Finding Self-Directed Volunteers

Volunteers fill crucial roles that can’t be met by paid staff at many non-profits. The traditional approach of assigning volunteers menial tasks, such as stuffing envelopes, won’t be enough for a new generation of volunteers.

Boomers want to leverage their unique skills to help organizations in ways they find more rewarding. They’re volunteering at tremendous rates, so it’s important to pay attention.

For many organizations, trusting these self-directed volunteers to handle complex tasks will be difficult, but now — thanks to a new product from LinkedIn — finding them won’t be.

Hey, let’s connect

The product is called Volunteer Marketplace and is available now. While not free, its fees are 90% less than the going rate for a job posting — $19.50 for a 30-day volunteer posting.

These opportunities aren’t stuffing envelopes. They range from board members to research assistants. And LinkedIn is the network for finding them. They boast that 82% of their members want to volunteer their time and skills and that 600,000 members have added Volunteer Experience & Causes to their LinkedIn profiles.

Treasure follows talent

Volunteers donate 10 times more money to charities than non-volunteers, according to a 2009 study from Fidelity. Providing self-directed volunteers with opportunities to make a significant difference with your organization is the first step in cultivating a lifetime partnership. If their volunteer experience is meaningful, they will likely become a donor to your organization as well.