How to Recruit Volunteers Using Social Media

No matter where you are, or how small your town is, volunteers are out there, and they do want to help your organization. The question is, are YOU ready to accept volunteers? Are you ready to get to know some new people and let them into your organization, to trust them with your animals and your message? Recruiting new volunteers means widening your “inner circle,” and that can be hard for some of us in animal rescue.

While finding volunteers the old fashioned way through referrals and local contacts still works best, the use of online volunteer matching sites is growing, and is a way of at least doing a first quick cut of possible volunteers.

Why do people volunteer?

  • To use their skills for good
  • To learn new skills
  • To meet people
  • To build relationships
  • To learn about an organization
  • To have fun

Here are the some of the most widely-used volunteer matching sites:

  • VolunteerSolutions (
  • Volunteers of America (

Post a recruitment listing on Craigslist, too!

4 C’s of Social media’s role in volunteer management

  • Communicate
  • Coordinate
  • Celebrate
  • Connect

Ground Rules

  • Research Social media for organizations, volunteers and influencers
  • Develop an organizational policy (all it takes is one lawsuit to collapse your organization)
  • Invest in your network before spending
  • Start small
  • Emphasis should be on networking, not just messaging (two-way, not one-way communication)
  • Solicit feedback and original contributions (like guest/volunteer bloggers)
  • Integrate across social and website channels
  • Use emotion and numbers to connect with hearts and minds
  • Brevity, specificity and clarity
  • Share network with partners and sponsors
  • Include in volunteer (and staff!) training
  • Respond promptly

Uses for specific outlets

  • Blogs can be a destination for other social media posts
  • Blogs can also be more in-depth than other posts
  • Facebook is convenient for these announcements
  • LinkedIn group discussions are also useful
  • Twitter is perfect for reminders
  • Leverage the networks to tap new volunteers
  • YouTube videos are powerful tools in recruiting and promotion (and the #2 search engine on the WWW)

Encourage volunteers to engage

  • Blogs help maintain awareness with added context
  • Facebook platform can host polls and solicit opinions/feedback
  • Seed organizational and mission discussions
  • Request volunteers to post stories and images on their own social media sites

Get in Touch!

I'm available via most social media, so drop me a line! I'll answer your questions and I really look forward to hearing from you and helping if I can!

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