If your organization depends on volunteers to power your work, you know how important building volunteer capacity is – and how much time it can take.
What if you could create an event and automatically see 40% more signups than if you just shared the event with your existing volunteers?
In the first half of 2022, more than 40% of volunteer signups on Mobilize were driven by built-in features that required no additional work from organizations. These signups were driven by automated event recruitment, “bring-a-friend" prompts, promotions on the Mobilize platform and our weekly newsletter, and directly from volunteers looking for opportunities on Mobilize.us.
In this article, we will define and discuss types of volunteers and how Mobilize can help you build your volunteer capacity to save your organization time and money.
Building your volunteer capacity
There are several different kinds of volunteers who use the Mobilize platform: supporters, hosts, donors, and advocates. Each play a unique and valuable role in your organization. With this in mind, let’s dive into who these groups of supporters are and how Mobilize can help you build your volunteer capacity with them.
Supporters are people who sign up to attend your events. They may show up to a phone bank, a canvass launch, a fundraiser, or some other event, but they may or may not return for another event. To decrease no-shows (by up to 30%), Mobilize sends automated reminders to supporters before an event. Our bring-a-friend prompts also encourage supporters to bring someone with them to the event, which has led to a 13.5% increase in sign-ups. By automating these processes, Mobilize saves staff hours of work that they can dedicate to other pressing needs. If supporters continue to return to events, their level of engagement has increased and they become repeat supporters.
Repeat supporters are individuals who attend your events on a regular basis. They may return daily, weekly, or monthly, but you can count on them to return. Building a reliable pool of repeat supporters is key to building sustainable volunteer capacity for your organization. Some volunteers set themselves apart from the others by taking on additional responsibilities at events and these individuals could potentially be elevated to hosts.
Hosts are people who are responsible for planning and hosting a successful event. They will help welcome volunteers and show them what is needed for event setup, distribute supplies or resources, and answer any questions other volunteers may have. They may be the first and last people your supporters see and interact with before they head home, so you want to make sure you set them up for success!
You can rely on repeat hosts to help take your events to the next level. As they host more events, they become more acquainted with how to run the event, any challenges they may face, and how they can best encourage more volunteers to sign up for future shifts.
Hosts also have access to Mobilize tools for feedback and increasing volunteer capacity. Mobilize allows hosts to quickly put together events and begin collecting event sign-ups within minutes of opening an account.
Mobilize gives you access to a network of nearly five million users who have used Mobilize to sign up for other volunteering opportunities. After an event occurs, Mobilize sends post-event feedback forms to help organizations learn more about how they could improve their events. Hosts can also send another message to volunteers who just completed an action and ask them to sign up for another one! In addition to putting these tools to use, hosts play a key role in elevating supporters and retaining volunteers.
Donors financially support your organization. They have been motivated to give their money to help the cause. Some donors may only donate once, but some donors give on a recurring basis. These recurring donors understand the importance of proper funding to your organization, and they made a commitment to help sustain your organization financially. While some donors only want to contribute to the cause with their finances, others may want to do more. Donors obviously support your cause, so ask if they would be willing to volunteer!
Mobilize has a number of features that help turn your volunteers into donors and your donors into volunteers. The platform can help you reach your fundraising goals by directing supporters to a donation page after they sign up for an event. You can create a fundraising campaign for your organization to raise money right alongside your volunteer asks. Mobilize also allows supporters to Donate-to RSVP to events and for groups to crowdfund for events together. You can learn about fundraising on Mobilize here.
These individuals help spread the word about your organization, donating, and actively working to bring more supporters into it. These people are your heroes who can get involved where the need is greatest whether it’s hosting an event, donating, or attending events.
You can encourage supporters to become Advocates by adding Mobilize’s online actions to your organization’s feed, allowing you to gather petition support, pledge, or share their interests with you.
Maximizing your volunteers’ engagement will help your organization achieve its goals efficiently. If they can donate an hour every week to your organization, great! If they can give you $25 a month but don’t have time to volunteer, great! But make sure you ask if your supporters can do more! The worst they can say is no, and in the words of Wayne Gretzky and Michael Scott, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Snapshot: Mobilize your volunteers to win
Mobilize powers many types of organizations, from political campaigns and labor unions to nonprofit organizations and initiatives.
On the political side, President Joe Biden was one of the first presidential candidates to join the Mobilize platform, starting his Mobilize page in April 2019. By Election Day 2020, his campaign had used Mobilize to power nearly 6 million volunteer shifts from 1.6 million supporters, which helped him beat Donald Trump. In addition to political campaigns, many other advocacy and nonprofit organizations use Mobilize because it was designed to easily scale up volunteer capacity while also saving your organization time and money. The Fairness Project, an organization that offers support to promote and pass ballot initiatives, used Mobilize to host 265 events with 4,850 supporter actions in Oklahoma and Missouri, which helped expand Medicaid to 430,000 people in these states.
So, whether you are running for president, working to pass a ballot initiative, or just looking for a new volunteer recruitment tool for your nonprofit, Mobilize can help you achieve your goals by providing an easy-to-use platform to build your volunteer capacity and encourage additional action from your existing supporters.