Seven steps to attracting new volunteers

Seven steps to attracting new volunteers

12 September 2014

For most organisations in our local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector, the involvement of volunteers is critical to the success of the work that is being done. So how should you get the message out there when you are ready to recruit? We found the best tips to help…

Just ask

Statistics show that 41% of people are more prepared to volunteer if they are directly asked. Think of it as a form of flattery. If you are told that you will make a worthwhile impact in a position you are much more likely to consider it than if you saw a generic marketing message.

Be specific

It is important for your organisation to narrow down the roles that need extra hands. Who do you need to carry out these jobs? How long will you need them for? What will be expected of them?

By understanding these key things you will know who you need to attract and therefore who you need to target.

When you set about getting the message out there define the length of training and any clearance they will have to seek and express the benefits that are involved.

Go Online

This is an opportunity to really harness the full power of your social media platforms. On Twitter, adopt hashtags that are commonly seen on other volunteer recruitment posts – including ‘#volunteering’ and ‘#volunteerperks’. Y

ou may also wish to include ‘#jobs’ to target a group of people who may be job seeking and therefore have time on their hands over the short term.

On Facebook, make use of your visuals to tell a story about a ‘day in the life’ of your volunteers and the impact they make. Or create infographics to break down facts about your organisation in an engaging way.

Make your content interesting to generate likes and shares.

Market Volunteering

Recruiting new volunteers isn’t just a case of putting the name of your organisation out there. It is about selling a lifestyle. You face stiff competition from a lot of other time consuming activities and hobbies, never mind the direct competition from other organisations.

Go Public

At times like these it is great to have a PR savvy person to get word out to the local print press and radio stations. A simple ‘we need volunteers’ won’t be a strong enough angle for them to feature your story so have something newsworthy to talk about, with a mention at the end to the fact that you are looking for new volunteers.

Take Freebies

Free online resources such as Gumtree have ‘Community’ sections for posts about volunteering opportunities. Check out your competitor’s listings and see how you can make yours stand out. Highlight the benefits of being involved with your organisation.

Head Back to School

If you are hoping to add more professional skills to your team, such as PR, marketing or finance for example, then contact relevant courses at your local universities and techs. It is likely that students will want to add to their CVs with experience while they are still studying so it could be a win-win scenario for both parties.

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