4 Questions to Ask When Recruiting Volunteers
Volunteer recruitment can seem a daunting task but few efforts garner greater reward. Schools, nonprofits and community groups rely largely on volunteers to get important work done, live out their mission and grow their community. If your group is having a hard time recruiting and coordinating volunteers, ask yourself these 4 questions:
1. Where are my potential volunteers? Volunteer managers have the ultimate tool at their tip of their fingers for finding volunteers - social media! In this digital age, it is vital to be online in your potential volunteer's social communities. If your organization or community group has not yet dipped your toes in the social pool, get online and do some digging. Search for similar organization's to yours and find out where their largest social media presence is - are they on twitter? Facebook? Google+?
Where their social communities boom, so may yours. Set up a facebook page or twitter account, start following groups in your community, national organizations that share your cause, and local news outlets and bloggers. Network with them via tweets and post to help spread the word and start putting the call out for volunteers. Make sure to include your social handles in all your marketing channels, from flyers to eNewsletters.
2. Can I simplify the signup process? When it's convenient to get involved, volunteers feel more welcomed and less stressed about joining your group's cause. Reply all emails, last minute phone calls and meetings they just can't fit into their busy schedule are all huge volunteer turn offs.
Turn instead to free online sign up sheets and volunteer calendars - VolunteerSpot's free and easy scheduling tools saves volunteer coordinators tons of time (and stress) and allows volunteers to sign up to help from their computer or smartphone. Automated reminders help everyone keep their commitments and makes sure your events are a real success.
4. What about my current volunteers? Often the desparate search for new or more volunteers can leave current volunteers feeling neglected. Volunteer appreciation has a direct impact on volunteer recruitment. When current volunteers are recognized for their efforts, they are more likely to spread the good word about your organization and bring others on to help. They will also be willing to assist in recruitment by sharing their stories and experience in commitment to your cause.
5. Do I have feedback for volunteers? The real question is, do you know the impact of your organization or group on your local community? If your group is seeking to make a difference, it is pertinent to measure your work, set and celebrate goals and milestones, and share this information with potential volunteers. For example, if your group has packed 1000 food backpacks for community children, shout this out! Potential volunteers want to hear how your group is making an impact before they decide to get involved. Explore and share new goals for each season and put out the call for volunteers to help you meet these goals and do real GOOD!
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