Setting up an application process can help you capture volunteers who are passionate about your mission and cause. In this article, we will go over how to create a volunteer application, the benefits of having a defined process, and how you can use nonprofit volunteer application templates to get started today.
Who is this template for?
This template is for all nonprofit organizations.
What are the main sections covered in this template?
Editable volunteer application template you can print.
Volunteers are a critical part of any nonprofit’s operations, so it’s important you get the right volunteers for your organization.
Setting up an application process can help you capture volunteers who are passionate about your mission and cause. If you’ve never created a nonprofit volunteer application form before, we are going to show you how.
In this article, we will go over how to create a volunteer application, the benefits of having a defined process, and how you can use nonprofit volunteer application templates to get started today.
What Is a Nonprofit Volunteer Application?
A nonprofit volunteer application is a document that potential volunteers fill out to be considered for your organization.
While volunteer positions are often unpaid, that doesn’t mean that you have take everyone who comes your way.
A nonprofit volunteer application can help you vet volunteers and keep track of all their critical details, including their name, contact information, interests, availability, and more. You can even use your form to check whether the volunteer is capable of doing the job at hand (i.e., they need to be able to lift 50 lbs for moving boxes of canned food).
Depending on the type of work your organization does, you may also want to ask for a social security number, driver’s license, and other identification to help you run a background check in your application form. Volunteer grants also may have specific reporting requirements, so make sure to be aware of these as you set your application process.
Your initial volunteer application template should be simple—no more than a page. You don’t want the form to be too complex because the longer and more complicated it is, the more likely you will lose people during the application process. They might become disinterested or overwhelmed, so leave the more in-depth questions for a later date.
Creating an application form makes it easy to capture everything you would need to know about a person in a single document. Your application should be available online and also in paper form should you have anyone walk into your nonprofit hoping to volunteer.
Volunteers play a powerful role in your organization, and a volunteer form can help provide a simple way for them to sign up and support your nonprofit.
How to Create a Nonprofit Volunteer Application?
Creating a nonprofit volunteer application doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can use a nonprofit volunteer application template to make it a little bit easier as you look to start your volunteer program.
Let’s start by going over some of the most common elements of a nonprofit volunteer application.
Elements of a Nonprofit Volunteer Application
There are some basic details that you’ll want to capture on your nonprofit volunteer application template, regardless of the type of form you choose.
Make sure that you always ask potential volunteers for their:
Name, including legal name and preferred name. You may also want to ask for pronouns so you can properly identify your volunteer.
Contact information, including address, email address, and phone number. This will help you get in contact with the volunteer when you need to.
Interests, including if they want to volunteer in a specific open role. You want to understand what type of work they want to do and pair them accordingly to ensure they keep coming back.
Skills, including if they have any training, certifications, or other skills that could be helpful if they are volunteering at your nonprofit. These could be hard skills like computer training or soft skills like communications.
Availability, including if they have flexibility in their schedule. You want to meet their scheduling needs, but you also have to remember that they need to meet yours as well.
Emergency Contact Information, including name and phone number. You want to have someone to contact should something happen while volunteering at nonprofit organizations.
Comments, which allow volunteers to add anything else they would like you to know. This open-ended question gives flexibility should there be something specific the volunteer would like to share.
There may be other information that you need to capture that is unique to your organization. For example, if you run a nonprofit that works around kids, you’ll also want to run background checks on volunteers prior to starting to ensure they have no criminal records. If this is the case, you may want to ask for social security numbers on your application.
Assess what your nonprofit organization needs in a volunteer. Jot these fields down on a piece of paper and ask others for their opinion.
Remember, you want the form to be simple. It should be no more than a page; however, you still need to capture the critical information that can help you select the right people to do volunteer work at your nonprofit organization.
And once you get the right volunteers, don’t forget to thank them for their service. Happy and appreciated volunteers are reliable ones. You can check out this post for how to write thank you notes that will make your volunteers feel valued and appreciated.
Steps to Create a Nonprofit Volunteer Application
There’s no need to create a form from scratch when you use a nonprofit volunteer application template. However, you will still need to customize the form to fit your organization’s needs.
Here are some simple steps for creating your own nonprofit volunteer application form:
Locate a template. There are plenty of nonprofit volunteer application templates available for free, and some of the best are below. Find one that has the core information you need and download it.
Enter your information. The basics, like name, contact information, and comments will be available, but you may need to add fields or adjust existing fields to meet your organization’s needs.
Update the branding. The nonprofit volunteer application template is going to be boring to start with, so make sure to update it to include your nonprofit’s name, logos, and contact information. You can update the colors and fonts, too, just don’t get too carried away. Make sure to keep your branding simple and professional.
Export the form. Once you’re happy with your volunteer application form, now you want to save it and host it somewhere that’s easy to find on your website. Also, be sure to keep a few hard copies on hand should anyone want to fill it out in person.
The nonprofit volunteer application template makes it easy to create a form and help others volunteer for nonprofits.
Tips for Creating a Nonprofit Volunteer Application
Volunteering at nonprofit organizations doesn’t have to be a chore, and neither should your application. If it’s difficult to understand or overly complex, potential volunteers will abandon the form without completing it.
Here are some tips to follow when looking to recruit volunteers through your application process.
Keep it no more than one page. The longer the form, the more likely it is that people will be hesitant to start it or abandon it midway. Look for ways you can streamline. Does your volunteer really need to include their mailing and billing information? Why does it matter if they have computer skills if your volunteers are working with their hands? Make sure the nonprofit volunteer application template matches your organization’s needs.
Use white space. It can be tempting to overbrand your nonprofit volunteer application template but resist the urge. White space is your friend, so don’t fill it with too much color and imagery.
Make it editable. Many people prefer to fill out the application online and will not have a printer at home, so even if you’re having them email it to you, make the form editable, whether in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.
If you notice you’re not getting volunteers, look at your form to see what could be holding you up from engaging your supporters.
7 Templates For Creating a Nonprofit Volunteer Application
Here are several templates to make creating a volunteer application for a nonprofit organization easier.
1. Basic Volunteer Form
If you’re looking for a volunteer form without the bells and whistles, check out this form by Sample Forms. You can customize it as needed, but it provides all the basic information you’d need to capture from your volunteers without being too long.
2. Project Volunteer Form
Perhaps you want to recruit volunteers for a specific project. In that case, you’ll want to use a special form that asks pertinent questions to help you staff that project like this one from JotForm. Adjust the fields as needed.
3. Detailed Volunteer Form
If you have information that you want to place directly on the form, consider using this template. Adjust the wording on the top to reflect your information, but be sure to keep it short. No one will read your information if it is too long.
4. Employer-Sponsored Volunteerism
Sometimes, employers will sponsor volunteerism or provide incentives for their staff to volunteer their time. This form can connect nonprofits with employers to help streamline notifications. This mutually beneficial partnership can help your organization partner with regular volunteers.
5. School Volunteer Form
If you work at a school and are looking for volunteers, consider using this Microsoft Office school volunteer form. It includes all the fields you need to fill out, including your interests. This form could be customized to meet other needs by adjusting the fields.
6. Branded Nonprofit Volunteer Form
If you work at a nonprofit that lends itself to more visual aspects, you may want to use a picture in the background. This template can help brand your form and bring it to life while still capturing critical information.
7. Online Volunteer Application Form
If you are looking for an online-only form, you may want to check out Typeform’s online volunteer application. It’s intuitive and easy to use, capturing critical information in just a few minutes.
Benefits of a Nonprofit Volunteer Application Template
There are many benefits of using a volunteer application, so if you’re not already, start using one today.
1) It Streamlines Your Process
Everyone’s looking for ways to increase efficiencies, and a standardized application process can help you streamline your operations and save time. You get everything you need to know about a potential volunteer in one document.
2) It Keeps You Organized
You need to keep records for daily operations and in case of an emergency. You should always know what staff you have on-site, and if something were to happen, you know exactly where to locate emergency contact information. Keep your records, along with any background checks, in the same location for ease of access.
3) It Makes Hiring Volunteers Easy
Volunteers want a quick and easy application process to help them do volunteer work at a nonprofit organization. A streamlined application form can help make sure they can easily submit their interest and get on their way without any trouble. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Many people want to volunteer for nonprofits, but they just may not know how to go about it! That’s where the right nonprofit volunteer application template comes in. It can completely revolutionize your recruitment process, helping you get staffed with talented, qualified volunteers in no time.
It’s easy to set up and will make a huge difference in your operations. What are you waiting for? Download a template and get started today!
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