Everything is limited for nonprofits, but volunteers bring energy, time and passion to the table. They can help you overcome budgets that don’t quite do the job. More than just free labor, volunteers are often donors themselves as well as eager advocates, spreading the word about your nonprofit to others.
You need to recruit volunteers, and texting can be an ideal platform because of its many benefits: Texting is immediate, doesn’t require an Internet connection and your messages actually get read.
Here are four ways texting can recharge your recruitment efforts:
1. Build a List of Potential Volunteers
Create a list of mobile phone numbers of people willing to volunteer. Create a call to action such as, “Text VOLUNTEER to 41411” and promote it on all your marketing efforts. You’ll create a pool of eager supporters to call on when you need help. And thanks to the better response rates of text messaging, you’ll actually get that help.
2. Segment Your Volunteers
It can be annoying as a volunteer when none of the potential opportunities match your skills or interests. You want to help, but the general volunteer pleas never appeal to you.
As a nonprofit you can overcome this by segmenting your volunteer list into specific skills or opportunities. Create different text groups for different needs and let potential volunteers sign up for the ones that best match their skills.
Maybe you create lists for your call center, warehouse, IT team and special events. You can better engage your volunteers and keep from losing them.
3. Put Volunteer Requests in Regular Text Broadcasts
Whether you create special lists for volunteers or not, you should be sending your volunteer needs to your entire audience. That’s where most of your volunteers will come from anyway.
Texting to recruit volunteers can be as simple as putting together a list for your organization targeted to your general supporters. Send out regular updates, event invitations, reminders and donation requests. Then be sure to include the occasional pitch for volunteers.
Always ask your supporters to spread the word about your volunteer needs. People don’t always think about it, so a reminder helps. They might know the perfect person to help with your new project. But they’ll never make the connection unless you straight up ask for it.
Whenever you text volunteer needs, include a reminder to share.