Don’t promote more–promote smart. By now, you should have a good handle on what your organization uniquely provides and the type of volunteers you need. Your next step is to connect with those individuals. It might seem like a great idea to paint the town with Volunteers Needed! posters for your summer carnival or concession stand–but it’s a waste of paper if they’re not reaching your ideal volunteers (or anyone who might be willing to volunteer, for that matter). Use the information available to you–namely, steps 1 and 2–to find and retain the right volunteers for your event or organization.
Step 3: Target Promotion
It’s time to get a little creative. If you’re looking for young volunteers to work as peer-mentors for children, try attending a University sponsored Volunteer Fair near you. If you’re looking for “soup kitchen” volunteers who can donate up to twenty hours a week, consider reaching out to the retired community through newsletters like “Retirement Weekly” or state government-sponsored programs like the Division of Retirement in Florida (they send out a monthly newsletter to active members of the FRS Pension Plan).
If you know your organization would attract the outdoorsy-type, post flyers at the Community Recreation Center, city park gazebo, or a local campground. Use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn–Pinterest, Yelp or ShareWhere (“you volunteer”). Start recruiting on VolunteerMatch, or otherwise promoting your event locally on the radio to spur a word-of-mouth campaign. Some organizations have even created jobs for this very task: social media wizards who help to ensure the efficacy of your marketing campaign. Keep in mind, however, that the better you understand your ideal volunteer, the less promotional work you have to do. Casting your net narrowly will save you time, money and resources.