The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

5 Tips for Reaching Youth Volunteers Through Social Media

If there is one thing that non-profit organizations can use other than money to keep their efforts afloat, it is volunteers. Volunteers are the lifeblood of non-profit organizations and assist in the daily activities as well as large events. During my undergraduate career, I spent a semester working with the American Red Cross as an intern assisting with press releases and volunteer recruitment.

Although the rate of youth and college-aged volunteers is amongst the highest of all age groups, there are new distractions and activities to engage this market, and finding new ways to reach them is key.

When it comes to attracting volunteers between the ages of 18-29 non-profit, organizations can turn to social networking sites to promote volunteer opportunities. In 2012, Pew Internet conducted a survey and discovered that 83% of people within the 18-29 year old age demographic were social network users (PewInternet, 2013).

Here are five tips for non-profit organizations to attract high school and college-aged volunteers through social media platforms.

1. Have an active social media presence.

This does not mean just having a social media presence, it means actively engaging with users on the sites as well as following local college and high schools to engage students to volunteer. Post local volunteer opportunities regularly and maintain a healthy social media presence though out multiple platforms.

2. Optimize for mobile usage.

How many teens and college students are without a cell phone? Create messages and content that is mobile friendly. Reach out to users where they view social media sites on a daily basis.

3. Maintain unique methods of reaching users.

Lets face it, being young is about maintaining an image. By creating unique content like QR codes and mobile gaming, you can engage a younger audience in new and unique ways.

4. Create and maintain location based social media locations.

Everyone is checking in everywhere. Use sites like Foursquare and Facebook to create location based check-ins at volunteer locations and headquarters. By creating a place for people to check in they likely will, doesn’t everyone want to be the Mayor of something?

5. Create videos and visual aids to promote other youths volunteering.

Let’s face it, a majority of us were lemmings when we were younger. By creating videos and multimedia images of other teens and college, aged volunteers having fun and helping others are likely to follow suit.


Social media is a haven for the younger generation. By understanding where the market is and directing volunteer opportunities to them, you can influence others to volunteer with your organization as well.


Pew Internet & American Life Project. (Feb, 2013). Pew Internet: Social Networking. Retrieved from

Category: Advanced Tactics