11 Volunteer Recruitment Tips

UltimateDonations.org: WIZARD OD ID CartoonSometimes the hardest part of pulling off a fundraising event is finding the volunteer base to help. Here are some tips to help you find some help.

  1. Always Be Prepared. The Boy Scouts sure got this one right! You need to always be prepared to find a volunteer, because you never know when an opportunity will present itself. If you find yourself in a conversation that lends itself to talking about your organization, don’t miss your chance. You might find yourself talking to a soon-to-be volunteer.
  2. Offer manageable volunteer opportunities. Everyone knows that volunteering can very easily become a full time job, without the benefits of compensation. Don’t scare away your volunteers. Instead, make sure you break your jobs, tasks, and responsibilities into small, manageable amounts. Someone can always take on more if they feel like they have the time, but the old adage “many hands make light work” speaks volumes here.
  3. Play to your volunteers strengths and interests. Have someone who is great with social media, let them take care of the online advertising. Have someone else that has an eye for design? They could help with the setup of your event.
  4. Don’t give them an opportunity to say no. Find out how and when they would like to volunteer and find tasks that fit their needs.
  5. Let people know you need help. You know when people ask you how your big charity auction is going and you say “Everything is going fantastic” even though you’re up until 2am working on it? Try saying this instead “Everything is going really well, but I wish I had a few extra hands to help with some of the details.” You might find those hands in the people you are talking to.
  6. Advertise for volunteers. Put it in the bulletin, on flyers, on your website, Facebook page, Twitter, wherever you can think of! One spot that is often overlooked is your email signature. Think about how many emails you send out. Include a quick blurb in your email signature and see what happens.
  7. Try the “everybody asks one” method. If every one of your volunteers asks one more person to volunteer your volunteers would grow exponentially.
  8. Offer free food. We used to joke about this with college students, but it really works for any age group. Need to stuff your invitations? Mention that coffee and cake will be available. When people feel like they are socializing, they never seem to mind the work as much.
  9. Keep a list of people who may be interested in volunteering but haven’t done so yet. When you have the right opportunity for them, make a personal call and ask if they would consider helping.
  10. Make a habit of thanking your volunteers. Volunteers who feel appreciated are more willing to volunteer again, and more likely to try to get others involved.
  11. Don’t overlook teens for “day of” volunteering. Whether its face-painting kids faces, or selling the food, often times they are super willing to help. And it helps that they usually need to earn community service points for school!

Do you have any other tips for recruiting volunteers that we haven’t thought of? Share with us below!