5 Affordable Tools for Better Volunteer Recruitment

There’s an abundance of free online tools designed to help you build your connections, engage prospective volunteers and implement better recruitment tactics. It can get a little overwhelming when deciding which ones are worth your while, so we’ve dug in and come up with our top 5 recommendations for our non-profit clients.




At $119 USD per year, Canva is a very affordable option for companies, non-profits or institutions that don’t want to pull in a graphic designer each time they want to create professional-looking social media graphics. The site uses a drag and drop feature that allows you to easily create professional looking graphics.


Charities can receive Canva for business free of charge – if you’re a 501c(3) organization in the US or a Canadian charity registered with CRA, you can apply to get your existing Canva account upgraded free of charge.




Storify can be a great way to share with your social media followers updates on a certain topic. For example, let’s say your mission has to do with cancer research. Once a week, it might be nice to collect stories about the advancements in cancer research, put them all together in an easy-to-read format, and share it with others.


Storify is also a great search engine for finding content on different subjects. Even if you don’t use Storify to share articles and updates with others, it can be used as a powerful search engine to find what people are saying about your organization and its work.





Followerwonk.com is a free website that allows you to effectively search the bios of Twitter’s 240+ million active users. Looking for a person with community engagement experience and a marketing background who loves cats? You can easily do a search, find potential candidates, see what they’re tweeting about and engage with them accordingly.


Facebook Advertising


Facebook advertising enables organizations to connect with potential volunteers, sponsors, donors, etc. on a much wider scale. While non-profits don’t have a huge advertising budget, ads can be a cost-friendly way to build your audience and gather intelligence on who’s engaging with your brand. For example, some non-profits use their existing mailing list to create a campaign directed at their current audience, track the individuals responding, and create a “lookalike” audience using this information.


There are a few pitfalls you want to try to avoid. Advertising on Facebook can be a bit of a learning curve, and doing it incorrectly can mean you’re wasting valuable dollars. Also, without a goal, your ad campaign will mean nothing. You need to define what success looks like for your organization. What will happen if your Facebook Ad is successful? What will have changed?




Discover.ly is a Gmail extension that displays rich contact content for anyone emailing you, including links to social media profiles, notes, and email history. For those seeking to connect or engage with volunteers, this can be a great tool for ensuring that you always have the greater context when you connect with prospective volunteers.


There are lots of free (or at least affordable) tools out there that can help your non-profit optimize your volunteer recruitment. Additionally, a lot of tools built originally for business can be repurposed for volunteer recruitment by thinking creatively. Using tools and resources to streamline your tactics allows you to spend more time being strategic about your recruitment and measuring your results so you can continuously improve.


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