I bet right now that at least some of you are already starting to recruit volunteers. And I bet that each of you has your own way of appealing to soon-to-be volunteers; you already are experienced, and this was covered in our training just a few weeks ago. But now that you are at your site, let’s revisit it and take a look at how you can turbo-charge your recruiting. One of the challenges that Volunteer Maryland Coordinators face, especially in their first few weeks, is the direct recruiting of volunteers. With no or little shared history and experience with these volunteers, it can be daunting to try and re-forge old connections or seek out new ones. One of the hardest things to do is convince people to give up their free time to help someone they don’t even know.
One of the most effective ways is to attract volunteers at a personal level. Your cause might be the greatest cause out there, but are you conveying that to your audience? Another way to ask this is “How are you sharing your organization’s story?”. To do great outreach, you need to tap into “you”, the passion that brought you here, to get attention and capture hearts. Take some time and get all introspective for a minute. What is your story of how you ended up at this organization? Try putting it in words so that a stranger could understand it.
Know what inspires you about your organization, your story, so that you can share that with your volunteers. Find a way to embrace the organization’s foundation story and to put it in your own words. You don’t need to wax poetic to your audience- I’m sure they would like to hear the nuts and bolts of the volunteer position too, but your heartfelt advocacy of your cause will still come through. And you can draw on a number of volunteer management experts on the way to perfecting your pitch.
For a fun example of how you can inspire others with your own love of service, take a look at short videos of our Pre-Service Training service projects (you can make your own for free too!).