When you’re looking for volunteers for your event, the task may seem a bit daunting in the beginning. Don’t worry. Everyone starts somewhere.
As a wise man (Drake) famously said, “Started from the bottom now we’re here.”
This Washington Post article found that whether you’re finding people passionate about your mission, sharing your organization’s story or just meeting people in person, you have a real chance at drawing volunteers in. The article highlights recruitment efforts of different organizations and they’re all things you can easily do for your organization. We’ve compiled our top tips below to not only find volunteers, but find the perfect match.
Tell a story:
- Use social media to your advantage. If there are any interesting anecdotes, people or causes associated with your organization, share them to get people excited about joining.
- Give details about your organization on your website. Share your history, mission and stories about your staff to give prospective volunteers a personal connection.
- A picture is worth a 1,000 words, so save your breath and share event photos! Plus, you can tag volunteers for their friends to see and potentially join as well.
Get your feet dirty:
- Meet face-to-face. There’s a reason grassroots efforts have stuck around for so long and that’s because of the connection. Get into your community.
- Attend volunteer fairs. Students are often seeking community service hours or experience, so get them amped up about participating in your organization. Make that conversation happen.
- Talk to your network. Don’t be shy about asking friends or neighbors to volunteer – just asking may be the nudge they need.
Think for the future:
- Create meaningful titles for volunteer positions – people might just be looking for opportunities to add to their resume.
- Make a good experience for volunteers to make them lifelong returners. Express gratitude and appreciation for the work that they put in.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out again after hearing a “no.” Keep “no” volunteers in mind for a future position or date that may work better for them.
Make it fun:
- People are more inclined to say yes if they’re with people they know. Encourage people to volunteer with friends or family.
- Make a community. After volunteer events, go out for food and drinks. Having a fun time will encourage people to continue returning.
- Everyone likes swag. Give volunteers t-shirts or other souvenirs to commemorate their time and it provides an opportunity for further promotion.
Know your audience
- Crafting a targeted campaign will ensure you’re reaching your ideal volunteers, while also appealing to those who are interested in what you’re offering.
- Provide detailed volunteer descriptions. People not only want to know the details of what they may be participating in, but this will also ensure you get the ideal candidate.
- Go to where the volunteer prospects are. If you’re hosting a marathon, offer to speak at a gym or with your local high school’s track team.