicated missions

A strong title and description will boost your engagement with volunteers

Step 5: describe the role

The mission description should give potential volunteers a clear idea of your expectations for this specific mission. Describe the mission without describing your nonprofit. 

☝️ Tip: do not describe your nonprofit in the mission description. Instead, describe your nonprofit on your Organization Page.

This is what you'll see if you haven't made an organization page yet

This is what you'll see while you're creating an organization page

This is what a completed organization page looks like

Explain in detail how volunteers can help your efforts. Make sure they know what they’re signing up for and what they can expect during the mission. 

The more information you provide, the easier it will be for you to find well-suited volunteers.

 

Make sure your description includes

  • Exactly what you need help with

  • Required skills or experience

  • Level of physical activity, if relevant

  • Time commitment (4 hours, 1 hour/week for 12 weeks, etc.)

  • What population you serve (e.g. youth, women, seniors, etc.)

 

☝️ Tip: do not use the mission description to specify requirements like proof of vaccination, dress codes, or background checks. Use the “Special Requirements” section on the previous page instead.

Be specific and speak directly

Avoid vague descriptions like “tutor required three times a month.” 

Try something like this instead: "Using our math workbooks, volunteers will help high school juniors prepare for the SAT for 1 hour every other week.”

Avoid using language like “the volunteer” or “the right candidate,” and talk directly to your audience instead. Imagine talking to the person on the other side of the app: help them visualize how they can contribute to your cause.

 

Step 6: mission photo and tags

Photo

Along with your mission title, you’ll need to add a photo that’s relevant to the mission. 

This is one of the first things volunteers see when viewing missions, so use it to your advantage.

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, so use an eye-catching photo speaks for itself. The best photos are those of your nonprofit in action, but you can also pick a photo from our stock image gallery.

☝️ Tip: do not use your nonprofit’s logo as the photo. Your logo appears on your Organization Page and you should use this space to get volunteers excited instead.
 

‍Make sure your photos meet these requirements

  • Horizontal (not vertical)

  • JPG or PNG format

  • Smaller than 4 MB

  • 16:9 ratio or 1080x1920 pixels

  • Do not use your logo or any other text

A picture is worth a thousand words. Use one!

 

Tags

You must select the most relevant tags for your mission, like “children & youth” or “skill-based.”

We require you to tag missions so you can draw in the right kind of volunteers who are genuinely passionate about your mission.

Our algorithm uses tags to match volunteers with the right missions for them. 

You’re now ready to publish your mission on Vee. Click “Create” to publish your mission and get ready to make a change!

Step 7: team events

Team Events are group volunteering experiences that are tailor-made for large teams - especially teams of corporate professionals.

If you have any in-person group missions that are recurring or can take place at a flexible date, post them as Team Events.

Creating a Team Event is just like creating any other mission. The only difference is that you’ll need to specify how many volunteers you need (e.g. 15-20 people), whether you’ll provide anything (e.g. water bottles or snacks), and what volunteers should bring (e.g. hat and sunscreen).

Once you create a Team Event, corporate teams can request to volunteer with you. You can confirm their request, deny it, or suggest an alternative date and time.

☝️ Tip: missions with a clear, brief commitment timeline perform best.

Good luck!

 

Note: the Vee Team reserves the right to edit or delete any mission, and to remove any nonprofits from the platform, as they see fit.


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