The poet, Henry Longfellow said: "No man or woman is so poor as to have nothing worth giving.” This is the vitality of volunteering; it is something that anyone can do – no matter where they live, their age, income, religious or cultural affiliation. Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity that is open to all of us and there is a vast range of possibilities for volunteerism in Utah. I invite you to join with us as we focus on making a difference.
-Lt. Governor Spencer Cox
Share Your Service Story
We are always on the hunt for stories from those on both the giving and receiving end of service. We feel there is value in sharing these stories to inspire others. Please share your service story with us!
Share Your Story!
Thank you for being willing to volunteer your time and talents to strengthen your community! Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, learn new skills, and share your talents. Here are some ways you can volunteer:
Short term, project, or event volunteering. This is a great way to volunteer if you don't have enough time to commit to a recurring volunteer opportunity or if you want to be involved with a specific event. Head to JustServe.org and search for "project" listings. You can also find a volunteer page for most major events in your area. Each organization is different, but be prepared to submit a volunteer application and to likely attend a volunteer orientation.
If you're looking for a long-term opportunity, this is for you! Formal volunteers typically set up a regular schedule, have a volunteer manager, and a set role within an organization. This is also a great way to be a skills-based volunteer if you want to share specific talents you have such as photography, web design, etc. Head to JustServe.org and search for ongoing opportunities. You can also reach out directly to an organization to see if they need your skillset!
Does your employer have a volunteer program? Corporate volunteering provides companies with the opportunity to develop staff skills, build teams and give back to the community. Interested in developing a corporate volunteer program? Check back soon for more resources!
Sometimes called micro volunteering or crowdsourcing, virtual volunteering is service done remotely. Some examples of virtual volunteering include translating documents, captioning videos, designing graphics, or editing content. You can search for a virtual volunteering opportunity on JustServe.org, but if you do not find one, you can reach out to an organization directly.
>Learn more about finding a virtual volunteering opportunity
Here are a few things to get you started as you recruit volunteers:
Craft Your Message
Use a three-part recruitment message as you post your call for volunteers. This should include a statement of need, how the volunteer can help, and the benefit to the volunteer.
Your statement of need should be drafted in two versions. First, create a version that's just for internal use; second, create a public version that is more compelling and "dressed up" to attract potential volunteers. You'll use this version in advertising materials.
Example of an internal statement of need: "Special Olympics needs a softball coach for spring league."
Example of an external statement of need: "They have gloves, bats, and softballs, but no coach. Seventy-five boys and girls with developmental disabilities are waiting for a coach. Don't let them strike out. Join our Special Olympics Team!"
The next part of your recruitment message should explain how the volunteer can help. What can they provide? What hard skills and interpersonal qualities would make an individual a good fit for your organization? Be brief but explicit in terms of the most important qualifications.
Next, explain the benefits to the volunteer. What might a person accomplish by helping your group? It might be helping a child learn to read, serving meals to those who cannot afford to buy food themselves, or simply easing the burden on an overworked staff by helping with administrative work. Will this volunteer gain new skills? Can you offer references for higher education or future employment? You can also include tangible benefits such as a t-shirt, refreshments, or discounted entry to events.
Statement of need:
Many seniors in your community are not eating balanced meals and are suffering from malnutrition.
How to help:
You can give three hours to chop, slice, spread, boil, wrap, and pack food with our chef and other great folks.
Make a difference, meet new friends, and learn to cook in large quantities.
Where To Recruit
Set up your JustServe.org profile and post your opportunity! Remember to include dates, times, and up to date contact information. If you need assistance, head to the about page and use the "Contact Us" form to be put in touch with a JustServe specialist.
Post your call for volunteers on your organization's social media channels and ask your audience to share it. Include everything a potential volunteer would need to know (contact information, where/when the opportunity is taking place, any restrictions on age). Consider using a platform such as SignUpGenius to assign volunteers to specific shifts if needed. Include a picture or a graphic! You can also request to join the "Utah Volunteer Central" Facebook group. This group helps organizations connect with potential volunteers in Utah.
Community Centers, Senior Centers & Libraries
Create a flyer to advertise your call for volunteers and post it where your community gathers! Canva is a great resource for creating quick and clean print materials. Be sure to include all information a potential volunteer would need to know such as the time commitment, any restrictions, and who to contact.
Higher Education Community Engagement Centers
Reach out to your nearest campus to recruit students! Students can be especially useful skills-based volunteers as they are eager to gain experience in their fields of study. You can also inquire about becoming a partner organization with a university near you.
Community Engagement Centers in Utah:
The Bennion Center, University of Utah
The Thayne Center, Salt Lake Community College
The Dumke Center for Civic Engagement, Westminster University
The Center for Community Engaged Learning, Weber State University
The Center for Community Engagement, Utah State University
Y-Serve, Brigham Young University
The Office of Engaged Learning, Utah Valley University
Community Engagement Center, Southern Utah University
Dixie Serves, Dixie State University
Communicating with your potential volunteers is essential! As soon as they express interest, get in touch about their next steps. Do you need them to fill out an application or attend a volunteer orientation? If they are a short-term volunteer or helping out with a specific event, send a reminder email at least one-week out from the event, and then again the day before the event to remind the volunteer of their shift and responsibilities. Be sure to include a contact person they can reach out to with questions.
Once the volunteer completes their shift or assignment, reach out again to thank them for participating. Ask for their feedback about their experience and invite them to continue volunteering with your organization.
Want to learn more? Attend an upcoming Volunteer Management Training!