Wagging Wednesday – Social Media to get more Volunteers

I have never been a volunteer coordinator before but I have been a volunteer for quite some time in my life. I seen a post on one of the animal blogger groups I am in on facebook and someone was asking how people get volunteers for their shelters with using online and offline marketing, right now I will talk about online marketing and in a late post I will give you some ideas about offline marketing.

With me being a volunteer I know why I volunteer and what draws me in to donating my time to better someone or something else so I will share some tips on how I think your shelter can get more volunteers through Social Media.

It’s now that day in age where mostly everything can be found or done online. I have seen online that a lot of shelters will use uses a bunch of different ways to entice volunteers or let the public know about them needing volunteers. Volunteers are very important with running a shelter or an event. Here are some different ways to use social media to attract volunteers in your community ;

Create a facebook business page for your shelter if you don’t already have one and every week post about different volunteer opportunities that are coming up. If you have jobs that are needed daily you can use sign up genius (will talk about it below) to fill in daily volunteer jobs (like dishes, laundry, grooming, puppy socialization, feeding etc.) and when people are free to do them all they need to do is sign up and show up. I also find that if you actually create a person on facebook people can actually add you as a friend and then you are able to post more things on there instead of flooding your facebook business page.

B) Twitter;
I have only got into using twitter this past year (I have had it for a few years but never used it) but you can use it the same way as on facebook but you can just use hashtags (#) that allows other people who search that hashtag see it. So for example you can post;
“Our Shelter is looking for volunteers for their annual bbq in #YMM May 17th noon-3pm, needing: chef, cashier, take down, set up #volunteer #pmfordetails”
**If you are wondering why I put #YMM in there, well most cities on twitter go by their airport codes and where I live YMM means Fort McMurray, you can look yours up easily on the computer and I believe It’s a good thing to put somewhere in your tweet.

I also like to cheat with twitter and use a free system called “twuffer” that you can find on google, just create an account and you can “preset” tweets for as long as you want (days, weeks & months!).

I use it to promote things like an event I have coming up I made it so that my post would come up 4 times a day(I get to pick the exact times) for everyday up until my event in June.

C) Email;
Creating an email list of a great way to compile past and present volunteers and even people who havent become a volunteer yet. At your shelter or any event you attend you should have a sign up sheet where people can add their email address so they can stay informed with things happening around the shelter, you can even use facebook or twitter to ask  viewers to send their email address to you so you can add them instead of them physically signing a sheet.

D) Sign up Genius;
A super neat tool and easy to use. The shelter I volunteer at uses it all the time. Whoever signs up for it at your shelter has the ability to create things for people to sign up to do, whether it’s doing daily tasks like dishes, laundry, feeding or grooming or event tasks like set up, take down, running the silent auction table, ticket takers, coat check etc. You are able to write at the top what the event is about or what the person will be doing, what time they are needed and how many you need for each task. Its free and very easy to use. Once someone wants to sign up for the position they just need to create an account (also free) and then click SIGN UP! Easy! Peasy!

E) Online Postings; 
Take advantage of FREE places to post that you are looking for volunteers, like Kijiji, Craigs List, Facebook Groups and of course get your friends and followers to share a post on facebook.

Look for my post in the next few weeks about offline marketing :) Be sure to share this will all your shelter & rescue friends


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