In this update I'll provide you with great tips and resources for recruiting volunteers. It seems like it's harder than ever to secure new volunteers - especially those who are willing to stay with us. With busy schedules, sometimes we forget the investment needed to attract and retain volunteers. There is much we can learn from our fundraiser friends about moving people up the ladder of commitment - starting with smaller assignments, then building from there. Check out these tips and resources below. Contact me anytime if you need help with your volunteer engagement efforts.
Quick Tips For Recruiting Volunteers...
Provide the Right Amount of Information (not too much). I advise clients to be specific enough about your agency's volunteer needs, but not too detailed. Stay away from posting full position descriptions on your website. The goal is to get people to call/e-mail, and for you and your staff/volunteers to begin the process of cultivating them to see IF there is a good fit.
Invest Time With Prospective Volunteers. Many people who inquire about volunteering don't know enough about your organization. And, they often haven't thought that much about what they want or what they can offer. Consider recruiting a volunteer to help you meet with potential volunteers. Really get an idea of a person's level of motivation, along with what they might be able to do.
Be Flexible on Assignments. Conventional wisdom says to fit prospective volunteers with pre-defined positions. Research has show that this HR model of volunteer management often turns off boomers and younger generations as well. Instead, craft volunteer assignments that fit well with a volunteer's skills, motivations, and level of commitment.
Resources on Recruiting Volunteers
Recruiting The Baby Boomer Generation. This practical publication by the Lions Club spells out what motivates boomers and those younger and provides terrific ideas and steps to attract and retain volunteers.
101 Volunteer Recruitment Secrets. A fantastic collection of suggestions from volunteer directors compiled by VolunteerMatch. Reading through this nine page document is sure to give you loads of solid ideas for attracting new folks to your cause.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting Volunteers. This short article by Thomas McKee, of Volunteer Power, lays out the pitfalls many of us have seen when trying to attract people to volunteer. He's also the author of the informative book, The New Breed: Understanding and Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer.
Contact me any time should you have questions concerning how to maximize your utilization of volunteers to save money, make money, and do more mission. Visit Volunteer Frontier, to find great resources and a full list of my services. Learn about the Volunteer Frontier approach to yield impressive returns for years to come. Lastly, visit my blog to get my take on trends and ideas in the field of volunteering.