Whether you are a fundraising event looking for volunteers to staff the big day, or a nonprofit organization or school looking for individuals to help fill necessary positions or complete tasks, finding those fabulous volunteers can be a huge challenge. If we wait for volunteers to find us, we might be waiting for months or years. Not to mention, if we just take in anyone or everyone, we might not end up with the best volunteer pool either. Here are some suggestions for where to find those great volunteers:
Job fairs and community events can be a good place to find quality volunteers. It is important, however, that you have your ducks in a row before you go out recruiting. Keep in mind that you will likely be competing with other organizations for the best volunteers and those who have job descriptions, a steamlined recruitment process and know how to treat volunteers well will not only get, but retain the best ones. Know what you need from volunteers and prepare the information in a way that will be appealing and accessible. There is nothing that “kills” a potential volunteer’s interest like not having phone calls or emails returned, or being greeted by an organization that doesn’t really know what to do with the individual’s interest. Get organized before you search.
Consider resources like Craigslist and the local newspaper as a source for advertising for volunteers. Additionally, your organization’s web site and those of other agencies or companies can be a good way to publicize what you need. Church bulletins and newsletters are another way to find volunteers.
Finally, high schools, trade schools and universities often have outlets for recruiting volunteers and interns. While the individuals might be looking for on-the-job training or experiences or be working toward an academic program, if you can be organized in your volunteer jobs and descriptions, it can be a good way to utilize volunteer efforts.