Running a volunteer program takes more than just good people skills—with more and more recruiting happening online, you need a great website and some serious digital marketing chops.

Looking for help with reaching volunteers online? The experts from HandsOn Connect (an online volunteer management solution) discuss three of the most common mistakes that nonprofits make when trying to recruit volunteers through your website—and offer advice on how to flip the switch. 

Mistake #1: Burying your volunteer projects.
The more pages someone needs to click through to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to throw in the towel.

A would-be volunteer who lands on your website should know right away where to find your volunteer projects. People need clear direction on where to find the information that’s meant for them—either via a prominent link in your main menu, or somewhere else not far from the top of the page.

The best way to make volunteerism a priority on your site? Put a project search right on your homepage, and give it a dedicated, prominent place where volunteers are guaranteed to find it.

Mistake #2: Leaving stale projects.
Nothing makes for a faster ‘back’ click than getting to the Volunteer page and finding projects that are months (or years!) old. It makes it seem like your volunteer program is inactive, or low on your organization’s priority list.

While we know it takes time and energy to keep the content on your website fresh, it pays off when volunteers know that the work they’re interested in doing is current—and therefore important to both your organization and clients.

Mistake #3: Posting once and crossing your fingers.  
Simply put, your website is just one place in a huge world wide web—so why limit yourself? Posting your volunteer projects on All for Good and other large volunteer opportunity websites will help spread the word outside of your existing community of fans and volunteers. And don’t forget about social media!


Looking for a way to refresh your organization’s approach to volunteer recruitment and management? Check out HandsOn Connect, a comprehensive volunteer solution which, as a service of Points of Light, is built on over three decades of experience in the nonprofit space.

With a volunteer website that is modern, clean, and custom-built for searching and signing up for projects, HandsOn Connect gives volunteers one easy place for you to connect with your latest opportunities. As a partner of Verified Volunteers, HandsOn Connect EASILY integrates background checks into its volunteer onboarding process. 

Furthermore, every project posted on a HandsOn Connect website is automatically included on,, and our many partner sites—including, the White House’s site for volunteerism. 

Interested in learning more about HandsOn Connect? Let us know by contacting Chris O’Connor at


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