Finding Skills-Based Volunteers: Where To StartCheryl Kortemeier | Georgia Nonprofit NOW, Spring 2014
When looking for skills-based volunteers, it’s best to begin with who you know: your donors, your partners, your board, and your current volunteers. The executive director of Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta tells you how.
Look to donors.
If a company contributes dollars to your nonprofit, ask if they would also like to support you with skilled volunteers. Be specific about the skill sets you need, and what the opportunity to serve means in terms of impact, on either your organization or its beneficiaries.
Look to partners.
If you already work regularly with a company, ask for ideas and referrals. Many Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) leaders talk to one another, and enjoy sharing contacts for volunteer opportunities.
Leverage your corporate board members.
Ask if they can help make the connections necessary to engage their workplace in a meaningful way. (As a bonus: These volunteer relationships can, in turn, lead to donor relationships!)
Let your current volunteers know.
Any individual volunteer may have and be willing to leverage their contacts on behalf of your organization—but they won’t know if you don’t ask them. (One organization I worked with had a ground-level volunteer helping out every weekend, who turned out to be a senior vice president at a local bank with an active EVP.)
Promote the opportunity online.
Create specific job descriptions for your skills-based volunteer needs, and post them on your organization’s website, social media channels, newsletter, and anywhere else you’re active online. Encourage your followers to re-post it in their own online networks.
Do your homework.
Are there companies in town whose business strategy aligns with your company’s organization’s mission? Find out if they have an EVP, and share your organization’s opportunities with them. You may have to spend time courting them, but it never hurts to let them know who to contact when they have volunteers available.
Cheryl Kortemeier is Executive Director at Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta. Find more ideas at cvcofatlanta.org.