How can you encourage people who have the skills and background you need to give their time and energy to your organization? Speak to people as individuals, each with something unique to offer - even if you are looking for 10 people to do the same thing.
The expectations of volunteers are changing. Here are a couple articles we find helpful:
- Volunteering Trends you Should Know in 2018, by Volunteer Match
- Change in Volunteering Trends you Should know in 2018, by stuff
- 4 Top Trends in Volunteering, by The Management Centre
Identify what benefits the volunteer will receive and use that to lead your recruitment messaging. Is it an opportunity to get to know people of a background and culture different from their own? Is it forming a strong and lasting relationship with a child? Is it a chance to learn about social marketing or the legal system?
Be as specific as you can be about what you are looking for. You want the volunteer to read the position description and respond "Hey, they are talking about me!"
Organizations that are successful recruiting well-matched volunteers:
- Are clear about the skills and background that is needed
- Engage the entire staff, board and community in recruitment efforts.
- Use a variety of approaches to get the word out (on-line listings, newsletters, staff communications and one-on-one outreach.)
- Create interesting and eye catching volunteer listings that grab people’s attention and generate excitement
Here are some helpful resources for developing and implementing an effective volunteer recruitment campaign:
- Susan Ellis outlines common Barriers to Volunteer Recruitment and steps to get around them.
- This volunteer recruitment toolkit will help you identify and attract your target audience as well as plan for intentional outreach.
- Having trouble reaching the right volunteers? Check out this brief presentation on diversifying your volunteer base.
- Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box! Youth volunteers or those over 50 can be a great asset to your organization.
- Wanting to transition donors to volunteers or vice versa? Check out this article on How to Use Community Engagement to Reach Qualified Volunteers, by GuideStar.
- For additional fodder, read up Volunteer Recruitment Strategies for Your Nonprofit, by VolunteerHub.
Posting volunteer positions
A list of recommended volunteer sources in King County can be found here. Some of the best places to post and look up sample listings include:
- Volunteer Centers such as United Way of King County’s are great places to post volunteer listings and look at good examples. There are volunteer centers and United Ways in many areas across the Pacific Northwest. Go to Volunteer Centers of Washington or search within United Way's global database to find a location near you.
- VolunteerMatch, Idealist.org and Craigslist are other great places to post listings as well.
Strapped for time? A time-saving best practice for recruitment is to create a listing and post it on your local volunteer center site or your own organization's website and then link to that main listing from all other websites and communications. Then when you update your primary listing, all of your other listings will be automatically updated.