At one time or another all organizations face challenges that limit their ability to recruit volunteers. These limitations, while common, are preventable provided your organization is intentional when developing a volunteer recruitment and growth action plan. Today we’re sharing a 3 step strategy for volunteer recruitment that will not only help you grow, drive stronger engagement and increase volunteer retention for your group.
3 Step Volunteer Recruitment Strategy: Prospect, Cultivate, then ASK!
Ask for referrals- Use the 80/20 rule. Enlist the top 20% of your volunteers who are most engaged to help with referrals and recruitment. Highly engaged people who have a strong connection to your mission often make great recruiters.
How connected are you with your volunteers? Do you know their names? Make sure that your leadership knows your volunteers. How effectively are you communicating with your volunteers? Ensure that you are communicating clearly and consistently to engage your volunteers.
Have you provided adequate training and support? Do you have an orientation process that focuses on getting your volunteers engaged and “signed up” for an assignment? Do you follow up with your recruits to support them throughout their assignments and after completion?
Are your volunteers engaged with your mission? Make sure that there is no delay between volunteer sign on and volunteer assignment. Most volunteer relationships start with interest however that interest can wane if it is not promptly engaged in the work.
Ask more, the law of averages states that the more you ask, the more people will say “YES”. Despite their interest many people will never “volunteer” until they are asked. Convert interest into active volunteering by asking more.
Be creative and consistent with your ask. Understand that all volunteers are not the same. By cultivating and remaining connected with your volunteers you will get to know them better.
Volunteer recruitment is an important cog on the wheel of your fundraising engine. As many successful groups will tell you, retaining an active volunteer base matters. Growing your volunteer base will help your fundraising program long term. The more you prospect the more volunteers you will find. The more you cultivate and develop relationships with those volunteers the better they will be. The more you ask, ultimately, the more money you will raise which allows your group to do more.