Archive for January, 2009

Before You Recruit Volunteers

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

It’s important to have a clear picture of your organization before you recruit volunteers.  What is the culture and work environment of your organization:

  • relaxed or formal in chain of command and boundaries
  • stable and secure or uncertain future
  • results-driven or value-oriented

Knowing these characteristics will make it much easier to recruit and retain volunteers who are a good match for your organization.

Be Aware of Legal Matters Relating to Volunteers

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Be sure you have researched and resolved any legal issues that might be related to involving volunteers with your organization. Do any licensing requirements, insurance policies, or laws and regulations affect your use of volunteers in your organization. A review with your attorney is a great idea, just to be sure. Do your written company policies and procedures address the inclusion of volunteer workers? Make sure any needed items are in place before you begin recruiting, for a smooth transition.

How Can We Recruit Volunteers?

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

There are three basic ways to recruit volunteers, dependent mostly on the type of volunteers needed:

  • Warm Body Recruiting: This method is best suited when you need a large number of volunteers, perhaps for a one-time project, or a short period of time, with the task to be completed requiring minimal qualifications. You can accomplish this kind of recruiting by distributing brochures and posters, speaking to groups, placing notices in local media, and using word of mouth.
  • Targeted Recruiting: This method requires much more careful planning to reach a small audience of volunteers who have a specific skill or some other characteristic not commonly found. By carefully thinking about the needs and the type of person who could fill those needs, you should be able then to determine likely ways to communicate and motivate those people. Your message can then be delivered directly to those people.
  • Sphere of Influence: By identifying populations who are already in contact with your organization and using them to reach out in widening circles, you can reach large numbers of potential volunteers. These might include your clients (and their families and relatives), your alumni, friends and family of your current staff (paid or volunteer), people in the organization’s neighborhood, and others who have been affected in some why by the problem you organization is working to resolve.