Volunteer recruitment

Non-profit organizations do not just pop up over night.  It takes time, dedication and volunteers.  Often times, those volunteers seek out their own opportunities to help in a community or nationwide.  However, there are times when organizations need a little extra help and recruit their own volunteers.

One way that organizations recruit help is by using a broad sense of advertising.  By distributing information via posters, word of mouth, social media or brochures, organizations can reach a large amount of people at one time. This form of recruitment does not specifically cater to one type of demographic but is fit to inform and spread the word about opportunities.  Although it is beneficial to reach masses of people, a negative aspect is that since it does not target a specific demographic, the information can often be overlooked.

By using a more targeted form of recruiting for volunteers, organizations reach a smaller audience, but one that is more interested in the information.  This form is used when there are specific skills or characteristics that are needed.  It is important for organizations to answer questions such as: what is needed? Who can help provide what we need? How do we best reach them? By answering these, it is easier to target that demographic and communicate more effectively.  Once a form of communication has been made, it is easier to send the information and main idea to the volunteers without losing their interest.

Another way of recruiting volunteers is by using people who are already involved or have heard of the organization through either family, friends, coworkers, etc.... These people already have a sense of what the organization does or even that it simply exists. With this demographic, an organization can sometimes skip the background information and jump right to the main idea of the project and goal.  Using this form of recruitment also uses the power of influence.  If one friend helps out, he or she may persuade another to help and so forth. A domino effect will take place.  Also, if a person has already volunteered with this organization in the past, he or she will more likely to volunteer again based on the experience.  Positive experiences bring back more volunteers and help spread the word about the organization and opportunities for support.

What to remember when recruiting volunteers:

  • Focus on demographic.
  • Send clear, distinct message.
  • Figure out what and who the organization needs.
  • Develop relationships for future volunteering opportunities.

How to volunteer:

  • Visit the website of an organization.
  • Use a volunteer matching site.
  • Personally visit the organization.
  • Sign up for emails or newsletters.
  • Attend meetings sponsored by the organization.
  • Make a phone call.
  • Pay attention to fliers, bulletin boards and other forms of direct or indirect communication.
  • Use your connections and network.




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