As a nonprofit professional, you know how important volunteers are for your mission. Fortunately, there are many potential recruits you can reach out to; according to Double the Donation’s volunteer statistics, a staggering 63 million Americans volunteer every year, and even more want to but don’t have time. To find the best candidates to fill your nonprofit’s roles, however, you need to use the right communication channels to catch their interest.

That’s where your nonprofit’s volunteer website comes in. As a highly customizable and scalable online resource, your volunteer website can significantly broaden your reach. In this guide, we’ll explore two tips for creating a compelling and shareable website and share an example of a volunteer website to inspire you. 

Remember that no two volunteer programs and target audiences are exactly alike. You’ll need to continually adapt to changing volunteer preferences to keep these high-impact individuals engaged over time. Consider how often your nonprofit currently surveys your volunteers and whether you’ll need to make any adjustments. Let’s dive in!

1. Improve Website Shareability with Search Engine Optimization

If you’re like 99% of Google users, you only engage with the content that appears on the first page of the search engine’s results. This means that to get in front of potential volunteers, your nonprofit’s website content needs to occupy the top spots on page one. That said, there are proven steps you can take to align your content with Google’s algorithmic preferences — and that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. 

SEO is the process of optimizing your nonprofit website’s content so it ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Prioritizing SEO allows your volunteer website to outrank competitors for similar search terms and occupy the most visible spots at the top of the SERP.

While Google doesn’t make its algorithms public, they do recommend several courses of action to help you outrank competing pages, many of which are free to implement. Here are some key beginner SEO tactics to keep in mind:

  • Prioritize accessibility. Above all else, Google rewards user-friendly content with a higher spot on the SERP. Make your content accessible to all by including alt text on visual elements, subtitles for audio-based components, high-contrast colors for people with vision impairments, and making your site easily navigable.  
  • Create high-quality educational content. Besides being perceivable, your website’s content should also be high-quality. Avoid using AI to write educational content your potential volunteers might find useful, as Google prioritizes content written for humans, by humans. Fifty & Fifty’s guide to content marketing suggests adding educational content to your volunteer website by creating a blog.
  • Pursue relevant keywords. Google serves content to users based on keywords in their search queries. Identify the most relevant keywords to your volunteer base and integrate them into your content’s meta description, headings, and copy. For instance, you might choose the keyword “benefits of corporate volunteering” to engage people who are new to volunteering. 

While these methods are all free, you’ll need a content management system (CMS) that allows you to edit your website’s content easily. Popular options for beginners include WordPress and Squarespace, whereas more advanced options include Drupal and Hubspot. Research the options available and their dedicated SEO tools to find a CMS that suits your needs. 

2. Integrate Social Proof to Create More Compelling Volunteer Content

While SEO mainly helps in increasing your volunteer website’s visibility, you still need to make your volunteer-facing content engaging and compelling for visitors. Social proof, or the idea that your potential volunteers are more likely to join your community if someone they trust also trusts you, is a key strategy for getting new volunteers through the door. 

You can showcase social proof on your website by:

  • Featuring testimonials from prominent, well-respected community members
  • Interviewing fellow volunteers from various backgrounds about their experience
  • Including quotes from beneficiaries who have been impacted by volunteer work

The best part of highlighting social proof on your website is that you can make it interactive. For instance, you can show your visitors a video of important stakeholders instead of a static image or quote to make the experience more engaging. Just ensure that you include a call to action button so volunteers can immediately sign up or learn more about your program when the inspiration strikes.

Example of a Volunteer Website: Furkids Animal Rescue

Now that you understand some of the foundational aspects of a volunteer website, let’s look at a real example from Furkids Animal Rescue to inspire your own. 

A screenshot of Furkids Animal Rescue’s volunteer page.

Immediately after navigating to the volunteer page, users can understand how their efforts would help the organization with this very straightforward, yet impactful language. Also, the call to action button is featured in bright orange so the reader knows exactly where to go to get involved.

 A screenshot of a testimonial from Furkids Animal Rescue’s volunteer page.

Then, as the user scrolls through the page, they find a list of engaging testimonials from volunteers from diverse backgrounds, all praising the Furkids organization for being a great organization to volunteer with. Plus, by including a photo of a volunteer and a dog, Furkids puts social proof to work. After all, cute animals tug at people’s heartstrings, endearing them to an animal welfare organization like Furkids.

Now, you’re ready to go launch your own volunteer site! If you’ve implemented these tips and your site has yet to experience significant growth, don’t fret. Strategies like SEO are a long-haul game, but with some patience, effort, and emotional content, you’ll be on your way to boasting an impressive volunteer community sourced from your website.