Most volunteer managers will tell you that recruiting volunteers is tough. Where do you do it? How do you do it? And, even if you get volunteers through your door once, how do you keep them coming back?
There are lots of places to look for volunteers. Many of them will make sense only for certain types of organizations. Others will make sense for any volunteer program. The choice is yours, however, so here are a bunch of great ideas from your peers.
Recruiting Volunteers – Ideas and Inspiration
- Volunteer fairs
- Volunteer websites (i.e. your local Hands On Action Center or United Way)
- Volunteer opportunity search sites (Idealist.org, VolunteerMatch.org (which can push listings to your organization’s LinkedIn page if you set it up), and VolunteerCentral.com)
- Your organization’s website
- Online recruitment drives
- Corporate groups
- Community centers (where you can find retirees with lots of time on their hands!)
- Community outreach events
- Local faith communities
- Word of mouth (Happy and engaged volunteers love to spread the word and encourage others to participate. Advertising other volunteering needs among current volunteers is a great way to encourage them to reach out to their friends or family.)
- Brochures in community “hot spots”
- Press releases in local papers and publications
- Local colleges/universities (including through college websites, service clubs, and Greek organizations)
- Local high school learning websites
- Homeschool groups
- Meetup groups (i.e. moms with preschool kids)
Are you currently leveraging any of these resources in order to recruit volunteers? If not, give some a try.
Some may hesitate at recruiting volunteers from colleges or universities due to the turnover. Organizations often put a lot of work and training into each volunteer and college students leave in the summer to go home, graduate and move, take a job or transfer. Their help is often temporary. But students can be excellent volunteers too, so don’t rule them out completely. Perhaps, when working with students, try setting forth a one-year commitment before onboarding them. Many recognize they cannot to commit to the amount of time you require, so they decide not to volunteer – and you don’t have to invest time, money, and energy getting them situated and trained.
How can Verified Volunteers help?
It would be a miss not to point out that you can also leverage your volunteer background screening vendor to recruit volunteers (Hopefully you are screening your volunteers using a reputable screening provider!).
At Verified Volunteers, we understand that, beyond scheduling and time constraints, one of the biggest volunteer complaints is the need for background screening. It feels intrusive, it requires volunteers to give up their sensitive personal details and it can delay their volunteering. And when they have to do it every time they join a new organization, it can be repetitive and annoying.
Verified Volunteers is dedicated to fixing these problems. We have what is called the Volunteer Fast-Pass, which allows volunteers, once screened, to find other organizations within the Verified Volunteers community and share their completed and up-to-date background check with them. With the Volunteer Fast-Pass, volunteers benefit because they only have to get screened once. They can eliminate the need to endure the screening process over and over again – and accelerate their onboarding process at new volunteer programs. Removing this barrier to volunteering, active volunteers are more likely to volunteer with more than one organization.
So the Fast-Pass is great for volunteers, but it’s awesome for organizations in the Verified Volunteers community as well. That’s because organizations are found by new, interested, motivated and pre-vetted volunteers too. They receive shared checks for free, so they avoid the hassle of screening (and paying for the screening) of new volunteers. It’s a win-win situation.
Interested in learning more about how to leverage your volunteer background screening vendor to make it easier for pre-vetted volunteers to find your organization? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information. Remember to add the Subject Line: Fast-Pass Blog. We’re here to help!