Are you looking for volunteers to help your nonprofit, but you’re not sure where to start?
A nonprofit volunteer recruitment platform is the answer!
A volunteer recruitment platform can help you identify volunteers and match them to opportunities within your organization. With the right platform, you can even streamline volunteer recognition, event planning, time-keeping, and retention!
Read more to learn what a volunteer recruitment platform is, why you need one, and which ones might be the best fit for your nonprofit!
What is a Volunteer Recruitment Platform?
A volunteer recruitment platform is a software that can help you streamline and create efficiencies around your volunteer recruitment and management processes. These platforms can help with things like volunteer outreach, training, scheduling, and timekeeping.
Some volunteer recruitment platforms allow you to share your volunteer opportunities on social media, connect volunteers to one another so they feel more engaged, send automated communications so they stay in the loop, and even assist with recognizing your most outstanding volunteers!
Being efficient and streamlining processes is helpful for just about every nonprofit professional, but choosing the right volunteer platform can take your organization to the next level! Many nonprofits rely on volunteers to help with critical components of their work, so it’s important that your organization can successfully recruit and manage them.
7 Best Volunteer Recruitment Platforms
Okay, so we’ve convinced you that you need a volunteer recruitment platform for your nonprofit. Great!
But how do you find a platform that will meet your needs? Keep reading, and we’ll share with you our favorite volunteer recruitment platforms, why we love them, and how much they cost.
Remember: there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ recruitment platform that will work for every nonprofit. Some platforms combine recruitment tools with volunteer management functions, some platforms are geared toward highly-skilled volunteers or disaster response volunteers, and some are specific to events. It’s important to familiarize yourself with all the options so you can choose what’s best for you and your organization!
Overview: VolunteerMatch is a software that can help you recruit qualified volunteers for your nonprofit! VolunteerMatch boasts the largest volunteer network in the world (including more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations and access to 3.8 million volunteers) and can make recruitment super easy and quick!
Volunteers on the VolunteerMatch platform are often interested in contributing their money as well as their time—so this software can even help you turn volunteers into donors!
Pricing: Here’s the good news: a basic membership to VolunteerMatch is free! There are packages with fees attached that offer more robust features and services if they make sense for your organization.
Features & Fit: VolunteerMatch offers features such as:
- The ability to create shifts for your volunteer opportunities
- Automated, custom email greetings
- Tools to capture and collect photos of your volunteers at work
- Automated, custom questionnaires to potential volunteers
- Tools to streamline your volunteer qualification process
- Post opportunities across multiple zip codes
- Customizable reporting tools so you can gain valuable insight into your volunteer’s experience
VolunteerMatch can be accessed anywhere from any internet-enabled device, meaning that more potential volunteers will see your opportunities!
2. Points of Light: Engage
Overview: Engage is Points of Light’s volunteer recruitment platform. It is one of the world’s largest free online volunteer marketplaces. Large nonprofits across the globe have found success with Engage, including United Way, Idealist.org, the White House serve.gov platform, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Something unique about Engage is that it offers a separate disaster portal to help recruit volunteers quickly in response to global crises and disasters.
Pricing: It’s free!
Features & Fit: Engage makes it so easy for you to find volunteers—and for volunteers to find you! In addition to the disaster portal, they offer some other impressive features:
- Nonprofits of any size—small, medium, and large—can register on the Engage website for free, post volunteer opportunities, and then invite supporters and constituents to sign up.
- You can post and manage event sign-ups as well as regular, recurring volunteer opportunities.
- If you join the Points of Light Community, you’ll also get access to their learning hub and resources on how to mobilize volunteers. Click here to learn more.
Overview: VolunteerLocal is a volunteer management system that serves all volunteer-driven organizations—including nonprofits—and helps to streamline volunteer recruitment, management, and engagement efforts. This platform will certainly support your organization’s behind-the-scenes volunteer management team and benefit your volunteers as well!
Pricing: VolunteerLocal offers a range of software packages to best meet your organization's needs. Their “Discover” plan starts at $600 per year and offers per-event pricing for one-time engagements.
Their more comprehensive “Grow” and “Conquer” plans are available at $2,400 and $10,000 annually and provide teams with more robust features and abilities.
Features & Fit: VolunteerLocal’s powerful VMS (Volunteer Management System) will help you with:
- Easy self-scheduling functionality for individuals and groups
- Comprehensive volunteer data collection and management with extensive reporting features
- Volunteer time-tracking functions, including on-site check-in, a mobile app, and web-based options
- Communication capabilities, including email and text messaging
- Signup and cancellation notifications to keep everyone informed
- A mobile app to help volunteers better engage with each other and your organization
- Unlimited tech support via phone and email to help troubleshoot any issues
This platform is a great fit for organizations of any size because of their tiered payment and pricing plans!
Overview: Mobilize can help you recruit volunteers AND manage events! This platform was built for mission-driven organizations that want to be connected to their supporters. Nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, labor unions, and political campaigns all find success with this platform—which has a network of two million volunteers!
Pricing: To learn about Mobilize’s pricing, you can request a free demo! They will get to know your organization and suggest options that fit your needs. Some organizations may even qualify for a free account!
Features & Fit: Mobilize’s top features include:
- Intuitive event creation for in-person and virtual events
- Automated pre-event communication tools and post-event engagement surveys
- Comprehensive volunteer management dashboard with analytics and reporting
Mobilize can help you easily recruit volunteers, retain them, and boost their engagement!
Overview: Catchafire is not your average volunteer recruitment website! This platform is unique in a few ways. Primarily, its focus is on connecting highly-skilled nonprofit volunteers with volunteer opportunities. If you have a nice project, like marketing, communications, human resources, or fundraising, that you need volunteer assistance with, Catchafire is going to be a great resource for you!
Another unique thing about this platform is that it offers a LOT of resources in its nonprofit resource hub. Not only will you get access to an incredible network of highly-skilled volunteers, but you’ll get access to all their resources, too.
Pricing: There is a fee to join the Catchafire community. Prices vary depending on whether you want to pay monthly or annually. However, remember that the cost of the highly-skilled projects you will be posting on this platform will likely greatly outweigh the fee that Catchafire asks for!
Features & Fit: Catchafire’s nonprofit-centric platform encourages connection within and among the nonprofit community. Who better to help nonprofits than other highly-skilled nonprofit staff and volunteers? Some of Catchafire’s features allow you to:
- Connect with professional volunteers—either a one-hour phone call or a project post. Phone calls offer an opportunity for volunteers to give you the knowledge you need to complete your task. You can also post projects for bigger tasks that need to be delegated to a professional. You pick depending on the task and the project!
- Search among their highly-skilled volunteer talent network.
- Access a nonprofit resource hub that includes one-on-one coaching, monthly trainings, and an Executive Director support group.
6. Civic Champs
Overview: Civic Champs is a super intuitive platform that helps organizations recruit and manage volunteers! It’s even trusted by big-name nonprofits such as United Way and Habitat for Humanity.
Pricing: Pricing is based on the number of annual active volunteers that your organization has. Click here to get a quote for your nonprofit!
Features & Fit: Civic Champs offers web and cloud-based options, including a mobile app! Their platform is user-friendly and very intuitive, so all your volunteers will have a seamless experience. Some of their features include:
- Mobile time tracking capabilities to help reduce manual data entry
- Tools to create and manage events
- Tools to create recurring volunteer events or one-time opportunities
- The ability to track volunteer shifts and attendance to identify trends
Civic Champs is a great fit for any nonprofit! Check out this 90-second video to learn more about Civic Champs and how to start using this platform in your organization!
Overview: POINT is a free volunteer management software specifically for nonprofit organizations! Even better—they offer both an iOS and Android app so you can manage on the go!
Pricing: POINT’s “Core” plan is free for nonprofits! They have two other plans, “Pro” and “Network”, that offer expanded functionality at a still-reasonable cost. The “Pro” plan offers features such as document storage and priority support and is only $40 per month! The “Network” plan is geared towards organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status, and pricing varies.
Features & Fit: POINT offers collaborative tools to help your organization find and manage volunteers! Some key offerings include:
- Android and iOS apps
- Website integration to streamline recruitment efforts
- Nonprofit directory so local volunteers can find you
- Live analytics and report generation functions
- Collaborative tools so schools and businesses can partner with nonprofits to co-host events
POINT is a great fit for everyone, but most especially for small or new nonprofits with a limited budget who want to dive into volunteer management.
How to Write a Successful Volunteer Recruitment Post
When you’re posting a volunteer opportunity, you want to make sure you include some key elements that give your potential volunteers all the information they need.
We’re going to give you a run-down of what these elements are and why they’re important.
1. Include a WHO and WHY?
Be sure to include the WHO and the WHY.
Who is your organization, and what do you do?
You can be brief, but include some basic information about your nonprofit, your mission, and your values.
Why does this volunteer work matter? What is the impact that the volunteer will have?
For example, if you are recruiting volunteers to pack weekend food bags for students in an urban school district, you could share with potential volunteers what the impact of food insecurity is on youth, how many youth in your community struggle with food insecurity, and how many meals they will be able to make from the weekend food bag.
Including the “who” and “why” are important in helping potential volunteers feel connected to your mission! And when people feel connected to your mission, they’re more likely to want to volunteer with your organization!
2. Provide A Clear Description
Be sure to include a clear and concise description of the volunteer opportunity so that your volunteers know exactly what they’re signing up for.
Using the example above, let’s say that volunteers who pack the weekend food bags have to carry cases of canned goods or push carts with gallon jugs of milk on them.
You want to share that information in your posting so that volunteers know the physical requirements of the job.
3. Clarify Skills and Qualifications
If your volunteers need to have any specific skills or qualifications, include that in your volunteer posting.
For example, if you are recruiting volunteers to teach adult ESL classes, you might want to share that volunteers should have experience teaching or even public speaking. This helps your volunteers feel confident that they’re choosing a role that is a good fit for them (and for you!)
4. Include the Time Commitment
Include the time commitment of the volunteer project. If your adult ESL classes run in the evenings, and you need someone to commit to teaching a 6-week session, be very clear in your posting about that. You want to make sure that potential volunteers know the time expectations upfront so that they can commit to what you need.
Wrapping Up: Best Volunteer Recruitment Platforms for Nonprofits in 2023
Wow—we’ve shared a lot of information with you!
Let’s recap: A volunteer recruitment platform is a software that you can use to help streamline your volunteer management process. These tools can help you recruit volunteers, manage time-keeping, acknowledge and recognize volunteers, and even schedule volunteer assignments.
Basically, they can make your life a lot easier by helping to create efficiencies around all these tasks! And don’t forget—you can even leverage metrics from your volunteer platform to improve your grant writing!
We also shared with you our favorite platforms so you can review them and figure out which one is the best fit for your organization. And lastly, we shared with you some key elements that you should be sure to include on all volunteer job posts, so you can make sure to get the right folks for your job!