Recruiting Volunteers

More from the multi-part series on fundraiser preparation. This section is about recruiting volunteers and the best ways to handle personnel assignments.

Fundraiser Preparation: Recruiting Volunteers

Start early
As previously discussed, to get enough volunteers you need to start early. The best way to do that is by pre-recruiting them. In other words, go through last year’s files and select the members that you think will be the most helpful.

Have each of them make a list of three to five potential volunteers and then instruct them to invite each potential helper to the first meeting.

Create an easy sign-up checklist
Next, use your written job descriptions to create a checklist form that has clearly defined positions and time requirements. At your first meeting, circulate a signup sheet where volunteers can place their name and number next to the description of a suitable position.

There is never a better moment to recruit than at the first meeting!

Our neighborhood swim team recruits volunteers in a surprisingly direct fashion. In fact, if your child participates on the swim team, it is a requirement that the parent sign up for at least two tasks, period.

Now that’s volunteer recruiting at it’s best. Certainly, this doesn’t work in many situations like in the public schools, but use it if you can.

Recruit volunteers with special skills
Don’t forget to actively recruit expertise for special areas. A marketing person for your marketing plan, a sales person for your sales script, a bookkeeper for order tallying, a business owner to head your merchant plan.

The bottom line is you can get more and better volunteers by being proactive and by targeting specific skill sets.

Personnel assignments

Get experience
You’ll want involvement from those with specific knowledge of what works. Rely on your veterans from previous efforts, but don’t overload them or you’ll burn them up at a rapid rate.

Build for the future
Key positions need experience, but strive to groom newcomers for the future as well. When recruiting volunteers, empower them to make the right decisions and they’ll feel like they’re making a difference. That empowerment will translate into a higher return rate next year among your volunteer pool.

An example would be a customer satisfaction issue where someone received some damaged goods. Any volunteer will tell you that they hate having to tell a customer that they need to get a refund approved by a chairperson.

Give them the authority to set things right immediately. Your customers and volunteers will be happier and both will be more likely to participate again.

Click Here for Fundraiser Preparation: Communication

Click here for Fundraiser Preparation: Written Documentation

Click Here for Fundraiser Preparation: Overview