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Streamline Your Nonprofit Volunteer Orientation

Bringing volunteers on-board in an exciting, effective, and efficient way is absolutely achievable. Here are 8 ways you can re-design your volunteer orientation and volunteer on-boarding:

  • Is in-person a must for your organization? Ok, we understand the importance of physical presence and networking, but why not Live Stream it on Facebook or Instagram? That way you can grab a few more interested people and re-send it to others at a later time. You can also create a Facebook event and host it on a free webinar platform.
  • Whether your volunteer orientation is in-person or an online-video, add background music! It’s amazing what a difference music can make. Don’t take away from your presentation, just think about adding something soft and upbeat to complement your presentation. I recommend PremiumBeat for videos and webinars. You can loop it. While the songs are $49 each, you own it from that point on and can use it across various projects. These songs are impactful!
  • Always host a Q&A with a current volunteer. Bring them with you to your event and include the Q&A with them at the end or in the middle of your presentation. 
  • Make it a competition! People love recognition and goals. First, set a minimum amount of actual time that volunteers should commit to; for example, your organization may require that volunteers (remotely or in-person) log at least 5 hours per month. Or perhaps you require that they complete 3 tasks per month. Second, find a way to honor the top three volunteers every quarter. It can be something as small as a social media post or campaign, to something as big as a happy hour with a t-shirt for the winner(s). And definitely invite top volunteers to attend bi-annual special networking events.
  • Create a closed Facebook Volunteer Group and invite those people who have completed all of the volunteer on-boarding steps. Assign 1-2 seasoned volunteers to run this group and generate engagement as much as possible. Organize your posts with our Monthly Social Media Content Calendar Template.
  • Host your entire orientation process online – which we highly recommend.
  • Worried about volunteers not meeting each other? You can host monthly or quarterly volunteer coffees or happy hours to introduce new people. Always ensure you have 5 seasoned volunteers join these events and send out personal invitations to new volunteers so they feel more obligated and comfortable to join.
  • Ask your volunteers during orientation or in a questionnaire what one out-of-the-box program or idea they have for your organization. You’ll be blown away from time to time with the golden nuggets you receive. #NoIdeaIsABadIdea
  • Volunteers can’t say yes to your organization if they aren’t asked. Add a pop-up volunteer form to a few pages on your nonprofit website that seem relevant for potential volunteers. Also, on social media, post your most glamorous volunteer opportunities and lead them all to the volunteer orientation sign-up form.
  • Highlight your best opportunities at the beginning. Ask for support with the harder, less-glamourous, more administrative tasks later. Also, think through the written description to find a value proposition and spin it as positively as possible.
  • Run a background check. No, but seriously. Run a background check.
  • Send a social media welcome checklist to get them into your community!

Have more questions? Tweet me. Also, don’t miss our Best Social Media Advice ever.

I'm a bilingual Peruvian-American who specializes in social media marketing in the U.S. and Latin America, with a strong focus in developing strategy for startups and nonprofit organizations. I have ten years of practical experience in branding, digital marketing and social media. In 2017, I founded SAAV Media, a social media marketing studio advancing brands through captivating Spanish-speaking audiences with culturally-relevant content. We provide project-based and monthly retainer services managing social media marketing tasks. Also, I #workfromanywhere, am fluent in both Spanish and English and am always looking for new collaborations.

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