Every event needs volunteers and as a coordinator one of your main priorities is recruiting passionate people to help the event run smoothly. There are people who volunteer for an event because they like the activity, the cause, or they got roped into it by a friend. It is good to take any help you can get, but the greatest volunteers are those that have an interest or a passion for the event. For charity races that core group comes from volunteers that are motivated by the cause. Here are some do’s and don’ts when finding and recruiting those volunteers.
- Advertise the cause benefiting from the race. Communication is key make sure the cause the race is benefiting is clear.
- Include the cause in the name. That tells you right away that the race is for something more than just physical fitness (though, that is a great cause for a race too). Everyone loves something clever if you can manage to come up with a good play on words.
- Provide education about the disease or cause the race is supporting. The ice bucket challenge got people googling ALS to know what that crazy social media challenge was about. Maybe your race won’t get people googling, but you can provide more education about your cause to spread knowledge.
- Reach out to affiliated groups. If your race benefits a high school band, reach out to the parents. If it’s a disease talk to hospitals or support groups.
- Make it clear where the funds raised will go. It’s not just enough to say it’s for a cause, show what the benefit will be.
- Require volunteers to have been affected by the disease. Allies are important members of every community.
- Mislead participants about the purpose of the race. If you advertise a benefit race make sure the cause is front and center and not an afterthought.
- Assume people will know the cause you are supporting. If you name your race something vague or don’t find a way to include the cause in the name no one will know the cause unless its advertised.
- Ignore social media. That goes for traditional advertising too. You want to reach out to everyone possible, don’t count on affiliate groups to encompass everyone who might support the cause.