Volunteers: Where to Find Them, How to Use Them
- Do you have the capacity to take on teams? If so, how much planning notice do you require?
- Are you willing to develop projects, especially for a company?
- Do companies need to give you money to work with you? (Hint: Yes, because it takes a lot of your time to create opportunities and manage volunteers.)
- How will you manage the company’s employees while they volunteer for your organization?
- If volunteers require background checks, will your organization pay for this cost?
- Who will supervise them?
- What training, if any, will they do?
- Can they use their work skills? (Hint: This is a big draw for companies if employees can use their skills — for example, having financial analysts teach at-risk teens about basic budgeting.)
How will volunteering benefit their company?
- Benefits volunteers get (professional and personal)
- Benefits to the company (such as employee retention, PR and positive association with your brand as a way to counterbalance negative PR)
Other ways you can grow your relationship with a company
- Can you do a presentation to its employees about your organization?
- Can you include the company on your e-newsletter or in your events calendar?
- Can you use something the company manufactures for in-kind donations and get press about it?
- Include key contacts and your organization’s website address so they can check out pictures of other companies volunteering with you. This is a principle of propaganda called “bandwagoning.” Everyone is doing it! So they should do it too.
What can you do to engage corporate volunteers now?
What if you want to engage corporate volunteers, but you don’t know how to start?
If you want corporate volunteers, and you want to take advantage of their skills and expertise, you may need to change your volunteer program. Try to develop a range of tasks so potential volunteers can find something that suits their interests, skills and (limited!) time.