Need Volunteers?

Posted on Tuesday April 03, 2012 at 03:54PM

A few years ago, stay at home moms made up a large part of our volunteer pool. Now, many households need two incomes to function. Add to the mix that being mobile families with at least two vehicles, many households have many children involved in many different activities, often in more than one community--all requiring volunteers. You see the issue. The demand for volunteers increases while the availability of volunteers decreases. Adding to the issue, is that people sign their kids up for stuff, and then don't volunteer at all. It's a tough thing. Committees who rely on volunteer support are going to have to work hard at recruiting and retaining volunteers!  Suggestions include:

  • Volunteer groups will need to become more organized and consider going 'online'. Create sign up lists that everyone can view anytime. That way people cannot assume that 'someone else will do it.' Online sign-ups lets everyone see what everyone else has done.
  • Keep in contact and gain their ongoing support. The more you keep people involved with your group the more they will feel like part of the team. When they feel like part of a team, they become more willing to give their time.
  • Take every opportunity to promote the benefits of volunteering. It is not just that volunteering is good for the committee, volunteering can be a way for people with a shared interest to meet and get to know each other on a social level.
  • Never underestimate the value of planning: Think through your needs and create a list of the right number of volunteers for each one.
  • Lots of communication and detailing is key to recruiting and retaining volunteers. Give each possible volunteer as much information as you can upfront. Include your cause, what their job is going to be, what they might need to bring, where to par, your contact information and any other bit of information you can think of.
  • Make it a family affair: Be sure to let everyone know that you will gladly accept help from caregivers and family friends.
  • Create a motivating environment by encouraging new ideas. Showing respect, the ability to listen, and exchanging ideas form the foundation of a successful volunteer experience. Answer questions promptly, and make sure all of your volunteers have a full understanding of what they are expected to do. Be willing to discuss any possibilities.
  • For more information, see the original article at 10 Simple Ways to Recruit Volunteers

Author: Town of Oxbow

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