An event is on the horizon and you know you will need a large group of volunteers. Where will they come from? If you’re serving a particular community, you should aim to recruit volunteers who represent that community. But how to recruit those volunteers? Before creating your team, it’s helpful to get a sense of the community. Will it be youth oriented? Does this make it a family event? Is the event for the arts? Awareness? Once these questions have been asked, it’s likely that there are already existing communities from which to suss out dedicated candidates because they will already share many of the same values.
Good places to start include local businesses, schools and other watering holes like studio spaces and community gardens. Often, companies will schedule a volunteer day for their employees as team-building through philanthropy. A student may be looking to fill a gap on their resume, or a club looking for a new activity. Contacting all such places helps bring a range of diversity while uniting people through a common mission.
Whatever the case may be, a good volunteer has a mix of a sense of their own mission and their experiences. Which is to say, that on some levels, the mission of the event and the mission of the individual must align. A good way of gauging how this might be is to look at your current volunteers. What keeps them coming back? What gives them a sense of teamwork? The most important thing to look for is someone who isn’t afraid to learn anything new, who grows from experiences.
It takes a village and the hope is to inspire volunteers and encourage community engagement. When people who live in the same area come together in a productive environment, it creates a stronger sense of the individual within the community. When these things become a community staple, it also becomes a legacy. And there is nothing more beautiful than trying to leave something for future generations.