Advancing Volunteer Recruitment Through Paid Advertising


PG Volunteers is a nonprofit organization made up of 37 Fire/EMS Services member departments and more than 1,000 dedicated volunteers in the Prince George’s County area.

PG Volunteers worked with Media Cause to advance its mechanisms for volunteer recruitment. This included leveraging a targeted, multi-platform paid advertising campaign focused on recruiting volunteers for open positions across all member departments and developing department-specific creative packages.

The Outcome

During our volunteer recruitment paid advertising campaign, we helped PG Volunteers receive 1,016 volunteer form submissions and drive additional traffic and leads to each member department’s website, helping to generate more dedicated volunteers.


volunteer recruitment form submissions


volunteer recruitment form submissions via Facebook ads


more leads generated in the second flight compared to the first
The Challenge

PG Volunteers needed a plan to connect those interested in volunteering for open firefighter, EMS, and support/auxiliary positions to their local departments. They aimed to strengthen the departments’ respective volunteer networks while supporting the community.

PG Volunteers hoped to strike a balance between specific targeting and broad awareness messaging throughout the greater Prince George’s county area to increase volunteer leads for their 37 member departments, all-the-while funneling all submissions through one master form.

The Strategy

We developed a paid media and design strategy to help PG Volunteers create a cohesive campaign to expand their volunteer network.

Once the creative team had the assets in place, we created a targeted, multi-platform paid advertising campaign to recruit volunteers for open positions across all member departments.

The paid advertising campaign focused on driving to the PG Volunteers home page, featuring a volunteer form that collected submissions. The effort consisted of two flights. 

For the first flight, we worked to increase brand awareness in the greater Prince George’s County area and drive leads on the PG Volunteers website. 

For the second flight, we optimized the strategy to allow us to drive additional leads with new creative on Facebook and Instagram. The new creative we tested was static but mirrored the video creative for a consistent look and feel. We also expanded on our Google Discovery campaign and deployed a Google Search campaign to capture search intent in Prince George’s County.

The Implementation

Paid Media Flight One

For the first paid media flight, we deployed a paid social campaign and later a Google Discovery campaign to test the platform’s efficacy in driving volunteer leads. 


Paid Social

We ran ads on Facebook and Instagram’s newsfeeds, as well as Instagram Stories. The Paid Social efforts targeted adults living in Maryland and Washington, DC who were interested in community and social services, volunteering, and firefighter/EMS interests.


YouTube + Tremor

We utilized YouTube brand awareness ads and a programmatic video buy with our partner, Tremor. 

Both platforms utilized video testimonials from current volunteers and a short, branded video highlighting the volunteer experience. 


Google Discovery Campaign

We tested Google Discovery ads toward the end of the first campaign flight. Our focus was on a mixture of photography in-line with the brand awareness videos and active messaging to drive people to learn more and volunteer. These ads honed in on the same geographic targeting and utilized the audience’s prior search history around becoming a volunteer firefighter/EMS, community volunteering, etc.

Paid Media Flight Two

Taking what we learned from the first flight, we again engaged with a Google Discovery campaign alongside paid social. We used Google Search to capture local search traffic and intent. We also invested in an email marketing campaign, sending a dedicated recruitment message to interested, doubly-opted-in individuals on the final day of the campaign.


Paid Social Campaign

For the second flight, we focused our efforts solely on the Newsfeed placement, as the Instagram Stories ads yielded few conversions during the first flight. We A/B tested the top performing testimonial and brand awareness video creative from the previous flight against static imagery. 


Google Discovery Campaign

Due to how short the first flight was for Discovery, we focused on utilizing existing creative and copy for this campaign flight. This allowed us to get a baseline for Discovery ad performance for PG Volunteers—maintaining the same audience and geographic targeting.


Google Search Campaign

We utilized Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) across two ad groups: one focused on volunteer firefighter keywords and one focused on volunteer EMS keywords. Additionally, we leveraged keywords for each member department to drive even more qualified traffic to the landing page. 


Email Campaign

As a result of additional investment from the client, our team worked with eTarget, one of our email partners, to develop and deploy a recruitment email to those interested in local volunteer and employment opportunities.


YouTube + Tremor

Our second flight focused the budget more on our programmatic buy, with less investment on YouTube and more premium placements through Tremor. We tested the top-performing branded and testimonial videos with new content to get in front of an expanded audience. 

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