Six Fresh Ways to Jumpstart Volunteer Recruitment

Anne Summers

Volunteer recruitment—it’s just one of those things that is never fully crossed off the list, right? When you’ve fulfilled your volunteer need for one event, the next project is right around the corner. It can be a bit relentless, but that’s when we work together! Sometimes freshening up your recruitment strategies is as easy as browsing a new list of ideas to boost your brainstorming.

1.  Make it Exclusive – Work the perks 

Enticing new volunteers or returning volunteers can be as simple as offering some perks! Not everyone has the budget to provide volunteer-only swag, but I bet there’s something you can give to your volunteers that is different than what’s available to the public. Are there certain hours you can give them exclusive access to your event or vouchers for a VIP area? Or are there some perks that you’ve used in the past that you can bring back?

2. Make it Competitive – Recruit-a-friend challenge

Play up your volunteers’ competitive sides while also letting them help you with you job! Set up a volunteer challenge that rewards volunteers who recruit others to volunteer with them. The more people you recruit, the better the prize! Plus friends who volunteer together tend to have more fun and are more likely to come back to help again. 

3. Make it Easy – Remove the barriers

Take a look at your volunteer sign up methods. Are you making it as easy as possible? Sometimes we overcomplicate things in the name of getting all the information we could ever need. But remember, volunteers may just quit filling out the form if we make it too difficult. VolunteerLocal has some great tools to help keep it simple!

And what about that website? Are you clearly presenting who you are? Keeping your online presence easy to read and simple to navigate helps people fully understand why their time is valuable to your organization and why your organization is valuable to them.

4. Make it Fun – Host some recruitment events

Build bridges to the local community by hosting some purely fun events! What fits best in your context?  A trivia night? Karaoke? 3-on-3 basketball? These simple events not only increase your brand awareness, but can also help you connect with potential volunteers you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

5. Make it Visible – Update those flyers

Brochures, posters, and press releases are essential tools for volunteer recruitment. How can you bump up their effectiveness? Think about updating the design or expanding your normal posting places. Keep a list of community organization that may welcome you as a guest speaker! Work all these avenues to get your volunteer need as visible as possible.

6. Make it Social – Social media can work for you

Find the best social media platforms for your goals! Creating a private Facebook group for your volunteers may help increase camaraderie. Instagram’s story feature may be the perfect avenue to increase behind-the-scenes excitement and get quick feedback. Think through your event and how to best connect to your people. There are so many tools out there. Make them work for you!

Anne Summers

Anne Summers is a staff writer at VolunteerLocal. She loves good food, great people, and volunteering.