VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism


Visit this page for ideas, suggestions and hints to build recruitment capacity.
~October 2001~
  • Thinking about Recruiting on Line?
  • Keeping the Distant Volunteer
  • 1-2-3 Recruit

There is grief throughout the world for those lost and injured by terrorist attacks. But, there are also thanks for outpourings of love, condolence, sympathy, and encouragement from family, friends and neighbors from Sri Lanka to Sydney to Sacramento, and Sweden.

"Now let us thank the Eternal Power: convinced
That Heaven but tries our virtue by affliction.
That oft the cloud which wraps the present hour
Serves but to brighten all our future days."
John Brown 1715-1766

Thinking about Recruiting on Line?

The college class of 2001 is almost 100% connected to the Internet. This is in contrast to 66% of the general population being online. A Harris poll commission by Northwestern Mutual says the Internet usage by this year's graduating class has doubled since they were freshman, from six hours per week to 11 hours. Students reported that the Internet is bringing them closer to people.

44 % of general population sends or receives e-mail daily or frequently. For the 2001 graduate it was 89%. Contrast this with 36% of the general population using a cell phone, with 38% of the students using cell phones. 74% of both groups reported getting together with friends or family to talk in person.

As time passes more and more people are discovering the benefits of the Internet. Volunteer organizations and programs need to continue to explore and refine their use of the Web and Internet as a means to attract a new generation of volunteers.

Keeping the Distant Volunteer

Some volunteers work far from the headquarters of the organization. Recruiting for these positions has special challenges. The prospective volunteer needs to understand the importance of what they are doing and they, as an individual, are contributing to the mission and goals of the agency or program. Here are some things to include in that recruitment appeal for the distant volunteer.

1-2-3 Recruit

When making a recruiting pitch you can divide your appeal into three parts.

  1. What is the need? Focus on the most compelling service the volunteer provides to meet the need. For example, in the state of Washington volunteer tutors in all grade levels moved children's reading scores on standardized tests up by an average of 8 months. Children in third grade with second grade reading levels were reading at grade level by the end of the year of having a volunteer tutor.
  2. Put them in the picture. Tell the audience how they can volunteer. Stress flexibility and a willingness to work with them. If you know someone in the audience use him or her as an example of how you can work around their personal life to help them be a volunteer.
  3. Close with a personal experience. Tell a brief and funny story that illustrates and reinforces the first two steps. Tell them about real volunteers and the services they provide.


The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future.

The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Crystal Hill at 202-729-8000.


By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer center.

This is a national interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who can help them volunteer.

Copyright 2001 by Nancy Macduff.

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