Are you looking to recruit volunteers for your nonprofit and keep their info organized?
Volunteers are so important to your organization, and recruiting them on your website can give you a huge boost and let you reach more people.
So in this article, we’ll show you how to set up a volunteer form on your WordPress site.
In This Article
- Step 1: Create a Volunteer Form
- Step 2: Customize Your Volunteer Form
- Step 3: Configure Volunteer Application Form
- Step 4: Configure Your Volunteer Form’s Notifications
- Step 5: Customize Your Volunteer Form’s Confirmations
- Step 6: Add Your Volunteer Form to Your Website
- Step 7: Create New User Registrations
- Bonus Tips for Your Nonprofit Website
Why Create an Online Volunteer Form
You may be wondering what the benefits of having a WordPress volunteer form are. There are a lot, but here are some key reasons:
- Keep contact information secure and organized in your WordPress dashboard.
- Set up automated marketing campaigns to email interested volunteers immediately.
- Reach way more people who may be browsing your website and willing to help you by volunteering.
- and more…
So now that you see how great it can be to have a volunteer form on your website, let’s jump right in and see how to create one.
How to Set Up a Volunteer Form in WordPress
Follow these step-by-step instructions to create your volunteer form for your website and start recruiting people to help your nonprofit.
Step 1: Create a Volunteer Form
The first thing you’ll need to do is install and activate the WPForms plugin. For more details, see this step-by-step guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress.
Next, go to WPForms » Add New to create a new form.
On the setup screen, name your form and scroll down to the bottom of the templates screen where it says Select a Template.
Type “volunteer” into the search bar. You’ll see several form templates for volunteer organizations that you can customize. For our example, we’ll use the Volunteer Recruitment Form template.
Click on Use Template for the form that is best suited to your needs. Keep in mind that you can make changes to any template you pick.
Your template will then load in the form builder.
Step 2: Customize Your Volunteer Form
WPForms makes customizing forms easy to do so you can get your volunteer opportunities out there. It’s easy no matter what you’re looking for in volunteer positions.
In addition to the standard form fields of Name, Address, Email, and Phone Number, you’ll notice the following volunteer application form fields in the Volunteer Recruitment Form template:
- Multiple Choice
- Paragraph Text
With these form fields, you can confirm volunteer eligibility and really grow your volunteer program by asking prospective volunteers about:
- Their date of birth
- Their preferred pronouns
- The volunteer work they’re interested in
- How many hours they can dedicate to your organization
- What days of the week they’re available
- Previous volunteer experience
- How they heard about your organization
- Criminal background check consent
- A waiver for any events you intend to organize
- Driver’s license number
- Emergency contact name
- Emergency contact phone number
You can add additional form fields to your form by dragging them from the left-hand panel to the right-hand preview area. You can also customize any field by clicking on it to open its field options.
For example, if you do not want to show Address Line 2 above the postal code in the address field, you just need to click on the Address field in the preview.
Then, under Field Options, click Advanced and toggle on the Hide setting near the Address Line 2 field.
When you’re done adding and customizing all your form fields, click Save.
You’re now ready to configure your volunteer application form’s settings.
Step 3: Configure Volunteer Application Form
To make enrollment easier to process, we’ll edit the settings for your online volunteer application form so they match the information you’re collecting.
To start, go to Settings » General.
Here you can configure the following:
- Form Name — Change the name of your form here if you’d like.
- Form Description — Give your form a description.
- Tags — Add form tags to organize your forms.
- Submit Button Text — Customize the copy on the submit button.
- Submit Button Processing Text — Change the text that shows while your form is submitting.
Under the Advanced settings, you’ll also be able to set up:
- CSS Classes — Add custom CSS to your form or submit button.
- Enable Prefill by URL — Use a custom URL to automatically fill some fields from one form to another.
- Enable AJAX form submission — Enable AJAX settings with no page reload.
- Disable storing entry information in WordPress — You can disable the storing of entry information and user details, such as IP addresses and user agents, in an effort to comply with GDPR requirements. Check out our step-by-step instructions on how to add a GDPR agreement field to your simple contact form.
Next, head over to the Spam Protection and Security settings.
These options include:
- Enable anti-spam protection — Stop contact form spam with the WPForms anti-spam token. The anti-spam setting is automatically enabled on all new forms.
- Enable Akismet anti-spam protection — If you use the Akismet plugin, you can connect it to your volunteer form.
- Enable country filter — Block submissions from certain countries.
- Enable keyword filter — Prevent entries that include specific words or phrases.
You can also set up your preferred CAPTCHA. See our full guide to preventing contact form spam for more details.
When you’re done, click Save.
Step 4: Configure Your Volunteer Form’s Notifications
Notifications are a great way to send an email whenever an application is submitted on your website.
If you use Smart Tags, you can also send a notification to the user when they apply to volunteer, letting them know you received their application and will be in contact shortly. This assures people their application has gone through properly.
You could also send a copy of the form to your human resources team.
For help with this step, check out our documentation on how to set up form notifications in WordPress.
And if you need to send more than one notification, for example to yourself, a volunteer coordinator, and the volunteer applicant, check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to send multiple form notifications in WordPress.
Adding to this, if you want to keep branding across your emails consistent, you can check out this guide on adding a custom header to your email template.
Step 5: Customize Your Volunteer Form’s Confirmations
Form confirmations are messages that display to site visitors once they submit an application on your website. They let people know that their application has been processed and offer you the chance to let them know what the next steps are.
WPForms has 3 confirmation types to choose from:
- Message: This is the default confirmation type in WPForms. When a site visitor submits a volunteer application form, a simple message confirmation will appear letting them know their application was processed. Look here for some great success messages to help boost customer happiness.
- Show Page: This confirmation type will take site visitors to a specific web page on your site thanking them for applying. For help doing this, check out our tutorial on redirecting customers to a Thank You page. In addition, be sure to check out our article on creating effective Thank You pages for boosting customer loyalty.
- Go to URL (Redirect): This option is used when you want to send site visitors to a different website.
Let’s see how to set up a simple form confirmation in WPForms so you can customize the message site visitors will see when they apply to volunteer for your nonprofit organization.
To start, click on the Confirmations tab under Settings.
Next, select the type of confirmation type you’d like to create. For this example, we’ll select Message.
Then, customize the confirmation message to your liking and click Save.
For help with other confirmation types, see our documentation on setting up form confirmations.
Now you’re ready to add your volunteer application form to your website.
Step 6: Add Your Volunteer Form to Your Website
After you’ve set up a volunteer application form, you need to add it to your WordPress website.
WPForms allows you to add your forms to many locations on your website, including your blog posts, pages, and even sidebar widgets.
Let’s take a look at the most common page embed option.
Start by clicking on the Embed button at the top of the form builder.
And when the Embed in a Page notification pops up, go ahead and click on Create New Page.
Next, WPForms will ask you to name your page. Type the title for the page into the box and click Let’s Go!
And now, WPForms will open up a new page for your volunteer form. Go ahead and click Publish at the top to publish the form on your site.
Great! Now you can direct people to this page to apply to volunteer for your organization from anywhere on your website.
Wonderful job! Your volunteer form is now live.
Step 7: Create New User Registrations
Next up, if you’re interested in giving your volunteers access to an account, you’ll want to activate the User Registration addon to invite them to create an account.
They can do this by completing a User Registration form.
For more details, check out our tutorial on how to install and setup the User Registration addon.
Bonus Tips for Your Nonprofit Website
With WPForms, you can accomplish more things for your nonprofit organization than just creating a volunteer application form.
Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.
- Set a Deadline For Volunteers to Apply
- Accept Online Donations
- Use Nonprofit Newsletter Signup Forms
- Try Multi-page Forms
- Make Survey or Poll Forms
Set a Deadline For Volunteers to Apply
The WPForms Form Locker addon includes tons of settings to restrict access to your form. For example, you can:
- Close applications on a certain date by adding an automatic expiration date to your form.
- Limit the number of people who can sign up to volunteer for a specific event.
- Only allow people who are over 18 years old to volunteer by adding an age restriction.
- Require new volunteers to create an account on your website.
Accept Online Donations
Raising funds for your charity is as important as recruiting volunteers, and it can help you to fund special events or objectives. To receive donations online, check out how to create a donation form.
Use Nonprofit Newsletter Signup Forms
By adding a newsletter signup checkbox to your form, you can keep in touch with your volunteers.
You can connect your form with popular email marketing tools including:
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
- and more…
Try Multi-Page Forms
You’re more likely to get more form submissions when your form is broken down into multiple pages rather than presented as a long form. In this example, we put the street address fields on page 2 to make the form more compact.
Here’s how to easily split your form into multiple pages.
Make Survey or Poll Forms
You can ask existing or potential volunteers which events they’d most like to see your organization put on by creating a poll form for your website.
You can also get more detailed information from volunteers, including how they feel about your nonprofit organization and volunteer services, by creating a survey form on your site.