How to Up Your Volunteer Recruiting Game by Using the Ones You Have

Stop and take a look around. It’s not often that you get a break from the hectic life of running an organization. But stopping to smell the roses could give you a new perspective on what you’re looking for in the future.

Recruiting new volunteers is always a priority with the constant turnover and progression of organizations. But you’ve already got a group of volunteers on hand who picked your organization for a reason. So why not utilize those people who are already committed to volunteering and use them to find out how you can get more people in the future?

Here are some ways to up your volunteer recruiting game by using ones you’ve already got.

Advocate Because They Relate

Maybe the organization affected a volunteer in a life-changing way. Or, the experience volunteering at your organization looked great on a resume and landed a volunteer their current job. Whatever the case, volunteers have great stories about the ways that they’ve been emotionally touched by their experiences volunteering. And those stories are best conveyed by the volunteers themselves.

That’s why you should have current volunteers be a gateway to advocating for your current organization. Whether they write down their stories for you to share or they personally talk with potential volunteers, people will connect on a more intimate level with other peers just like them. Question potential volunteers to see what makes them unique and match them with a current volunteer. They’ll be able to better relate to the specific needs, and you’ll have a better chance of getting those recruits for the future.

Get Inside Their Heads

The volunteers you currently have are there for a reason. And while you have them, it’s time to get inside their heads. Develop a survey or strategy to find out what made them want to volunteer with your organization. If you can find a common hook or reason why most volunteers chose your organization you can use it to your advantage in the future. Maybe it’s a particular channel that reaches the most volunteers, or a certain message that really hit home. Whatever it is, you’ll have a better shot at volunteer recruiting in the future after you’ve used past volunteers’ experiences.

Send out an online survey via sites like SurveyMonkey. The time spent making the survey is minimal, but the information you get back could be extremely valuable for your next volunteer recruiting venture. Another option to evaluate why the current volunteers chose your organization is to interview volunteers. The personal setting will have them feeling more open to discuss both the good and bad that you can use to improve and continue in the future.

Word of Mouth

Social media is a great tool to reach people, but nothing beats old-fashioned communication and the personal connection it can achieve. Have your volunteers spread the word through their everyday interactions. Hopefully, they’ll do this because they’ve had a great experience with your organization.

Although this is the best case scenario, volunteers might not always think about spreading the word. Talk with your volunteers about ways they can get the word out if they fell in love with your organization.

How has your organization utilized current volunteers to aid in volunteer recruiting?


Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

November 8, 2012

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