Transform Consulting Group recently helped recruit summer workshop volunteers for College Summit, an organization dedicated to increasing the college enrollment rates of youth from low-income communities. Many organizations rely on volunteers to help staff programs, assist clients, provide administrative support and participate on their Board. Volunteers are a valuable resource that, if cultivated properly, can become passionate champions for your organization.
Four tips for volunteer recruitment are:
- Have a clear message. People volunteer because the opportunity matches their values, they want to understand more about the world around them, they are seeking personal development, they want to make a difference, and/or they want to feel better about themselves. Your recruitment message should appeal to people who want to volunteer for any or all of these reasons.
- Be a great place to volunteer. Be prepared, make volunteers feel welcome, introduce volunteers to other staff members, set clear expectations, train volunteers sufficiently, and create ground rules.
- Give volunteers a purpose. Even if you have an opportunity that isn’t glamorous, be sure to let your volunteers know why it’s important to your organization. Volunteers want to know that what they’re doing truly impacts your organization so share stories, give examples and tell them why their work is so important and how it fits into the big picture.
- Show appreciation! Make it more likely that the organization will retain volunteers by congratulating them on a job well done. Sometimes a simple gesture of thanks is sufficient. For volunteers who contribute their time consistently or have made a strong impact on your organization, consider giving them a card or taking them out to lunch.
Motivated volunteers often use the Internet to find opportunities, so make sure your organization takes advantage of this resource. All for Good is a volunteer opportunity oriented search engine that is powered by the largest database of volunteer opportunities on the Internet. This website also has several apps to use on an organization’s home page, blogs, mobile devices, and more. VolunteerMatch offers a variety of tools and services and has helped tens of thousands of organizations recruit millions of new volunteers, manage volunteers and prospects, and become a great place to volunteer. Catchafire matches professionals who want to give their skills with nonprofits and social enterprises that need their help based on a variety of characteristics including skills, cause interests, and time availability.
Another great resource is Youth Service America (YSA), an organization that improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. YSA Grants fund programs promoting service among children and teens.
Need help recruiting quality volunteers for your organization? Contact Transform Consulting Group today for a consultation!