Blog/Beyond Texting

5 Creative Ways Texting Can Help Your Nonprofit Get More Volunteers

Learn how to leverage text messaging as a tool to increase your nonprofits volunteer turn out. From more sign ups to less no-shows!

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The most recent data from GuideStar equates the value of a nonprofit volunteer’s contribution at $24.69/hr. That’s more than three times the current federal minimum wage!

Outside of the financial gain, volunteers can do a lot to help further a nonprofit’s mission. For some groups, like meal centers and mentorship programs, existence without volunteers would be impossible!

Whether volunteers are essential to your operations, or just a way for supporters to feel closer to your mission, the way you approach recruiting them is the same.

We’ve taken notes on volunteer recruitment from some of our spectacular nonprofit texting clients and put them all together here for you. Together, we’ll break down the five most creative ways texting can help your volunteer programs go from zero to hero.

5 Ways Texting Can Help Get More Volunteers For Your Nonprofit

Did you know SimpleTexting offers a discount to all of our nonprofit partners? Plus, you can try out our services for two weeks at no charge! If you’d like, go sign up for an account today. That’ll make following along with these tips and tricks even more enjoyable ☺️.

1. Automate Scheduling Through SMS

There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. That’s a lot of choice when it comes to sharing your time! One thing that will draw volunteers to you (even more than your mission) is an easy and reliable system for signing up.

By making it simple to sign up for and receive reminders/information about volunteer slots, you’re guaranteed to draw a crowd. And there’s arguably nothing simpler than sending a quick text!

Volunteers can text a keyword to your number and receive an autoresponse immediately with a link to sign up to volunteer. You can also automate reminders days or hours before their slot as well as share any information about what they’ve signed up for. This ensures you aren’t left shorthanded by no shows, and volunteers feel ready and prepared when they arrive!

Today 1:25 PM
Sign up to volunteer at Loaves and Fishes!
Reply C to confirm your volunteer shift @ L&F tomorrow 9-12.
Thank you for confirming! Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring your license.

2. Encourage Sign-Ups With Text to Win Opportunities

When you volunteer, everyone is a winner. But the allure of a contest or prize also doesn’t hurt! With text-to-win it’s simple for people to join, and even easier for you to follow up with information about volunteer opportunities.

Simply create a keyword that participants can text to your number to enter. Just be sure to let them know that by doing so they’re agreeing to receive texts from your nonprofit about upcoming volunteer opportunities!

After you announce the winner you can encourage your new audience to get involved for a good cause and sign up to volunteer! Similar to the example above, by giving people an easy way to sign up, they’re more likely to take action on the spot rather than express interest, then forget about it once you’re out of sight. Take advantage of their captured attention and turn passive participants into active ones!

Today 10:00 AM
Thanks for entering the ASPCA Patriots ticket raffle. You don’t have to wait and find out if you’re selected to feel like a winner. Consider signing up for a volunteer shift at the shelter. Nobody loses when puppy kisses are involved:

3. Segment Your Audience Based on Interest

Thanks to our Data Collection tool, finding out more about your subscribers can be done automatically. Simply set up a keyword for existing and prospective volunteers, then a series of custom fields to accompany it.

You can have custom fields ask basic questions (name, age, zip code) or get a little more advanced (areas of interest, availability, prior volunteer experience). All of this information can be collected and sorted to help send smarter, more relevant volunteer opportunities to subscribers.

And more fulfilling volunteer experiences almost always translates to more volunteers.

Today 3:54 PM
Thanks for joining Habitat’s volunteer network. Please reply with your DOB
Thanks! One more thing. Please indicate which area of Habitat interests you most: builds, restore, community outreach

4. Use Surveys to Gather Feedback

Just as it’s easy to gather subscribers with text to win, it’s equally simple to collect feedback through Text to Vote Surveys. By polling your current volunteers on their likes and dislikes, you can learn how to shape and improve your program.

A better program results in more volunteers! You can use your thank you for voting message space as a way to encourage recipients to bring a friend, like in the example below.

Today 9:30 AM
What would make the YMCAs volunteer program better?
A. Weekend slots
B. School credit
C. Job variety

Thanks! Remember to sign up for October’s phone-a-thon, and bring a friend or two with you! ☺️

5. Use Your Texts Blasts For Volunteer Requests

If you’ve read our text marketing guide for nonprofits, you’ve probably seen that a texting can be used to share all kinds of messages. It’s a space to share news, communicate with your Board of Directors, invite folks to fundraisers, and so much more. But it can also be used as a space to ask for help!

Our final suggestion for using texting to get more volunteers is a good old fashioned text campaign. Harness the power of your existing contact database to get more involvement. Who knows, your texts may even inspire a donor to come on out and get their hands on a little action!

Today 12:22 PM
Happy Thompson Tuesday! This is your Development team reaching out with a request. We’re in need of 20 more volunteers for the Foster Care picnic this Saturday! If you’re able, please come out and join us. Signs up and more information can be found here

We speak for society when we say that we’re so grateful for all that you do to better our world. We think you are more than deserving of all the support you can take. That’s why we’re committed to creating solutions for every need, and every budget. Together, we can all play a part in making this world a better place!

If you want to give texting a try for free with your nonprofit, click here to get started in six minutes or less!

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