GuideStar Blog

How Schools Can Attract and Retain Parent Volunteers

Is your school lacking in personpower to run events or help teachers and staff? Getting parents more involved can boost student performance and make parents feel welcome and appreciated. But attracting new parent volunteers and keeping them coming back can be difficult. Many parents who have never volunteered before are likely nervous because they’ve never done it, they’re afraid they won’t do it correctly, or they feel that they don’t have enough time in their schedules. There are ways to work around those fears, however. We’ve put together some helpful tips on recruiting and retaining more parent volunteers.


How to Make the Most of Spring Break Volunteers

Spring break is upon us and, for many college students, that means time off to relax with friends or to visit with family. But it’s also a great time to pad their résumés and give back to their communities. Believe it or not, many students actually engage in “alternative spring breaks,” holidays spent volunteering and supporting causes that are important to them. Sometimes, this is an extended trip. Other times, it may simply be a few hours donated at a local food bank or animal shelter. However their alternative spring break looks, these students are ideal volunteers for nonprofits looking to add to their volunteer rosters.


Is Microvolunteering Right for Your Nonprofit?

For most nonprofits, it can be easy to think of volunteering in black and white: people are committed volunteers with certain shifts or volunteer duties, or they don’t volunteer much at all (if ever). The good news is that volunteering is shifting—many nonprofits and causes are moving from ongoing, long-term arrangements to smaller, infrequent volunteer opportunities that take volunteers’ busy work schedules into account.


How to Use Community Engagement to Reach Qualified Volunteers

Chances are you want to make a positive impression on the community that your organization serves. Your mission may positively impact the community in a variety of ways but how are you using community engagement to reach, retain, and engage volunteers? In the last decade it has become harder to entice people to volunteer.


Capital Campaigns and Motivation: Lessons from Microsoft and Wikipedia

Here’s an interesting fact: Microsoft, one of the largest software makers and most valuable companies in the world, introduced its digital multimedia encyclopedia Encarta in 1993. It fizzled in 2009. Wikipedia, a largely volunteer-based organization, introduced its web-based free-content encyclopedia in 2001. Today, it is the biggest and possibly best multi-lingual encyclopedia in the world.

This is a wonderful example of just how powerful volunteers can be, when they are motivated. The problem is, most of us in the nonprofit world do not know how to motivate our volunteers—specifically boards of directors—very well.


A Simple and Effective Activity to Engage Your Campaign Volunteers

A Simple and Effective Activity to Engage Your Campaign VolunteersIf you work with volunteers, you probably wrestle with how to keep their work fresh and exciting. Here’s an exercise you can use to overcome two different challenges you’re likely to face.


How to Attract More Volunteers with a Better Web Page

If you have struggled to engage enough volunteers to sustain your mission, it may be time to refresh your technology. More and more, volunteers use the web to research and find opportunities to serve. Unfortunately, many causes have not upgraded their digital online communications to keep pace.

A simple, but effective, way to boost your volunteer recruitment results is to improve how you feature volunteer opportunities on your website, specifically by creating a focused landing page devoted entirely to attracting new volunteers.


5 Ways to Engage Volunteers Through Membership Programs

Volunteers and membership programs go hand in hand.

Think about it: membership programs are made up of dedicated constituents looking to make a difference in their communities through continued work alongside their favorite nonprofit organizations. Sound like another group of individuals we know and love?

Since these groups pair together so naturally, we thought we’d examine a few ways you can bolster volunteer engagement through your nonprofit membership program.


I Was Framed!  What Leaders Must Know About Recognition

Yeah, I was framed. Not in the figurative sense, like somebody set me up. No, I was framed. Literally.


Four Ways to Make Your Organization Stand Out to Millennials

Image from World Bank Photo Collection (flickr)

There’s no shortage of names for them: millennials, Generation Y, echo boomers. No matter what you choose to call them, it’s a well-known fact that they’re highly sought after by organizations who want them to care about their cause.


  Your Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar has a new Demographics section.