Volunteer Recruitment and Retention in Changing Economic Times (Part 2)

Written by on 08-25-2009

Rethink the way you recruit volunteers. Challenge your approach with new ideas.

CHALLENGE ONE: Define your needs so potential volunteers know you are organized and prepared for them to get to work. Find the right volunteers by asking the right questions!

  • How many volunteers are needed?
  • When do we need them?
  • What tasks will they perform?
  • What skills or qualifications are needed?
  • Who are our ideal candidates?
  • Who should be involved in helping screening them?
  • How do we ensure a diverse group of volunteers? [1]
  • Is there someone who would be a great team leader?
  • What is the outcome of this volunteer opportunity?
  • How does this volunteer job improve or enrich lives?

CHALLENGE TWO: Use the web to communicate volunteer opportunities and share experiences.

In today’s technological world reaching out to the people you want is much easier than just a few years ago. There are tremendous opportunities to utilize social mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to create volunteer networks and share group experiences.

There are also new and different ways to reach out to individuals through free online volunteer recruitment resources such as:




These volunteer match sites have a variety of global and local purposes for outreach and awareness. They allow willing volunteers to find opportunities in a context that interests them. Matching sites also have the potential to bring together different people from varying socio-economic backgrounds, races, gender and age to make a stronger community of volunteers. These sites also allow you as a volunteer coordinator to target your search by utilizing the online fields to sort through requirements, skills and other important qualities in the people you’re bringing on board.

CHALLENGE THREE: Look to Schools

You may also wish to consider students. Most students are required to commit volunteer hours to a cause that interests them. Consider contacting local colleges and high schools to connect with programs that are linked with your particular needs. Often students are looking for opportunities to expand their resumes through internships and volunteer opportunities. You may look in the hospitality & tourism, event specific major, sports management, language departments, computer sciences, and social services departments.

CHALLENGE FOUR: Learn more about the motivations of volunteers on a generational basis.

These are some simple and inexpensive ways to expand your volunteer pool in an efficient manner. To learn more consider these two great books on Volunteer Recruitment and Retention:

1) Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow, Jill Friedman Fixler and Sandie Eichberg with Gail Lorenz, CVA

2) The New Breed : Understanding and Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer, Jonathon and Thomas McKee

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 26, 2009 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Great job helping to increase the awareness of online volunteering.

    Randy Tyler

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