Looking for a Few Good Volunteers

Finding volunteers is a difficult but necessary job for any nonprofit (and being a volunteer can be difficult too!). At Xico, we only have two staff members so running the dozen or so programs we have going is not possible without volunteers. We’re lucky to have a great board of directors and a bunch of fantastic artists to help out but we also have to reach out to new people…

We use several ways to find volunteers including reaching out to our network to recruit people who are already involved with the organization. One new way for nonprofits to find volunteers is through the internet. There are websites that specialize in volunteer listings where people looking for a place to volunteer can search for local nonprofits.

Nonprofits are excited about the possibilities of these new volunteer search engines because they allow us to reach new people who are specifically interested in volunteer work. Of course there are possible downsides too. Nonprofits may worry about the reliability of volunteers who don’t come with a personal recommendation (and volunteers may feel the same way). We already spend a lot of time on finding, training, and managing volunteers, what if these new tools just add to that time without providing a benefit?

I think it is always worth it for nonprofits to (cautiously) explore the ways that new technologies can aid our missions. Xico has had some good responses to our listings on Volunteer Match, one of the biggest volunteer sites. The listings were easy to set up and we get an email every time someone indicates an interest in one of our positions. It’s too soon to say that volunteer sites are the answer to our nonprofit prayers, but so far, so good…

Do you think you have what it takes to be a volunteer? Check out our opportunities on Volunteer Match.