Eight Smart Ways to Recruit Younger Generations of Volunteers

Ah, volunteers. Your M.V.R. (most valuable resource), saving your organization an average of $24.14 per hour1. With the percentage of volunteers in America on the decline the last two decades, it’s important to look beyond traditional methods and demographics for volunteer recruitment.

Young people are energetic, flexible, and passionate—three qualities we love to find in volunteers. Here are strategies for reaching them and recruiting them as part of your team:

  1. Recruit volunteers through their existing relationships. Do you have an all-star volunteer on your team? They probably have friends who would make all-star volunteers as well. Birds of a feather flock together. Recruiting friends of current volunteers also helps improve engagement and retention.
  2. Offer shorter and more flexible opportunities. Between school, activities, sports, family, friends, etc. it’s hard for young people to find the time to volunteer. By offering a variety of schedules and shift lengths, they are more likely to find something that works for them.
  3. Reach out to the programs they are involved in. Connect with leaders of local church youth groups, sports teams, and school clubs to see if they are willing to round up their group to serve. Often times, this act of dipping their toes in the water makes them want to come back to serve again.
  4. Allow for position sampling. When talking to a prospective volunteer, lay out a variety of position options for them to select from and encourage them to try out new areas.
  5. Establish a social media presence. Meet your prospective volunteer base where they are at—on social media. Keep a regularly updated social media profile and post volunteer opportunities often.
  6. Make it mutually beneficial. Help out younger volunteers by offering to provide them with position titles, help with admissions letters, and development of job and life skills.
  7. Focus on the cause. Gen Z is a passionate group. You’ll best relate to them by focusing on your mission and highlighting their ability to make a difference for your cause.
  8. Return emails and phone calls within 24 hours. In this fast-moving society, instant communication is a must. Fail to respond to your prospective volunteer within 24 hours and you risk losing them to another organization.

Offero is a volunteer management system that makes coordination, registration, scheduling, and reporting a breeze.  Contact Us today to see if Offero is the right fit for your organization.


  1. Independent Sector, 2016, https://independentsector.org/resource/the-value-of-volunteer-time/

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