Volunteer Recruitment & Engagement Ideas
Volunteers give from the heart - but it never hurts to have a little incentive too, once in a while. Check out these easy 8 volunteer incentives that could help your school or nonprofit boost turnout today!
1. Food: Volunteers won't necessarily show up just for the food, but they sure will remember snacks and drinks were provided. Whether it's icey lemonade shared with volunteers during the hot festival hours, or coffee and donuts for an early morning volunteer project, simple food and beverage is a great way for volunteers to commune and bond, and shows your organization is putting in the extra effort.
2. Complimentary Access: Recruiting volunteers for a festival, conference, fair or concert series? Complimentary access, free admission and/or a chance to win tickets is a great way to encourage more folks to help out with your event.
3. Swag: It's almost commonplace, but a simple knick knack or token (think key chains and pens all the way up to reusable water bottles and t-shirts) are a fun way to incentivize volunteers. Ask a local vendor to donate them, or work 'volunteer swag bags' into the budget for your next big event.
4. Time-saving sign-ups and scheduling. Do your volunteers get bogged down in 'reply-all' emails and last-minute phone calls? The best way to encourage volunteers to get involved quick and easy is to streamline the scheduling process with free online sign-ups with reminders. Mobile, 24/7 access, eCalendar syncing, and automated email reminders make it easy for volunteers to stay on task and encourage them to return regularly to help out. Get started
6. Community Coupons: Promotions and coupons to local restaurants, movie theaters, retailers, you name it are a great way to both thank volunteers and encourage them to sign up to help in the first place. Connect with vendors in the region with a simple phone call asking if they are interested in supporting volunteers for your event.
7. Fundraising Goals: Fun volunteer and donor incentives include fundraising goals where a specific event or action will take place if a certain amount of money is raised. Duct-taping teachers and staff to walls is a favorite for elementary schools, while non-profits can shoot for pie-ing their founder in the face at the annual carnival or watching them shave their head for the charity.
8. Kudos: Knowing you're appreciated, and even publicly so, is great fuel for volunteers to return and stay loyal to your organization. Kudos as simple as shout-outs on facebook, twitter, and your group's website is an easy place to start. Tag your volunteers' social handles where possible, post photos and ask for their own testimonials and quotes to be shared too.