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The Internet is a great way to recruit volunteers – we here at VolunteerMatch obviously believe that. But it’s not the only way, and it’s important for any well-rounded volunteer coordinator to know other great ways to engage volunteers. Below, guest blogger Paul Taylor suggests a few.
Guest post by Paul Taylor
Volunteers are all around you. It just requires looking in the right place, then recognizing the right person. By enlisting and maintaining a dependable group of volunteers, your nonprofit can accomplish more for less money, increase the level of community involvement and give the organization a higher profile in the community. Here are some tips for finding the right people and keeping them coming back to volunteer:
If your nonprofit is a public organization such as a museum that accepts visitors, people who visit your organization frequently as patrons might be good candidates to volunteer, as well. Make a point of posting volunteer opportunities where they are highly visible inside the building and include clear instructions as to how interested parties can apply. Let paid staff know you are seeking volunteers so they can steer any potential volunteers to you. If you notice particular individuals who are regular visitors, it doesn’t hurt to approach them personally and inquire if they are interested in volunteering.
Friends of Volunteers
It’s a fact that individuals who volunteer their time are often acquainted with others who do the same – or wish to. Spread the word among existing volunteers that you wish to expand the circle, and ask them to inquire among friends and family. Since current volunteers already have a good grasp of your nonprofit’s needs and general operation, they are also aware of the demands of the job and are well-positioned to bring in candidates who are suited to the task.
Persons who are no longer active in the work force are a tremendous resource of experience and life skills. They also often have daylight hours with free time and very flexible schedules. Put the word out to local retirement community directors and senior activity centers that you have an outlet for the talents and experience of retired persons.
Once you have a qualified volunteer, keep them coming back on a regular basis by following a few basic tips: Try to assign tasks that take advantage of their talents. Make clear what is expected of them. Do what you can to make volunteering convenient by adjusting schedules and work days to fit the volunteer’s needs, and try to make the job fun, as well. Remember to always show appreciation for the volunteer’s efforts.
Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related to “babysittingjobs.com.” He personally thinks his blog will help in finding information on all things related to a babysitter.
(Photo from freedigitalphotos.net)