It is easy to find volunteers for one day. The second day, you are bound to see the number reducing. The same continues on the third day, and by the time you near the end of your campaign or activity, you don’t even have a handful of them by your side. The harder it is to raise funds for a non-profit organization, the more difficult it is to get the right number of people to work as volunteers. So, for you guys who assume the social activities to be carefree and full-on enjoyment, mind it, there goes a sufficient amount of dedication, hard work, and determination to make it a successful affair. To add to the turmoil of this, finding and recruiting volunteers for such campaigns is all the more daunting and strenuous. Especially if you had some previous experience, you know exactly what we are talking about. But gone are those days, when you have to run door-to-door asking people to lend their support for a noble cause. These days, it is easy to find volunteers, but what makes the task tricky is their retention. But with come cut-through and definite tips, you can maximize your effectiveness of recruiting volunteers and get them to linger around you until the last minute of your program. The following tips are just an example of what we have promised you in the lines above. Check them out!
Volunteer Recruiting Tips
Specify Your Demands
Unable to discover what exactly you want from your volunteers is one of the biggest problems faced while recruiting them. Hence, to clear out things, it is important to sketch a plan for your project, including all the tasks to be accomplished from office work, recruiting, and other tasks. Divide these tasks into three or four hour intervals so that volunteers can easily pick up the tasks as per their convenience, even if they have just a couple hours to spare. Remember, people are more likely to offer help if they have specific tasks assigned to them.
Update Your Records
Whenever you organize a recruiting function, sale, event, or any other function that attracts people, ensure that you get the right information. You can set up a website for attracting volunteers. Whatever medium you choose, make sure that you have a place to collect names, addresses, and email ids of those interested.
Contact Past Volunteers
Glance through the files of your past events to find some volunteers who can be counted on. Call them to see whether or not they are willing to lend their support again. In case they are unavailable this time, ask them to refer people who might just be interested in giving some of their valuable time to your issue. Remember, people who have issues close to their hearts and have volunteered before know other volunteers as well who will be attracted towards your issue also.
Break The Ice
Instead of just using the traditional method of word of mouth for hiring volunteers, you can reach people through other advertising mediums also. You can use printed materials, like leaflets, flyers, posters, newsletters, postcards, and others to attract people. Keep them simple and clear yet eye-catching enough to persuade people to volunteer. Do not restrict the distribution of them directly to people only; you can paste them on notice boards and leaflet dispensers in schools, colleges, universities, libraries, council offices, hospitals, sport centers, churches, shop windows, supermarkets, launderettes, restaurants, bars, and community centers. If you have the resources, you can organize a road show or an exhibition displaying any of your works. Besides, you can have a recruitment stand in a shopping center or library and invite people to volunteer for your cause.
Divulge The Benefits
Most volunteers extend their support for a cause. So, let all your potential volunteers know that they aren’t contributing for nothing. Explain to them how they can benefit by bringing a smile on a child’s face after the task is done or how good you feel after making someone’s life better.
After you have got the right number of volunteers as per your program, put in your utmost efforts in motivating and encouraging them to work harder and longer, lest they guarantee you and don’t turn back on the next day. On the first day of your volunteer event, offer them refreshments, like snacks and drinks.
There’s no harm in commending good work offered by volunteers and writing a letter of thanks. The volunteers will be happy to see you satisfied with their work, and may just be of help on your next volunteer event. A heartfelt “thank you” message sent through email or snail mail will help in motivating and sustaining hardworking volunteers.
Recruitment is just the beginning of a volunteer campaign. Keeping hold of good volunteers is much harder. Hope these tips will help you in retaining most of them. Good luck!