Five Ways to Find Your Dream Volunteer
By Grace Kennedy
It’s no secret that volunteers make the do-gooder world go ‘round. The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that volunteers performed 7.9 billion hours of service in 2015, saving $184 billion for the organizations they served.
But how do you find volunteers – especially when you need someone with a particular set of skills?
That’s where volunteer matchmaking comes in. Check out these five volunteer matchmaking sites. They were all designed to take the time and guesswork out of finding the people you need to get the job done.
Whether you’re buying a car or looking for a place to grab a bite, word of mouth is powerful. This holds true for nonprofits, too. GreatNonprofits allows your organization to use the power of recommendations to find volunteers.
Volunteers can search by location or issue to find your organization. Make sure your profile is up-to-date so people can find and contact you. List all of your programs so volunteers can see if your organization needs their skills.
Finally, ask your current volunteers to leave reviews, so people can learn more about what it’s like to help your nonprofit. Mission Guatemala Inc. is using their GreatNonprofits profile to showcase reviews and provide would-be volunteers with a comprehensive list of their services.
Taproot pairs organizations with skilled volunteers to provide professional-level services pro bono. You can request a consultation, tackle significant issues with a one-day “Taproot Marathon” consulting session, or choose Team Projects for long-term goals. Project Petals Inc has put effort into their listing, using dynamic photos and keeping their needs specific.
Catchafire is another matchmaker, setting up skilled professionals with social good organizations that need them. You can post a project, find a project, and create an account for your organization or your services. Need a large group for a specific project? Catchafire offers programs for employee volunteer groups. Juma Ventures has optimized its profile with multiple projects and testimonials from past volunteers.
On this site, volunteers can choose virtual projects or search by ZIP code. They can also choose from 29 causes or sort by age group served, keyword, or skill needed. Because people have so many choices on this site, you should make your organization’s needs as specific as possible on your profile. You can even create a custom Volunteer Questionnaire to speed up the process of finding the perfect helper. Girl Scouts of Colorado’s VolunteerMatch game is strong, with 49 separate opportunities listed under five causes.
If you have ever been job hunting in the nonprofit world, chances are you’ve explored Idealist.org. While the site does charge a fee for listing jobs and internships, you can post your organization’s volunteer opportunities and events for free. The site currently has more than 11,500 volunteer opportunities available. Do you need volunteers at multiple locations? Check out how Reading Partners has used Idealist.org as a resource to find volunteers in all of their local branches.
Get started with these sites, and you will be on your way to making the perfect volunteer match!