Tips and tools for recruiting volunteers: Where to recruit

Knowing where to recruit potential volunteers can be difficult, be creative and utilize all methods for places to look.

Experienced volunteer managers know that they should always be on the lookout for potential volunteers and ways to promote their volunteer opportunities. You never know when you might meet a person in line at the grocery store or waiting at the dentist’s office and the kind of conversations you could strike up. On the other hand, you should also look for more formalized opportunities to recruit volunteers. Depending on your volunteer opportunity, you could have a booth at a local volunteer fair or host an open house where interested people could come check out what you have to offer. Learn more about the kinds of civic organizations in your community by becoming part of your chamber of commerce, local nonprofit boards, etc. – anywhere that might help you better connect to people who could be interested in your opportunity. College campuses might be home to student activity groups who are looking for service hours and depending on your volunteer positions, it could be a great fit.

We also know that engaging the media is a great way to get your message out there. However, have you thought about how your organization’s social networking presence might help you recruit new volunteers? Many of us have Facebook pages for our organization that we use to connect with existing volunteers, but have you ever thought about trying to use it to recruit new volunteers? Your partners probably have Facebook pages that would be happy to have you post your volunteer opportunities on their walls. Similarly, your current volunteers might be willing to provide testimonials about their experience serving with your organization as a way to encourage their personal network to get involved. You won’t know until you ask!

Current volunteers can often be the most effective recruiters for your organization. These individuals have great credibility in the eyes of potential volunteers. As a staff person, you’re paid to be there, even if you truly care about and believe in the cause. Allowing current volunteers to speak on behalf of an organization also provides recognition for their work. Current volunteers may also have the clearest picture of your organization’s goals and the best ways of persuading people to support those goals.

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