How To Recruit New Volunteers For Your Non Profit

Having a strong marketing plan for your non profit’s volunteer section is a way to smooth out those peaks and valleys! Here are my top tips for how to recruit new volunteers for your non profit.

Let’s jump right in and start talking about WHY someone would volunteer to help you. This is going to be key to your marketing materials so we might as well get it out of the way right off the bat!

What’s in it for them?

You might not have considered this, but most people will only do things that benefit them somehow, including volunteering at your non profit.


People people: There are some people who just like to be part of a team. These volunteers will respond to a marketing message that talks about growing strong bonds with the other volunteers, having fun and generally getting to have friends and volunteer at the same time.


TO DO…There are LOTS of other reasons why volunteers like to work with your non profit. First order of business is to ask a wide range of them why they volunteer. DON’T give them a list of reasons, leave it an open ended question so you can get all kinds of answers. You can ask them in person, send an email and ask them to hit reply, or send out a more formal survey to your mailing list using a free tool like Survey Monkey.


Here’s something that you might not have thought of…people are nervous of new situations. Volunteering someplace you have never been before can be a traumatic thought to some people. With that in mind you need to make the process of finding out about volunteering crystal clear.


TO DO: Here are some things that should be super clear about your volunteer program! this should go on all marketing materials and on your website.

Benefits of volunteering
Pictures of volunteers having fun
Pictures of who or what they will be working with
Phone number to call and find out more
Standard date that you have a volunteer “get to know you” meeting (could be once a month like on the 3rd Saturday)


Now that we know the message we will be sending, we can start to develop marketing materials that will support the mission. These are in no particular order and range from a little pricey (postcards) to free (social media).


Direct mail is a super powerful way to send out a message to people who would find volunteering for you to be geographically desirable. While there is a cost to ordering postcards, oftentimes you can get local printer to donate or order them from Vistaprint when they have a sale.


Social Media – Instagram

Instagram is a little gem of a social media site. For me the best part is that when you use Instagram it also posts to Facebook and Twitter at the same time..whoo whoo.

What to post. Instagram is all about picture and videos. I know at the at the bunny house there are the most amazingly cute rabbits ever. There should be daily posts with a picture of all the different rabbits, cleaners cleaning, feeders feeding, the sick bunnies we all can cheer for and the brand new baby bunnies that make us say AWWW.

Whether you work with kids, dogs, old dears or the homeless, people love pictures. While it might seem intimidating right now, once you get in the habit of taking pictures you will start to see photo ops everywhere!


The impression that I have gotten from most non profit volunteer organizations over the years is that they are DEDICATED to doing great work, and are maybe not marketing experts. This is why I love working with non profit organizations. The level of passion is inspiring. Need more help with your volunteer marketing plan? Contact us here.

kelly conleyjefferson