Volunteer Recruitment: Finding Your Volunteers
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  • Recruitment is actually the first step in the screening and retention process. A well run organization will utilize a matching process that serves to insure a positive experience. Positive experiences foster a sense of connection between the organization and individual.
  • Specific, focused addressed to a specific audience
  • An effective recruitment plan is clear about expectations which includes not only duties but the screening, interview and placement process. These steps are the first in a retention plan. A good match leads to a good experience for both volunteer and organization which helps to facilitate retention.
  • Targeted recruitment consists of 4 steps. Each is driven by the position description.
  • Again—Why Skilled Volunteers? Volunteer Match Survey statistics. Desire to use skills actually increases with age. Desire to develop skills continues to be a motivation across age groups. Skilled volunteer programs offer incentives to those individuals to become involved in and connected to your organization.
  • Brainstorm some examples of each part with your groups.
  • Identify—Client Need, Benefit, How to help. Contact information very important. Example provided by the Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo
  • What’s the problem with this ? How might it be restructured?
  • Asks question. Stresses benefits to volunteer. Kent has several different posting—same position; worded to appeal to different populations
  • Consider the benefits and the appeal—who’s the target market?
  • Make you mission known. Make it easy for interested volunteers to learn more about your organization.
  • IntroductHandsOn Connect—discuss the advantages to the organization.


  • 1. VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENTThe presentation will begin momentarily.Please be certain that you havespeakers connected or dial in using thephone number provided then enter theaccess code followed by the # sign.
  • 2. Presenter: Sandra MillerConsultant/Trainer, Volunteer Centers of Michigansaltzmiller@gmail.comAdministrator: Chelsea MartinProgram Manager, Volunteer Centers of Michigan
  • 3. Michigan Community Service Commission, MichiganNonprofit Association, Volunteer Centers ofMichigan, Michigan Campus Compact, and theLEAGUE Michigan with support from the ConnectMichigan Alliance Endowment Fund and theCorporation for National and Community Service, areproud to support the ENGAGE VolunteerManagement training series.
  • 4. Goals• Identify the benefits of a systematic volunteer recruitment program.• Identify best practices in volunteer recruitment.• Provide ideas and tips that might be used by a variety of organizations. 4
  • 5. What is Volunteer Recruitment? The process of matching an organization’s needs with a volunteer’s interests and skills 5
  • 6. Volunteer RecruitmentIs defined by HandsOn Network as. . .a marketing effort with three main goals: Promote a program that attracts people who represent the full diversity of a community on an ongoing basis Generate visibility and credibility for the program within the community Find financial support
  • 7. Benefits of StrategicVolunteer Recruitment Program Sustainability Increased satisfaction & sense of connection Maximizes organizational resources 7
  • 8. TWO TYPESBROAD-BASED TARGETEDActions which promote the Strategies designed toorganization’s mission and match specificthe role that volunteers organizational needs with the skills and interests of agenerally play within the particular individual ororganization. group. The volunteer position description serves as a foundation for the strategies to be used.
  • 9. BROADBASEDThe organization’s impact & reputation 9
  • 10. TARGETEDspecific and focused 10
  • 11. Serves as a Foundation1. Develop a Volunteer Position 3. Screen Description Volunteers 2. Develop a 4. Interview Targeted and Match Recruitment Volunteers to Plan Appropriate Positions 11
  • 12. The Foundation ofRecruitment, Screening, Training, Supervision, EvaluationTHE VOLUNTEER POSITION DESCRIPTION
  • 13. The most important criteria. . .• Clarifies expectations for staff and prospective volunteers• The first step in risk management (informed consent)• Volunteers will ―self screen‖ on the basis of interest and skills. 13
  • 14. Writing the Position Description • Title • Purpose/ObjectiveWEBSITE DEVELOPER.docx • Benefits • Location • Key Responsibilities • Qualifications • Time Commitment • Training/support provided • Volunteer Supervisor • Contact Information/website 14
  • 15. KISS APPLIES • Keep it simple – Avoid acronyms – Leave details for the screening process • Keep it short – 1 page • Engage staff & current volunteers as consultants & editors
  • 16. Targeted Recruitment Serves ToMAKE AN EFFECTIVE MATCH
  • 17. Determine Your Target MarketTarget Market— • SkillsThe type ofindividual or • Interestsgroup(audience) that • Experiencewill best meetthe needs of the • Availabilityposition andorganization. 17
  • 18. POLLWhat Type of Volunteer (Target Market) currently representsthe majority of your organization’s volunteers?• Youth/Students• Families• Young Adults/Professionals• Baby Boomers/Empty-Nesters• Senior Citizens/Retirees 18
  • 19. Targeted Recruitment 2. Identify 3. Craft a 4. Design a1. Target Your Benefits and Powerful Communication Market Features Message Strategy 19
  • 20. Ask the following questions • Who is your target audience? • What are important features of position? • What would appeal to them about the position? • What are some possible barriers? • What additional things do we know about the audience? • Where and how is the best way to communicate with the target market? 20
  • 21. 21
  • 22. Benefits to the volunteerConsider what the volunteer is looking for – Why do people volunteer? – What are their needs in terms of time, duties, interaction, location, etc. • Seek to remove the roadblocks 22
  • 23. Create appealing opportunities. . • Project focused . • Time Limited • Skill-based • Flexible • Opportunities for leadership • Virtual • Appealing to different groups  Families  Youth  Young professionals, Retirees, Companies, etc. 23
  • 24. Example--Time & Project Specific Skill Based 24
  • 25. Create An Appealing MessageGeneral interest, excitement, and the desire to get involved!THE CALL TO ACTION
  • 27. EXAMPLE STATEMENT OF CLIENT NEED A child makes decisions every day that shape who they are and whom they will become. Adults in their lives will influence these decisions. HOW TO HELP Be that positive influence. A few hours a week listening, coaching, caring and supporting can make a difference for a lifetime. Go to www.___ or call 1-800-555-5555 to learn more. BENEFITS Join ___ mentoring program where you’ll learn and practice new skills as you experience life through the eyes of a child. Your life experiences and knowledge can help shape a child’s future. 27
  • 28. Good Messages. . .•Simple Many elderly in our community live•Compelling lonely stretches without a warm smile•Consistent or embrace. Your family could volunteer to ―adopt‖ one of thesewith senior residents. The members ofbranding your family will experience some rare quality time together while giving•Contact someone a real lift. Call Mary at 555-Info. 111 for more information or visit www.ourwebsite.org 28
  • 29. Volunteering Is Not A Job 29
  • 30. POLLWhich of the following represents a target market that is underpresented in your volunteer pool?• College Students• Young Adults/Professionals• Baby Boomers/Empty-Nesters• Senior Citizens• Corporate Employees 30
  • 31. Who’s the target market? 31
  • 32. Who’s the target market? 32
  • 33. How will you get the message to the target audience?THE COMMUNICATIONSTRATEGY
  • 34. Where do you find them?• Young Professionals • Workplace • Recreational Facilities• Baby Boomers • Service Organizations • Church Affiliations• Youth • School/Classes • Clubs/Sports Groups • Libraries (computers) 34
  • 35. What captures their attention?• Social Media• Internet• Radio• Television• Newspapers• Organizational print materials. – Church bulletins – Postcards 35
  • 36. Communicating Your Message• Distribute brochures or posters• Make public service announcements on television, radio, or newspaper• Speak to community groups (e.g., faith-based, neighborhood groups, community forums)• Collaborate—churches, businesses, other nonprofits• Post to online venues (e.g., Websites, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, etc.)• Set up a booth at a local events (e.g., farmers markets, festivals, etc.)• Partner with service organizations or businesses. 36
  • 37. POLLWhat have been the most effectivecommunication strategies used by yourorganization?• Online• Social media• Radio• Print materials• Other 37
  • 38. •Visible/Accessible•Combines recruitment with data collection and reportingONLINE RECRUITING 38
  • 39. Make it easy to volunteer 39
  • 40. Online Recruiting Resourceswww.1-800-volunteer.orgwww.craigslist.orgwww.facebook.comwww.handsonnetwork.orgBlogs • www.serve.gov • www.idealist.org • www.youTube.com • www.volunteermatch.org • Widgets 40
  • 41. On-line RecruitmentHandsOn Connect 41
  • 42. The most effective recruitment method is still. . .THE DIRECT PERSONAL APPEAL―THE ASK‖
  • 43. Involve • Communicate the valueBoard and impact of volunteersAdministration • Identify potential targetStaff marketsCurrent VolunteersCommunity Partners • Serve as advocates • Convey the message • Tell their success stories
  • 44. CAPITALIZE ON National Days of Service Community Events • Day of Service & • Festivals Remembrance Sept. 11 • Make A Difference Day • Concerts • Family Volunteer Day • Martin Luther King, Jr. • Athletic Events Day • National & Global Youth • Expos Service Days • National Volunteer Week • Orientations44
  • 45. Make the Connection• Connect volunteers to the organization’s mission• Put a personal face to the organization• Offer opportunities for continued involvement as a part of the event’s orientation, reflection, and discussions.• Share stories and benefits 45
  • 46. The Most Effective Tool Remains. . .• Your organization’s reputation • Mission • Impact• Connection with your mission• Word of mouth 46
  • 47. THANK YOUPlease respond to the evaluation that youwill receive by email. Your input is valuableDecember 13 —Volunteer Screening—Application &Interview 47