Three Free Resources That Help Nonprofits Staff Volunteer Opportunities

For nonprofits, filling volunteer opportunities requiring professional skills may be harder than hiring professional staff. Potential volunteers don’t search for gigs as vigilantly as job seekers. Once they start working for on a project, volunteers have the upper hand. Organizations need the work done more than the volunteer needs the work.

Here are three free resources that promote volunteer opportunities and remove the friction of matching skilled volunteers with good causes seeking extra help on a budget.

TapRoot

The Taproot Foundation matches nonprofits with volunteer opportunities and qualified volunteers. Nonprofits post their opportunities for free, either one-time consulting calls or longer projects. Projects typically last 10-30 hours. Taproot then matches volunteers with projects based on skills and interests. The nonprofit has the chance to interview candidates including asking for resumes, samples, and references.

Personally, I’ve volunteered through Taproot. I got matched with a project that fit me perfectly. Taproot occasionally sent me emails to check on the status of my project, whether it was progressing or if I needed help.

Catchafire

Catchafire works much like Taproot in terms of matching volunteers and nonprofits and offers both calls and projects. Like Taproot, it’s a free service.

The one difference I see with Catchafire: their home page leads with appeals to volunteers to find a project. Taproot’s promotional message seems more even balanced between volunteers and nonprofits.

LinkedIn

Yes, that LinkedIn. Nonprofits can use the world’s largest professional networking site to find qualified volunteers.

LinkedIn offers guidelines for how nonprofits list volunteer opportunities directly on the site. These rules help separate volunteer from paid opportunities.

If your nonprofit already has a company page on LinkedIn, listing your volunteer opportunities directly may be the way to go. This helps build your LinkedIn presence and gives you a single dashboard for recruiting both paid and volunteer positions.

In addition, LinkedIn works through nonprofit partners including Taproot and Catchafire. If you sign up with Taproot or Catchafire, you can double your exposure by having your opportunities listed on those sites plus LinkedIn.

(Image courtesy of the National Park Service)

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