10 Volunteer Recruitment Ideas

If your large event's success is based on the hands-on work of volunteers - one of the biggest challenges is often finding volunteers to begin with!  Whether you're organizing a rally, a festival, a charity race, a food drive, or a community cleanup -- step out of the box with these 10 creative ideas for volunteer recruitment that are sure to bring more help when and where you need it!

1.  Incentives:  Spice up your recruitment with incentives for volunteers to participate!  For example, if you need volunteers for your festival beer tent, offer drink tickets for their time.  Free t-shirts, admission to an event, and sponsored gifts also make helping out more enticing.

2.  Invite groups as opposed to individuals:  If you have a large event, recruit “groups” of volunteers to help; not only are you filling multiple spots but people can look at it as something fun to do with their friends one day! Tips for finding groups – try Scout Troops, teams, employers, running clubs, Rotary, women’s clubs, etc.

3.  Reach out to local schools and universities:  Many students participate in programs, societies and Greek life which require volunteer hours for participation.  Connect with both high school and college educational groups in your region and share your volunteer opportunities to bring more hands on board.

4.  Free online sign up sheets:  Let volunteers choose when and how they can help at their own convenience with 24/7 online sign up sheets from VolunteerSpot, accessible by computer or smartphone!  Automatic reminders also help volunteers remember and keep their commitments.

5.  Network with related groups in the area:  Publicize opportunities to other do-gooders by connecting and partnering with fellow community groups that align with the mission of your organization. For example, a group rehabbing a local hiking trail might ask the Keep our Town Clean group for a shout to their volunteers.

6.  Thank those volunteers you already have:  Show volunteer recognition and appreciation before your event and encourage volunteers to invite their friends and co-workers to join in as well.

7.  Use social media to expand your reach:  Promote volunteer opportunities on all your social channels including facebook, twitter, and email.    Ask followers and fans to retweet and share your posts (and online sign up links) on their own social media channels. 

8.  Be around town:  Set up an “information booth” for your organization at local festivals, farmers markets and common areas about town.  This helps you share your cause and get folks on your “interested volunteer mailing list.”

9.  Pump up your volunteer webpage:  Instead of simply listing opportunities to help your organization, use your volunteer web page and organization’s Facebook page to engage your volunteer community.  Invite volunteers to post their pictures, videos and stories, share your photos and videos from past events, link to your online sign ups, include social media widgets, and consider running a blog with updated stories and guest posts of how your organization is making a difference in the community.

10.  Post your volunteer opportunities broadly:  Many local public radio stations, newspapers and television stations offer free volunteer postings to non-profits. Call your local HandsOn Action Center, post on CraigsList and websites like NetworkforGood and VolunteerMatch. When your postings are entered in the databases of these organizations, they appear when volunteers are searching online for volunteer jobs in your community.

Let us know some of your top volunteer recruitment ideas over on facebook or leave a comment below!



SignUp is free thanks to our sponsors: