While celebrating the value of volunteering for National Volunteer Week a few weeks back, I had a number of discussions with friends who are struggling with volunteer recruitment for events they are organizing. As new volunteers themselves, they confided that they are unsure where to start in recruiting additional support. So I set out to source some information that might help.
After some online searching, I found mainly posts and articles focusing on identifying and recruiting board members, but no specific “how-to” document that fit the bill. But I did find an interesting article by Lori Gotlieb (on CharityVillage.com) offering advice on new volunteer engagement. She notes that while “those who work with volunteers are always looking for opportunities to engage the community,” the rest of us need to learn how to ask! Because, as Gotlieb reminds us, “the main reason people don’t volunteer is because they haven’t been asked!”
So, with that in mind we (at Wild Apricot) decided to create some resource documents - to add to our Membership Knoweldge Hub - that would help those new to volunteer recruitment get started.
Since it's difficult to offer a truly generic step-by-step guide to cover all volunteer recruitment situations, we decided to use a specific example to make the checklist more effective. We realized that many organizations – both non-profits and membership groups – are always looking for volunteers to assist with events, so we focused on recruiting event volunteers.
New volunteer resources in our Hub
The result is that we’ve developed a basic “how-to” Guide for the staff or volunteers of small non-profits or membership organizations looking for some help in getting started with volunteer recruitment. We also created a brief Volunteer Recruitment Checklist that offers some steps to follow.
This guide offers tips and resources about recruitment planning, targeting, outreach, screening, follow-up and orientation for those new to volunteer recruitment for non-profits and membership organizations.
This is a quick reference list of steps to take to get started with volunteer recruitment for events, including:
- Pre-recruitment planning
- Targeting potential volunteers
- Screening and confirming a commitment
- Follow-up and orientation
Remember - always be on the lookout for the next great volunteer
As Lori Gotlieb advises in her article - How Can I Help? Always Be On the Lookout for the Next Great Volunteer - "when seeking out new volunteers: don't forget to ask!"
We hope that our new Guide and Checklist will help those of you new to volunteer recruitment find ways to both identify and ask some new recruits to help with your cause.
Additional Volunteer Resources
You might also want to check out some of the other volunteer resources we have in our Membership Knowledge Hub, including the following:
Photo credit: Volunteer message and red pencil - from BIGSTOCK