Volunteer perks come in many shapes and sizes, and for many, the biggest advantage is the experience of doing good.

A growing trend in America—especially with companies like Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, and NetApp—is to provide their employees with a positive experience. Because buying things isn’t difficult, and it’s a short-term pleasure. But experiences create memories and those are more satisfying in part because they last longer. Employee and volunteer perks can go a long way in engaging your supporters.

There’s even something called voluntourism which is growing in popularity. This is when people mix travel with volunteering. The concept is hardly new of course, but it’s now a very popular option for people who are looking to mix their travel with a greater purpose.

The volunteer perks your organization should be promoting

The biggest hurdle for many non-profits is luring long-term volunteers to their cause. For millennials, who make up around 45% of the workforce, they are more interested in making a difference than they are getting free pizza and beer from their employers.

Companies like Dropbox, Sharp Decisions, and VolunteerHub are providing their employees with paid time each year to volunteer at a charity. This is seen as far better than only donating money because it provides new experiences for the employees and helps out charities.

Also, charities find that volunteers from these programs are more likely to continue volunteering outside of the paid time their job gives them.

Voluntourism: if you offer this scream it from the social media rooftops

If you’re a non-profit that will exchange volunteer work for food and board: you should make it abundantly clear. Let people know, a little bit of clever social media marketing could help you find the right people.

And for the enthusiastic traveler, the chance to travel, do some charity work, meet some new people is a big opportunity they wouldn’t want to miss.

And while, for many, it may not sound like a perk for a volunteer, rest assured for the eternally restless traveler this is a great idea.

Engaging Volunteers with Volunteer Perks

You need more volunteers, and you’re finding that extolling all the good you do isn’t quite pulling volunteers in. This is when you should be changing tact, and thinking about the volunteer. What’s in it for them? Why should they help you and not one of the 1.5 million other registered non-profits out there?

The answer is simple. A huge volunteer perk is you can provide them with an experience that will have a positive impact on them and the people they help. You can provide volunteers with an unforgettable experience of meeting new people, gaining a new perspective on life as well as working towards improving the lives of others.

This in itself is a big drawcard. Pitching your non-profit to volunteers with a view to helping volunteers and giving them something will help to improve volunteer numbers. And the more happy volunteers you have, the more likely they are to talk about you and maybe even convince their friends to come along.

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