Getting Corporate Volunteers is SUCH a good idea.
They can potentially sit on your board, or help you get sponsorships for your annual event, and they can also do big corporate volunteering projects to get even more people engaged and aware of your nonprofit.
Why would corporations want to volunteer with you?
Because they will get a better image in the community. It’s a marketing effort for them.
It improves employee morale.
It helps employees feel part of a solution, a movement, and network.
What do you get out of corporate volunteers?
You can have them for daylight hours
You can get them for events
You can get their professional expertise
It helps build your relationship with the corporation.
The volunteers will develop an interest in your organization, and in giving to your organization.
You can get corporations to give you money for their volunteer hours.
You can use their hours as part of your fundraising goals for in-kind donations.
Flyering: You can flyer places listed above, and also your local unemployment office, your local coffeeshop, law firm, grocery store, anywhere a potential volunteer might go.
What are some tasks you can think of right now that volunteers could do for you?
Try to make your volunteer job description as enticing as possible. Show them what they stand to gain by volunteering with you. You can also make flyers to post in your front office, or around town.
How to Interview Volunteers
Once you have found a few likely candidates, here is how to interview them:
Ask them what brought them to the organization.
Ask them what their favorite activities are, what their strengths are.
Ask them what their least favorite activities are.
Ask them what they would like to get out of a volunteer opportunity.
Ask them what kind of time commitment they can adhere to for this volunteer opportunity.
See if you can feel out where they are in their lives right now. Are they full time students with a limited amount of time? Have they graduated from college and want to volunteer with you while looking for full time work? Are they a stay-at-home mom or dad who wants to do something to get out of the house? Perhaps a retiree who wants to feel useful around the shared purpose your nonprofit represents?
Once you get a sense for what their needs and strengths are, you can start to think of where you could fit them into the organization. I like to talk with each program manager at the organization, and ask them if they can think of some duties a volunteer could help them with. This can l make you quite popular! It’ll help you build staff relationships, as well as give your organization a boost. Then I give potential volunteers a form listing the kinds of duties we have available, and ask them to check off the items most interesting to them. See the Resource CD for a form I like to give to potential volunteers.
Quiz -What kind of manager are you?
Do you like to assume competence in your worker?
Do you often assume incompetence in your worker?
How do you talk with someone who is not doing the work the way you want it done?
How often do you offer genuine praise to your workers?
How do you offer praise? In front of others? In private? At an event?
Do you have an open door policy?
Do you believe in servant-leadership?
How do you motivate your workers?
How do you communicate with your workers?
How do you show appreciation for your workers?
How do you make sure your deadlines are met?
How do you help make customer service/donor relations the best they can be?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. These are for you to ask your boss, and for you to answer for your volunteers. When you manage people, knowing yourself is your highest strength and hardest part of the job. This will keep you from losing control and lashing out when things get tense, and help you understand how others are different from you even though you share a common passion.
What to do with volunteers once they’re there!
Have a meeting where you thank them for joining you, and ask them to reiterate what they would like to do, and see how you can fit them into what needs to get done. Put together a task list and a weekly schedule with them.
Say, for instance, “I would like you to research grants on Monday, and report to me on Tuesday what you found. Then on Wednesday I would like you to create a spreadsheet of grants that we could apply for. Is this something you could do?”
Sit down and have a check-in every week.
When you’ve decided to “hire” the volunteer, write down what you want them to do.
1. Name the job, something simple and clearly identifying the responsibility
2. Write a clear description of the job, including responsibilities and required skills; ask program staff to write a description if you don’t know.
3. Estimate of the amount of time the job will take to complete; where applicable, break time requirements down by task. This helps volunteers decide if they have the time to fulfill an obligation at a glance
4. Estimate the length of the job commitment (a day, a week, a month or more…); this also helps volunteers match volunteer tasks to their busy schedules
5. Give a deadline for the job ; some jobs will require early deadlines if they involve planning and organizing, and others will be far off in the future for things like event participation, follow-up, or donor recognition.
6. Write who will help with the job, and how often they will need to report.
7. Tell the volunteer where they can go for more help and advice if they should get stuck on a task (the name and number of a past volunteer is ideal if they are willing)
8. Include contact information for committee leaders in case an emergency arises or a volunteer is otherwise unable to complete their assigned task
Your Turn! Start to write the seed of your volunteer job description.
What’s a job you need done?
What’s a job title describing what you need done?
How long will the job take to complete?
How long is this volunteer commitment?
What is the deadline for this task to get done?
Who will this volunteer report to?
How do you KEEP your volunteers? Tune in Next Week For the Exciting Conclusion!
If you want to learn more about managing and recruiting volunteers, take my managing volunteers webinar October 29th.