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Three Ways to Make Volunteer Onboarding More Social

When someone decides to make time and volunteer for your nonprofit, it’s a big deal. And big deals are shared with close friends.

How can you increase the likelihood that they’ll talk about their volunteer experiences with your organization? The answer is to make volunteer onboarding more social.

Here are a few things you can do to make social sharing more likely.

Push Volunteer Stories via Facebook’s NewsFeed

Volunteers get excited when they first sign up to volunteer for your nonprofit. Leverage that excitement with a Facebook Page post in their NewsFeed about your awesome volunteers.

For this to work, you have to solve two problems:

  1. Your post won’t be seen because they aren’t fans.
  2. Even if they are fans, they probably won’t see your post anyhow because of Facebook’s NewsFeed algorithm.

The solution is to use email audience targeting within Facebook Ads.

Custom email audience targeting allows you to target Facebook users whose email you’ve uploaded into Facebook Ads.

This approach gets your post seen whether they’ve liked your page or not, and regardless of Facebook’s finicky NewsFeed algorithm.

New volunteers naturally feel great when they first sign up to volunteer. Seeing your Facebook Page post will support that great feeling. Plus, they might even like your Facebook Page or engage with that post!

To implement the strategy, you’ll need to use Facebook Ads’ custom audiences, as described in Facebook support.

Include Social Sharing When Volunteers Sign Up

The best time to encourage volunteers to share their experiences with their friends is right after they sign up. You can leverage their excitement in two ways:

  1. Make sure your thank you page (the one they see right after signing up) includes a Facebook Likebox. With one mouse click a volunteer can become a Facebook fan. This helps volunteers stay connected and helps you grow your Page with high-quality fans.
  2. Make sure your volunteer confirmation email mentions sharing their experiences. You want to set an expectation that volunteering for your nonprofit is so rewarding that people can’t help but share stories with their friends. Also, remember to encourage them to follow and like your nonprofit on Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels.

Use Signage to Promote Social Sharing

People are highly likely to share their volunteer experiences when they are actually doing it! To encourage this, signage is usually the best way to go.

But flimsy posters that you printed from your copier won’t do. Use Canva to create your posters and get them printed on high-quality posterboard. This extra effort will help your volunteers feel that you appreciate their time and are serious about your volunteer program.

Also, make sure volunteer coordinators talk about social sharing in their welcome messages and casual conversations with volunteers.

Headshot of John Haydon

About John Haydon

John Haydon advises nonprofits on marketing strategy and the effective use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other tools. He is the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies, a regular contributor to Social Media Examiner and the Huffington Post, and an instructor for Charityhowto. Connect with John on Twitter at @JohnHaydon.

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