Volunteers are crucial to the operation of many non-profit organisations and community groups. So how can you recruit new volunteers for ongoing success? Here are four simple strategies.
The most basic strategy for recruiting volunteers is to actively ask. It may seem obvious, but when was the last time you verbally enquired, reached out to your network or posted an update on your website? It’s easy to assume community members are aware of your need for volunteers, but you’d be surprised how many people are uninformed.
Use your communication channels to invite people to volunteer:
Ask family members, friends and colleagues
Place a ‘call out’ on your website
Share current volunteer activities on social media to gain interest
Email key contacts
Feature opportunities in your newsletter
Place posters on community notice boards
You may have supporters in unexpected places, so be sure to spread the message and actively ask for volunteers.
Organisations and community groups often share general call outs for volunteers. Unfortunately, people are less inclined to learn more about general opportunities than specific jobs.
The next time you’re searching for volunteers, be specific. Call out for mechanics, tour guides, steam train drivers or event coordinators so people understand what you’re looking for. Prospective volunteers are more likely to enquire about defined roles that peak their interest.
Communicate the Benefits
We all agree that volunteers are extremely valuable to organisations, but why are you valuable to them? To effectively recruit volunteers, it’s important to communicate the benefits of being involved in your efforts. A few benefits of volunteering include:
Developing new skills
Meeting new people
Assisting with a meaningful cause
Contributing to the community
Feeling a sense of belonging
Tell people what they can gain from sharing their time, energy and skills.
Offer Various Engagement Levels
Finally, offer volunteer opportunities that require various levels of engagement. Some individuals may be willing to take on a weekly role, while others might prefer volunteering twice per year. Multiple engagement levels will create greater appeal to potential volunteers.