Volunteer Management Admin Guide (Chapter 4): Identifying Your Best Volunteers

Chapter 4: Identifying Your Best Volunteers

In surveying more than 200 schools, we found that identifying and recruiting great ambassadors is the biggest challenge facing volunteer fundraising programs.

Good news, the solution is here!

With a one-of-a-kind partnership with Facebook and easy-to-use search features, EverTrue makes finding your most engaged constituents a snap. We even help you dig into what alumni and families care about most by showing you the types of content they engage with on Facebook and letting you use keywords to search past contact reports.

Tips for Finding Great Ambassadors

  • Who’s already an ambassador?
    • Start simply. Use EverTrue to find constituents with the most engagement on Facebook. You can pull lists of everyone who has more than 100 likes. These highly active alumni love their school, so put them to work!
    • Take it to the next level by using Facebook Content Engagement searches to find engaged alumni who care about specific topics, whether it’s athletics (here’s a sample search), a new research initiative, or a long-term program.
    • If you’re scoring engagement activities such as event attendance, digital engagement, and giving history, use that score to help prioritize potential volunteers.
    • Bonus: layer any (or all!) of these searches together in EverTrue to really narrow down your list of potential volunteers.
  • Look for consistent donors.
    • You want fully committed volunteers, so look for your most consistent donors to become fundraisers. They’ve bought in for a reason, so give them an opportunity to share their stories and give back in other ways.
  • Turn to your leaders.
    • Leadership donors can become great volunteers. They’re very invested in your institution and they’re often looking for other ways to give back in addition to their annual gift. Look for opportunities to involve them in your volunteer fundraising program.
    • Who among your alumni or parent bodies are already volunteering their time as regional leaders? They’ve raised their hand saying they’re willing to help.
  • Ask current volunteers for recommendations.
    • If you already have volunteers working with you, ask them to recommend a friend or classmate to join in. They often have insights into who’s willing to give back.
  • Track success and retain your high-performers.
    • Each year (or at key points throughout a campaign), review volunteer performance. Who’s doing their job well, reaching donors, and completing tasks? Make sure they know they’re doing amazing work and keep them on-board.
    • If you have volunteers who aren’t meeting expectations, it’s okay to cut them loose. They may have overcommitted and probably feel guilty for not meeting expectations. Find other ways for them to give back.

When you’ve created lists of potential volunteers, save them in EverTrue, and start reaching out.

When you recruit a new volunteer, set clear expectations of what you’re asking them to do and what kind of time commitment they need to make. If they know what they’re getting into, they’re more likely to be successful.

You may even want to try using a simple application when recruiting potential volunteers. Ask for links to their social channels and a short story of why they love your institution. That way, you’ll know if they have the potential—and the interest—to be a great ambassador.

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