Now that you've posted a new volunteer opportunities on your local Connect site, you can just sit back, relax, and wait for an onslaught of enthusiastic volunteers to started signing up by the dozen ... right?
Well, maybe not. If your Connect site already gets a lot of traffic, then your new opportunity is certainly more likely to get some views. But what if you're posting to a new site that doesn't have many users yet? What if--for whatever reason--your volunteer opportunity just doesn't generate the volume of need responses you were counting on?
There are several steps you can take to make your posted opportunities both more visible and more attractive to volunteers. Here are some tips for posting needs that will generate responses.
Think Like a Marketer
When coming up with a title for your need, it helps to think like a marketer. Avoid vague, generic titles like "Volunteers Needed" and "Help Wanted." Those titles fall into the background of the more cleverly titled needs on your site. When crafting a title, be specific and show enthusiasm if you can. Here are a few examples of real-world titles we've seen on Get Connected sites:
- Volunteer Crisis Counselors Needed - Help Make a Difference in Someone's Life!
- Tutors Needed for English Literacy and Math Students! It Feels Good to Give Back!
- Our Residents Need You!
- Be a part of something BIG! Seamster Park Playground Community Build
It also doesn't hurt to use puns or to be just a little cheesy. So, when you're looking for volunteers to stuff envelopes for your upcoming campaign, why not go with, "Help This Year's Campaign Be the 'Stuff' of Legend!" Playing with language like this may evince a few eye rolls, but those same volunteers will be clicking on your need to learn more at the same time!
Appeal to Volunteers' Need to Make a Difference
Don't turn off your marketing mind once you've written the title. When crafting the opportunity description, don't just write what needs to be done. Explain how this volunteer job is going to help make a difference in your community. Even if you're just asking people to answer phones or stuff envelopes, make sure volunteers know the big picture. Appeal to volunteers' desire to support your cause, and they'll be happy to sign up to help!
Tip: If you're going to be providing snacks, coffee, or swag of any kind, be sure and include that information in the need posting. Volunteers want to make a difference, but adding a few perks to the job won't hurt!
Share, Share, Share!
Now that you've created an opportunity posting that volunteers can't help but check out, it's time to make sure people know it's there! The key to sharing a need is the small Share icon located on the published posting:
Click this button to see all of your sharing options.
You can share to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, so make sure all of your social media followers know about your great new volunteer opportunity!
Note the Copy Link button as well. Use it to reach out to your past volunteers and other supporters via email, your agency newsletter, or even a press release.
Note: Social media posts will display your site's banner image, as shown here.
Keep Opportunity Postings Current
By default, your Connect platform displays the most recently added or updated needs at the top of the opportunity listing for volunteers. If you create an "Ongoing" or "Runs Until" need, be aware that it will fall lower and lower on the opportunity listing (perhaps even to page 2, or 3, or 10, depending on how active your site is!) as time goes by. Update needs occasionally to ensure that they remain in view for your site's visitors and your prospective volunteers.
Contact Your Site Manager
Your Connect platform's site manager has some tools at their disposal for promoting needs, whether a single need or a group of related needs. They can create spotlights on the volunteer dashboard, add links to the navigation menu, and send email blasts and in-app messages to your agency's fans, or to all volunteers who have indicated an interest in the cause you're promoting, or in the type of volunteer work you're asking for.
Your site manager may also be a good resource of other ideas not included here. These ideas are just a start; try them out, and you may be surprised at how much more visibility your posted opportunities enjoy!