Volunteer Recruitment Checklist

Volunteerism October 27, 2011

Tatiana Morand

By Tatiana Morand

Since many non-profits and membership organizations struggle to recruit volunteers, we’ve created a Getting Started With Volunteer Recruitment guide and Checklist to help volunteers and staff who are new to volunteer recruitment.

Once you’ve reviewed the Guide’s general overview of the recruitment process, you can use this step-by-step checklist to help you get started.

Please note: to make this checklist more effective, we’ve focused this checklist on recruiting event volunteers.

And if you'd like a downloadable version of this checklist to save for later, you can find that here.

1. Pre-Recruitment Planning

Gather a "Recruitment Team" from among your existing volunteers (or Board)

Identify volunteer needs:

    • Define specific volunteer assignments*
    • Determine how many volunteers you’ll need for each job/assignment and whether you need additional team leaders or supervisors

Create volunteer position descriptions*

Create or Update Recruitment Tools*

2. Targeting Potential Volunteers

Start With Existing Volunteers:

  • Identify previous volunteers to contact.
  • Review list of individuals who have offered to volunteer.

☐ Recruit Within Your "Circle of Influence:"
    Have each recruiter create a list of potential contacts, including:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Co-workers
  • Neighbors
  • Community members (at church; clubs; sporting teams, etc.) 

☐ Broaden Your Circle:
    Once you exhaust the family and friends list, you might need to widen your search by:

  • Writing a newsletter article or a post on your organization's blog or forum
  • Posting a video or photos of last year's even on your Facebook page and ask for new recruits
  • Putting an ad in your community newspaper
  • Posting a request through your municipal or state/province volunteer center
  • Posting a request at a local high school, or college student volunteer center
  • Signing up with one of the volunteer matching sites*

☐ Target Specific Skills or Needs:
    If you need volunteers with specific skills or experience, consider talking to:

  • Local small businesses RE: pro bono services
  • Individuals who have volunteered at similar events in your community (e.g. an auctioneer; member of a service club, etc.)
  • Local companies that might be willing to organize their employees to assist with your event as a corporate initiative

Download this checklist (PDF)

3. Screening and Confirming A Commitment

☐ Screen each potential volunteer:

  1. Create short-lists of volunteers in each job category
  2. Develop screen process and documentation*
  3. Interview each volunteer applicant and capture information from all interviews*

☐ Determine appropriate roles for each volunteer

☐ Contact each volunteer to inform them of their role

4. Follow-Up and Orientation

Effective follow-up communication and orientation can impact both an event’s success and the volunteering experience. So be sure to:

Send volunteer confirmation:
Send an email or letter with all of the pertinent details of their commitment.*

Conduct volunteer orientation(s):
While orientation sessions will differ depending on the volunteer job tasks, you should provide training or orientation sessions for each group of volunteers.*

* See Getting Started with Volunteer Recruitment for details and more resources.

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