We’ve had a lot of volunteer coordinators ask: should I create a Facebook group for my volunteers? We’ve found the answer is a little more nuanced than you’d expect. At their best, Facebook groups facilitate conversation and further recruitment opportunities. However, if not utilized and maintained they can be wasted space or just another platform to worry about. We’ve found Facebook groups are most helpful when you have several engaged users.
Here are 3 reasons a Facebook group could be beneficial to you and your volunteers:
You have a group of repeat volunteers
First of all, if this is the case, congrats! Now your challenge is to keep these volunteers coming back. A Facebook group is a great way to both foster community among your volunteers as well as keep them updated on future volunteer opportunities. It also gives volunteers a space to interact with each other, form friendships outside of the events, and even decide events at which to volunteer together.
You are hosting an annual event
Annual events tend to be a big push for volunteer coordinators and organizers. Maintaining a Facebook group throughout the year can help keep the event and organization on your volunteer’s radar. Facebook is a good tool to share news and other updates in a casual way throughout the year. Then, when the next year rolls around, you can ask if anyone is interested in volunteering again.
Your event has several dozen volunteers
If you are running a large event with several volunteer stations, a Facebook group can be a great way to keep your volunteers posted on event changes, reminders, and needs as the event approaches. It also gives the volunteers a chance to inform themselves before reaching out to you with questions. (Pro tip: You can post FAQ’s, shift expectations, or any other helpful resources in the group). Finally, it provides a way for volunteers to post last minute shift change needs should emergencies arise.
Once you create a group of any of these three types, check in periodically to answer questions or post updates. In the end, you are the expert on your own events and volunteers. Ask yourself if you have enough volunteers for them to support the platform, if not it’s okay! Building a solid group takes time. A larger group of engaged volunteers provides more opportunities to build community than a small group of one-time volunteers any day.