How To Find And Screen Volunteers For Nonprofits

Team of volunteers in blue uniforms

Knowing how to find and screen volunteers for nonprofits is a mission-critical task. Volunteers provide the necessary hands and hearts to fuel nonprofit initiatives. Finding and screening them is a delicate balance of outreach, clarity, and discernment. A strategized approach ensures that your organization benefits from dedicated and competent hands while offering individuals an opportunity to contribute meaningfully. This blog, part 1 in a 3-part series, helps simplify finding and screening the ideal volunteers for your nonprofit.

The key is knowing where to look and how to express your needs. Here are some top strategies:

Volunteers Needed

Harness the Power of Social Media

Launch a social media campaign that explains the roles you need to fill. Encourage sharing to maximize visibility. Former beneficiaries of your program might be inspired to give back this way.

Woman wearing volunteer t shirt showing we need you banner.

Engage with Schools and Universities

Students often bring a tech-savvy edge and a reliable attitude. They may also need to fulfill community service requirements. You tap into a pool of eager helpers by collaborating with local institutions.

Together we can make a difference.

Collaborate with Clubs And Community Groups

Joining hands with community groups provides a dual advantage. This allows them to socialize, and you get the help you need.

High angle view of multiethnic college students stacking hands in classroom

Utilize Volunteer Recruitment Websites

Platforms like Mobilize,  Idealist, Volunteer Match, Create The Good, and Voly are  great resources to recruit volunteers.

Network with Businesses

Corporations often seek community service initiatives for their workforce. Local businesses that resonate with your cause can be valuable assets.

Explore Staffing Agencies

Although this is not the traditional way to find volunteers, agencies can provide needed workers. Make sure this aligns with your budget.

Engage Existing Supporters

Use emails, texts, and social media to inform your supporters of volunteer opportunities.

Be Clear About Volunteer Requirements

Avoid generic calls to action. Being precise about your requirements ensures volunteers know what’s expected. Make sure you clarify:

  • Their expected role.
  • Skills you’re seeking.
  • Time commitment needed.
  • Reasons they should volunteer.
  • The application process.

Always provide a contact for further questions.

Effective Volunteer Screening

To ensure a great match between the volunteer’s abilities and your nonprofit’s needs, use a structured screening process:

Volunteer Screening Question Examples

The following are example questions to ask potential volunteers:

1. Why are you interested in volunteering with us?

2. What skills or experiences do you bring?

3. How do you handle stressful situations or disagreements?

4. What do you hope to gain from this experience?

5. How would you handle a situation where you disagreed with a decision made by the organization?

6. Can you describe a time when you worked as part of a team?

7. What is your availability?

8. Are you comfortable with the time commitment required for this role?

9. Do you have any prior volunteering experience? If so, please describe.

10. How did you hear about our volunteering opportunities?

11. What do you know about our organization and its mission?

12. Are there specific roles or tasks you’re particularly interested in?

14. How would you handle feedback or criticism in your volunteer role?

Following these steps and using these questions can ensure you get the right fit for your organization, creating a great relationship and experience for your organization and the volunteer.

After you’ve built a pool of potential volunteers, focus on specialized training to ensure they’re ready to make a significant impact. Part 2 of this blog focuses on the onboarding process and training volunteers.

If you need help or have questions about how to find and screen volunteers for your nonprofit, contact Murad Auctions.