People can volunteer to help your organization through a volunteer signup page. There are two ways to set this page up - as a page that asks people generally whether they would like to volunteer, and as a page that encourages people to sign up for a particular role.
Table of Contents
- Creating the volunteer page
- Defining the volunteer settings
- Designating a point person for new volunteers
- Gathering volunteer information
- Defining specific roles people can volunteer for
- Reviewing the autoresponse email
- Additional settings
- Related HOWTOs
Creating the volunteer signup page
To begin, go to Website > +New Page.
1. Give your page a name, such as "Volunteer" or "Join the Team." The slug for the page will auto-populate based on the name, but can be changed.
2. Select Volunteer signup as the type of page you’d like to create.
3. Decide whether to include the page in the top nav or supporter nav.
4. Click the Create Page button.
When you create a Volunteer Signup page, you will be taken to the Volunteer Settings > Basics page.
Defining the volunteer settings
When people are taking action on your site, you can give them the option to express interest in volunteering. Those people will be directed to the site’s primary volunteer page to provide more info.
By default, the first volunteer signup page you create will be your site’s primary volunteer page. At the top of the Volunteer Settings > Basics page is a statement that allows you to change this designation if you choose.
Designating a point person for new volunteers
A point person is someone with control panel access who is responsible for managing relationships with people in your nation. You can assign a point person for all new volunteer signups by selecting them from the dropdown menu below "Assign new volunteers to" under Volunteer Settings > Basics. This will take effect only for volunteers who do not already have a point person.
Gathering volunteer information
To complete a volunteer form, a person will need to provide their first name, last name, and email address. They will also be asked to provide an optional mobile phone number. You can decide whether to include or require additional fields like address.
The better organized you are when collecting volunteer information, the easier it will be to sort people in your database when you get ready for outreach. Whether or not someone is a volunteer is a searchable field in your database and will be indicated on volunteers’ profiles, but tagging will help you drill down more into your data. You can also batch update or import people to indicate that they are volunteers.
You can choose whether to tag all new volunteers with a tag. Later, you’ll be able to choose a tag for specific volunteer roles. If you have more than one volunteer page, you may want to tag people to indicate which page the signup came from.
You can also tag all people who signup in a specific time frame with a tag like “March 2013 volunteer signup,” though with that example you’ll need to update the settings at the beginning of April so that new volunteers aren’t tagged incorrectly.
It is good practice to add a volunteer to a volunteer path. This will help your control panel users track if the volunteer has completed this task and fulfilled her volunteer role. Learn more about paths.
Next, you can create an action chain by answering the following question: After filling out the form, what page should they land on next? In this text box, you can start typing the slug of the page a volunteer should land on. If you have a calendar that features volunteer opportunities, that would be a great next step.
Once you’ve completed these steps, click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
Defining specific roles people can volunteer for
While it can be useful to have a general pool of volunteers, it can be even more useful to have people volunteer for specific activities your organization needs help with. This could be anything from hosting a house party to talking to neighbors about the mission of your organization to promoting your organization’s work via social media. You may also want to include an open-ended role, so if people have a skill they want to share that isn’t listed, you’ve already created space for them to participate.
Go to your Volunteer page > Volunteer Settings > Roles to define specific roles.
In answer to the question “Will you volunteer?” your potential volunteers will see checkboxes for each volunteer role. A person can sign up for more than one role using this form. It may make sense to begin every role description with “Yes, I will [insert action].” So, for example, "Yes, I will host a party."
Next you define the tag or tags to add to a person’s profile when he signs up for the role. A good tag for the above role would be “host party volunteer.” A person tag can include multiple words. To add more than one tag to a person’s profile, separate them with a comma.
You will need to define the role and tags to add to the person signing up to save a particular role. Once you have defined both, click the Add volunteer role button.
Once you have added more than one volunteer role, you can change the order in which they display on your volunteer sign up page by dragging and dropping them in the list of volunteer roles.
Reviewing the autoresponse email
By default, an autoresponse email is automatically sent when someone signs up to volunteer. You can adjust this setting from Volunteer page > Volunteer Settings > Autoresponse.
If you uncheck the box next to “Automatically send person volunteering an email,” then no one volunteering via this page will automatically be sent an email. We recommend leaving the box checked.
You can change the name / email address of the Broadcaster sending the email from the next dropdown menu. By default, the primary broadcaster of the website will be selected as the sender.
Next, you can edit the content of the autoresponse email. If you have assigned a point person to follow-up with new volunteers, you may want to let the volunteer know the person will be reaching out to him and include the point person’s name and contact information in the email.
Click Save autoresponse email to save your changes to the sender and content of the email.
By default, when someone volunteers, they will see a prompt to share their action via Facebook and Twitter.
You can update the default social media post from Settings > Social Media. You can also remove the prompt by unchecking the box next to “Prompt for posting.” Here you can also upload a unique thumbnail image to display when someone shares a link to the page on Facebook. NationBuilder will automatically populate an image if you have uploaded a logo under Websites > Site Settings > Logo.
The social media post is an important tool to help new signups recruit friends to join them in supporting your cause. Reminding them about your mission in the message can help encourage more people to get involved. NationBuilder will automatically add a link to the page being tweeted at the end of whatever message you type as the default post.
You can preview your page from the Preview button. Once it looks good, you can hit the publish button on the preview pane. You can also change the status of the page from Settings > Page Settings.