Whether you’ve found them or not, your association’s membership is filled with potential volunteers. The trick is just getting them to come forward.
Where, oh where are they?! How can you entice them to get involved? Here are a few tricks:
1. Tell them why you’re doing what you’re doing
A lot of volunteers (or potential volunteers) stay on the sidelines because they’re not really sure how their involvement will have an impact on the association.
Tell them! Instead of saying “We need volunteers to help out at our next event” say, “We need volunteers to help make this a warm and welcoming event, particularly for our new members. We want them to stay with our organization and attend more events in the future!” (You can even sell this better by reminding members of their first event with your association.)
The more people can see that their actions WILL have an impact, the more they’ll actually want to get involved.
2. Give them options
Want volunteers’ ears to perk up? Give THEM the power! Instead of saying “We need volunteers on this day only” say, “We need volunteers on this day and this day - multiple time slots available!”
See how much more enticing that is? But don’t just limit this to time. Vary up the tasks as well. Give them options for what they can do - check people in at your next conference, write a quick blurb in your newsletter, attend a city meeting for advocacy purposes, etc.
The more options you give people, the more receptive they’ll be.
3. Inform them of results
This will actually capture the attention of several people and for several reasons. First, it will capture the attention of your existing volunteers because they’ll want to hear how what they did helped. (Was that city meeting successful? How many people read that blurb in your association’s newsletter?)
But second, it will capture the attention of potential volunteers because if they can see that these tasks actually have an impact (going back to point #1), they’ll be more inclined to volunteer themselves. No one wants to waste their time - that’s what volunteers are afraid of (that and the time commitment). Show them otherwise by sharing these results!
Volunteer recruitment is tricky - as is retention. If you need help on either of those fronts, check out our free guide to volunteer management below!