Finding volunteers

Different people have different reasons for volunteering.

Interestingly the most common trigger is “because I was asked”. So your task is to find the right people to ask.

Look at your volunteer role description – what sort of volunteer are you after and what might motivate them to volunteer for you? Are you offering training? Is it a caring role? Will they be helping to change or improve something? Will they be outdoors? Will they gain practical skills?

Boil your recruitment message down into a direct ask.

Your message will probably include:

  • what the volunteer role is
  • what the organisation as a whole does
  • how a new volunteer can make a difference
  • what the volunteer may get out of the experience
  • how to find out more

Getting your message out there

Talk – word of mouth is the most cost effective tool there is. Make sure that everyone who knows about your organisation knows that you need volunteers. Ask friends and family first and ask them to pass it on.

Register  with Volunteering Kirklees – we’ll tell potential volunteers about your opportunities and can help you advertise them on the national volunteering website (www.do-it.org.uk).

Plan  decide which methods of communication best suit your target audience. It’s helpful to track what has produced results and what hasn’t so you can use your time and resources wisely. Think about:

  • Leaflets and posters – in community centres, local shops, libraries, places of worship, front windows etc
  • Social media such as Facebook and Twitter – update often to keep them fresh
  • Events, talks and presentations – use every chance to say you need volunteers
  • Local media – volunteering makes a good story and gets you free publicity
  • Partnerships – team up with schools, colleges, employers, places of worship etc
  • Remember you are competing with other organisations, so sell what you do and how you involve volunteers.

Open to everyone

How will you communicate with hard to reach groups? Do you need to translate things into other languages? Will people with disabilities know that you will support them to volunteer with you?

If you know your message is not getting to specific groups in your community go and talk to them and find out why. Volunteering Kirklees can give you advice on how best to support volunteers with additional needs.