Although members of an organization and volunteers are distinctly different, recruiting volunteers is somewhat similar to recruiting members. Therefore you will want to incorporate some of the same ideas that you would use in recruiting members. However, since volunteers are often not prospects to become members, the focus is usually entirely different.
When recruiting new members the focus is on the organization, but when you need volunteers, the focus is on the specific event that you need the volunteers to help with. Sometimes it’s an event planned by others that your organization is simply helping out with, and then there are always events that your particular organization plans and controls.
Regardless of who is hosting the event (or whatever the volunteers are needed for), recruiting volunteers to assist you is very easy when you follow these three easy steps.
- Form a board. –It should be made up of 3-5 of your members that you think are best suited for the particular task at hand. Make sure that what you need them to help with is something they are interested in, that they have the free time to help, and that they will commit to seeing it through to completion. Ideally, you will have about ten members that you feel are a good fit, and from those ten you can end up with the 3-5 necessary.
- Have a recruiting volunteers meeting. – This should be held outside your normal meetings schedule. Sometimes it’s best to meet with the ten you hope to pull at least 3-5 from, and go over all the details of what you need the volunteers for. If all ten end up wanting to help, the more the better. As the saying goes, many hands make light work, as long as they can work together cohesively. Once you nail down the ones who are going to help, the others may be dismissed from the meeting. At this meeting you want to pull ideas from the board members that you’re going to be working with, and conclude the meeting with a workable plan that you can have typed up and distributed within the next 24 hours. It should basically include the same ingredients for recruiting members: 1) a written plan, 2) one that is understood and accepted by the board working on it, and 3) include an agreed form of accountability.
- Host a small party to kick off your recruiting volunteers plan. –Besides the board members, you should invite someone who is a key person with the event you are helping out with. You want them to not only join your party, and get to know those who will be helping raise the volunteers needed, but also to take a few minutes and give them a first-hand overview of the organization that the event is being held for. Hopefully, it will be encouraging, even inspiring, and help keep them focused and motivated to make sure they do their part.
When you follow these three easy steps to recruiting volunteers, you should be able to come up with all the volunteers you need, and it should be a lot of fun at the same time.
This post is part of our series: The Ultimate Online Guide to Recruiting Volunteers.
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