Where can I find volunteers?
Volunteers are the lifeblood of your organization. Your board are volunteers, and they are responsible for the oversight of everyone at your nonprofit or charity.
Volunteers are also there for you when you need to do an appeal mailing, when you're stuck with one hundred phonecalls you need to do for a phone-a-thon, when you need someone to do grant research for you, or pro-bono graphic design, when you're tired and just want to go home.
Volunteers are so wonderful. And they save your organization $18 for every hour they're there.
So where do you find these wonderful, mythical creatures?
1. Your donor database. Is there anyone in there, a loyal donor, who could be engaged as a volunteer?
2. Volunteermatch.org. You can post volunteer opportunities on here, and it's a wonderful place to get volunteers. http://volunteermatch.org.
3. Local faithbased organizations. Many faithbased organizations give a donation to a nonprofit each month. If you already have such an organization, why not ask if you can go speak to their group and ask for volunteers? There are tons of people in these organizations who love to help others. Give them a compelling story, and mention how you want to offer a fun gardening opportunity for them (for example).
4. The Extraordinaires. This is so fun. This website helps you connect with volunteers that may have 15 minutes or 1 hour to help you, but they can be anywhere in the world. So if you have a legal document that you need a lawyer to look over, you can start a volunteer opportunity on here. Maybe you have a grant you'd like to get edited, or some research that needs to be done. You can get volunteers to do that here too. http://app.beextra.org/
5. Craigslist. You never know, right? http://craigslist.org
6. Local corporations. Many people working in corporations would love to volunteer for you. You can frame it as a team-building activity, and possibly get an in for employee giving campaigns if you do this.
7. High schools. Many high schools have a requirement to do 20 or more hours of service before they graduate. I know I had to do a lot of community service in a library before I could graduate.
8. Local universities. Tons of students are looking for real world experience in everything from graphic design and marketing to case management to environmental stewardship. Why not do a little outreach and see if you can get people interested in the volunteer opportunities you have available?
Thanks for reading! If there are any other places you can think of to find volunteers, I'd love to see your ideas in the comments!