Organizing and running a charity drive is no easy task. You need to get the word out, ask people to donate, set up a booth, manage people’s donations, and ensure that they reach those in need. It’s tough, which is why you need all the help you can get.
Most charity organizations are understaffed and could use an extra set of helping hands. Volunteers boost your efforts and help reduce overall costs. They are also able to reach out to their own contacts and get the word out about your charity drive.
Most people are willing and able to help, especially if it’s for a good cause. The main issue lies in reaching out to these people, and letting them know that you do need help.
Recruiting intelligent and capable volunteers is a task that requires some attention. This is why we’ve compiled a list of key strategies that you should use to gather volunteers for your charity drive.
Read on to find out what they are!
This may seem like the most obvious tip in the book, but trust us, it’s often overlooked. Lots of organizations work hard to build their volunteer programs, but sometimes, it’s easier and more efficient to just ask.
There are a bunch of ways you can use online and offline tools to ask for volunteers.
To get the message out in your locale, put up posters in relevant public places. These include schools, universities, and church groups. Students are always looking for community service activities for their applications, and churches usually have their own volunteer groups who would be more than willing to help.
As a small organization or group of people, you may not have the budget for designing and printing posters regularly. Luckily, sites like PosterMyWall have millions of poster templates that you can browse through. Simply find a job posting template, customize it, and put it up wherever you need.
Remember to be straightforward in your posters, and provide all the relevant information as succinctly as possible.
To increase your reach, you should also put up your posters online. If you have a website or social media pages, put them up there. You’ll also find some dedicated volunteer search websites that you can use to find people. Sites like VolunteerMatch and Idealist help you get qualified volunteers in no time.
As a reputable organization, you’ll obviously want the best and the brightest to help you out with your charity drive. That’s perfectly fine, however, that doesn’t mean that you make your candidates go through a rigorous application process before considering them.
Most people will be put off if they have to work too hard to help. So make it easy for people to sign up. Put up sign-up sheets in schools, universities, churches, grocery stores, you name it. Ask people to put in their contact information so you can vet them over the phone if you need to.
If you have a website, create a dedicated volunteer page, and be as welcoming and accommodating as possible. Add an “Apply” button to the page, so people can add all the information you need in one place.
This volunteer page on the Red Cross website is a good example of what your volunteer page should look like.
While most people are happy to help for a good cause, they do want to know who they’re helping and how their efforts will make a difference. If you communicate the impact of people’s help, they’ll be more likely to sign up as volunteers.
So tell people exactly who they’ll be helping. Let’s say you’re organizing a charity drive to gather school supplies for underprivileged kids. Add a picture and a quote from one of the kids you’ll be helping, talking about what the supplies will help him or her achieve. Put this up on your poster so that it’s the first thing people see.
If you have social media pages, use them to share pictures and videos of past charity drives, and how they helped the people in need. The goal here is to make an emotional appeal, and encourage people to be a part of something important.
It’s not enough to ask people for help just because it’s the right thing to do. If people are taking time out of their day to help you, they will want to know how being a volunteer would benefit them.
While intrinsic motivation i.e. the good feeling you get after helping someone may be enough to bring some people in, studies have shown that extrinsic motivation is a much more compelling factor.
So use that to get more people to help you. Let people know what they’ll be gaining by doing this. Here are a few things you should mention:
- Work experience in the non-profit sector
- Community service for college applications
- Ability to connect with important people in the industry
- Ability to uplift an underprivileged community
To incentivise students, you can even offer to give out appreciation certificates after the charity drive is over.
Don’t just say “Volunteer for our charity drive!” when putting out a call for volunteers. People want to know exactly how much of their time and effort will be needed, so that they can make an accurate judgment regarding whether or not this would be a worthwhile endeavor.
So be as specific as possible. For instance, say, “We need people to set up the booth on the days of the drive” or “We need people to hand out flyers and go door to door”. Whatever the tasks are, list them down and let people know they can sign up for whatever is most convenient for them.
Remember that asking is the key to getting people to help you. However, the way you ask is equally as important. So use posters, word of mouth, and online tools to gather your volunteer team. And if you use these strategies to pitch to potential volunteers, we can guarantee you’ll find a willing and motivated group of volunteers for your charity drive in no time.