How charities can use technology to attract more volunteers


Volunteers are the lifeblood of any charity; consequently, attracting and recruiting a team of people who are advocates of a specific cause is critical to its success. Whilst this can be a challenge for many charities, technology can provide a solution on how to effectively attract more volunteers.

A supporter’s first impression of a charity helps them to decide whether to make the transition from passive member to volunteer. This is a big deal for them and an even bigger deal for the charity.

So how can charities use technology to make a good impression and attract more volunteers?

1. Simplify the application process

The National Council for Voluntary Organisation (NCVO) have a recommended best practice for volunteer recruitment which emphasises that any red tape and barriers to recruitment should be kept to a minimum. Charities, therefore, need to make the volunteer application process as easy as possible. Although the details and data captured from this process is invaluable to leaders, it can also act as a deterrent for candidates. Charities can overcome this by being as accommodating as possible. Fundraising management systems can be a valuable lifeline here.

For the tech savvy applicant, a series of automated online forms can be set up so that they only need to complete the fields that are relevant to them, with the information being stored directly in a central system. To accommodate those less comfortable with technology, traditional paper applicants can be mailed and digital documents can be emailed.

2. Create a formal induction procedure

Using a professional fundraising management system to deliver a purposeful, consistent induction puts emphasis on how much a charitable organisation values its working relationships. All helping to attract more volunteers. A comprehensive induction process starts the new relationship off positively and proves to new starters (as well as the existing team) how valuable charities consider their volunteer programme to be. When welcoming new volunteers, the full procedure should cover everything so that every participant is prepared for a supporter-facing role at the very least.

What to include in a basic induction pack:

Technology can help charities to attract more volunteers with a comprehensive on-boarding process and induction pack

What to include in a basic induction pack

A formal induction may seem excessive, time consuming and costly, but the charity needs the support of highly trained teams to effectively make that positive change they are working towards. A thorough on-boarding process also confirms whether the charity and their volunteers are a suitable match for each other. A fundamentally unbalanced relationship will result in a high turnover of volunteers, or worse, could lead to supporter-facing team members putting a charity’s brand reputation at risk. Both outcomes are costly to the organisation, as well as avoidable.

If a charity is ready to digitally innovate and invest in a fundraising management system; attracting and retaining its volunteers is just one of the many benefits that can be delivered.  For further information, download our eBook on the “10 reasons charities choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 for managing supporter relationships.”

Article by:
Tory Cassie
Not-for-Profit Business Development