Social Media is an incredible tool to reach out to people in the communities you’re interested in, but how do we harness the power of digital sharing to find an extra pair of hands to help out? In this blog, we look at the different ways you can use your channels to scout volunteers to help with your community group or event.
Make a visual advert
Perhaps one of the most simple ways to recruit volunteers is to create content that shows how incredible your project is and how wonderful it would be to get others on board. You could share a video showing all the fantastic things your volunteers normally get up to or drum up excitement for your upcoming event by designing a trendy graphic. Visual content performs best online, so keep this in mind when crafting a post.
Come with a specific ask
When advertising on social media to find volunteers, the more information the better. If you are looking for someone who is particularly talented at preparing food – then say so! Ask for the skillsets you are looking for. If you just need an extra pair of hands and don’t require a particular skill – then you can advertise based on availability. ‘Looking for someone who is available on Saturday morning to help with unloading shopping…’ – ask and you should hopefully receive!
Provide a ‘call to action’ in your usual social media posts
Instead of only posting purpose-driven adverts, you can also constantly be on the search to recruit help for your project or event by including a ‘call-to-action’ at the end of your post. A call-to-action is the part where you direct people to do something. If you’re sharing videos or updates on your social media channels, try finishing the posts off with a ‘Interested in helping out? Send us a message!’.
Recognise your current volunteers
One of the best ways to get people involved with a project, is by making sure your project shows off its best bits – which includes shining a light on the people already doing their bit for your group. By recognising the good work of your current volunteers, you may encourage someone else to join. Also, another top tip is featuring your volunteers’ testimonies on social media. Us humans love a good recommendation, so if one of your volunteers is loving their experience – why not film or quote them?
Post on community groups and pages
The tips above are all fine-and-well if you have a pre-existing social media audience, but what if you only have a few followers online? Luckily, there are many networks that currently exist that you can join. Facebook is home to many community groups and pages for your local area or interest, so join a few related groups and pages and post your search for helping hands there!
Use hashtags and tag
Hashtags and tagging are another useful way to extend reach. Good hashtags to use would be ones incorporating your local area (e.g. #CardiffBay) or interest (#Befriending). You can also use hashtags related to volunteering like #Volunteering or #VolunteeringOpportunities. Remember to take advantage of tagging too, perhaps there are local volunteering organisations that promote opportunities that you could tag in your post or useful networks.
Ask local elected reps and people of interest in your community to share
Off the back of tagging, you could also tag local elected reps and people of interest in your community in the hope they share – or you could ask them directly. Use your direct message tools and ask for people to promote your call out for volunteers, they may well give you a well-deserved share! Note: Try not to inundate people too much though, nobody likes spam in their inbox – but every so often a nudge to reshare could be useful.
Looking for further support and advice on running a community project or charity?
Infoengine is directory of third sector services in Wales. It highlights a wide variety of voluntary and community services that provide information and support so that you can make an informed choice. Infoengine is provided by Third Sector Support Wales, a partnership of County Voluntary Councils and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
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Check out @TNLComFundWales’ How-to guide for using social media to help find volunteers for your event or project: