Next Steps

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Facebook and Meetup can help you recruit and connect with volunteers online. Before deciding to use one or both sites, it’s important to think about their features, and which ones will best meet your needs. You’ll want to talk to your staff and current volunteers, and designate people to manage a Facebook or Meetup page. Using an action plan can help you get organized and move forward efficiently.

Talk to your stakeholders and consider staff time investments.

Before implementing any tool, you’ll need to identify and understand the needs of the people who will use it, such as your organization’s volunteers or partners. Consider whether consultants, clients, or even your board of directors will be impacted by your decision to use an online tool for recruiting.

Additionally, consider the amount of time it may take to set up and administer a Facebook page or Meetup group. You’ll need to invest some staff time for training and ongoing maintenance. Review the comparison tables that provide guidance on the time required for each tool.

Compare and prioritize features.

Consider your organization’s needs when deciding how to recruit and engage volunteers online. Do you want to increase word of mouth about your cause? Is your focus simply on recruitment? Do you want to plan events? Or are you seeking a combination of the three?

Once you’ve identified your needs, take the time to compare the features that meet those needs. You can begin by using the comparison table and report card provided in chapter one. Build upon these tools and adjust them for your organization.

Effectively prepare for and address change management.

Once a tool is chosen and the adoption phase begins, consider:

  1. How will you let members of your organization know?
  2. How will you train staff or volunteers to use the page?  
  3. What is your plan for ongoing maintenance of the page?

Once your organization has selected and begun using a Facebook or Meetup group, you’ll want to evaluate its effectiveness.  Are you reaching new audiences?  What’s your goal for new volunteers recruited?  Are you meeting that goal?  Is the return on your investment worth the time commitment for managing these tools?  Talking to your staff and volunteers and gathering their opinions on the tools will help you gauge how useful and meaningful they are to your organization. 

An action plan can help your staff see the value.

These sites do not require major investments of money or time, so the decision to use one (or both) of them may not majorly impact your organization. Still, it’s still a good idea to make sure your staff understands the value they add.

An action plan can help you organize your thoughts on paper. Include your volunteer recruitment goals, a list of identified stakeholders, and steps for moving forward. To begin creating your action plan, download the action plan template.

Test your knowledge of online recruiting tools.

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