Empire State College
The following research paper covers the problems nonprofits have recruiting volunteers and the best practices they should use. This is an issue with many nonprofits and lends itself to deep discussion and understanding. This topic interests me because I like to actively participate in community events and leading or creating events that will need to recruit volunteers. This paper is geared towards community and nonprofit leaders who are in need of recruiting advice.
Volunteers: The Cornerstone of Every Nonprofit
The nonprofit sector is a melting pot of helping entities. This group of businesses includes religious, environmental, educational, and humanity-centered purposes. None of these groups appeal to all peoples but they all fill a natural role globally and locally. The goals of these nonprofits are attainable with a few necessities; leadership, funds, and volunteers. Funds for nonprofits are dependent on effective management. Effective management of a nonprofit includes successful recruitment of volunteers. Volunteers are the backbone of every nonprofit. Every nonprofit needs volunteers; there are specific tools and ways to recruit them. The efficiency of the nonprofit will diminish without best practices.
Volunteers are a necessity for nonprofits and need to be recruited. There are many reasons for recruiting volunteers. One reason is “to give your organization the power to do more work”; there is nothing as powerful as a large body of willing helpers to make a mission statement a reality (Nagy). While working with AmeriCorps- City Year, I was in charge of the Martin Luther King Day of Service in New Orleans and without the almost 200 people that showed up, the service projects would not be completed. That event won the MLK Service Award for all City Year programs across the country that year. In other instances, volunteers help “to reduce the burden on paid staff members” (Nagy). In the nonprofit world funds are slim and so is paid help. When dealing with churches, pastors and some other positions are paid. The use of volunteers to help with extra church activities like VBS, community outreach, and cleaning the church is a way to keep the pastor (or preacher) from being spread too thin and not performing his or her main duty well. The need is also important “to give your group a larger, more diverse membership” (Nagy). Nonprofits started by a certain group of people may not envelope a large mix of people. When nonprofits are just starting, volunteers are needed “to increase awareness and understanding of your organization through your recruiting as well as through the work the volunteers do” (Nagy). With the use of Facebook, Twitter, and the like, volunteers can encourage participation and increase community knowledge of your nonprofit while volunteering- real time marketing. Along the lines of not burdening your paid staff, volunteers help “to get as much done as possible within the confines of your budget” (Nagy). With the example of the MLK service day, there was a very small budget and no room for paying people to provide the services that needed to get done. Equally important, volunteers are there “to act together to achieve a shared purpose” (Nagy). The nonprofit is on the right course if their mission statement means something to the community it affects.
There is a general understanding that nonprofits need volunteers. Recruiting is essential to gaining volunteers and there are three main ways to recruit successfully. First, is a recruiting effort called warm body recruitment;
when you need a large number of volunteers for a short period time and the qualifications of the task are minimal, you might engage in "warm body recruitment." This involves a broad dissemination of information, including:...