How to Recruit Volunteers


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Fundraising is about teamwork. If you want to raise money for your nonprofit organization then, you will have to build a team of volunteers, workers, and other personnel who will help you with your goals. In general, for a non-profit, most of your staff will be volunteers, although you may need to hire some staff as well. Depending on the amount of work involved in your fundraising idea, you may need to recruit extra volunteers or group members just to volunteer.

Why do people volunteer? Volunteers come from all walks of life and from all age groups. In fact, in North America alone, volunteers annually contribute many billions of dollars of billable hours - for no money. There are many reasons why people choose to offer work time for no cost:

•Because they support a cause

•To make a difference or contribute to a community, school, church, team, etc.

•To right a wrong or a lack they see in society

•To gain work experience

•To interact with other people and meet others

•To do something they feel is important

How do you attract volunteers?

      If you don't have a built in group of volunteers, such as the parents of school children, or enough volunteers to conduct your fundraiser, you will have to recruit some. There are many places you can find volunteers for your fundraising effort. You can advertise for them in local newspapers or through word of mouth. You can also advertise for volunteers at schools. College and high school students are often eager to volunteer in order to gain work experience, letters of recommendations. and try out work positions. Some states have volunteer service hours as a requirement for high school graduation. Boy Scouts also have to perform a service project in order to become an Eagle Scout. Many cities also have volunteer bureaus that match up those who want to volunteer with volunteer opportunities.

     Once you have people interested in volunteering, you will want to speak with them about what they can expect from volunteering for your nonprofit. You should mention your fundraising plans and note how you hope volunteers will be able to help you. Then you should sit back and listen to what your potential volunteers think. Volunteers should be able to follow through and should be enthusiastic about your group. Be sure to mention any benefits that your group can offer volunteers (a friendly work environment, computer training, or a reference letter).

Training Volunteers

     Once you have some volunteers willing to help you with your fundraising, you will need to explain to them what you expect from your group and your volunteers. Some volunteers have little or no work experience while others are professionals or even leaders in their field. In either case, you will have to let them know how you want things to be done at your non-profit group.

     To train your volunteers, set aside some time to show your new recruits around the offices or workspace of your organization. Tell them what the group does and how the group got started. Allow your group to ask questions and be sure to give them your fundraising plan so that they can see how they will fit into your group’s effort. Also, show them any specific tasks that need to be done (operating a cash register, for example, or writing out a tax receipt properly) in order for them to do their volunteer work well.