Ask Connie

Boards & Committees




Internet Resources

Management & Supervision


Recruiting & Retention


Tech Tips


Volunteer Program Evaluation Series

Who We Are

VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism



Visit this page for ideas, suggestions and hints to build recruitment capacity.

~ May 2003 ~Topics

NEW at our online bookstore: ONE MINUTE ANSWER TO VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT QUESTIONS: A PRACTICAL APPROACH by Mary Kay Hood. Written especially for the beginner, this book provides a quick reference for the practical aspects of managing a volunteer program. One Minute Answer Book Recruiting & Retention book Image

Show Me the Money

Volunteers are donors. And regardless of income, when people volunteer they frequently give money to the organization where they provide services. Here are some interesting facts about philanthropy in the United States.

Donations to Charity by Household

All contributing Households

All Volunteers








Hispanic (can be of any race)


Ages 21-29


Ages 30-39


Ages 40-49


Ages 50-64


Ages 65+


Less than high school


High school graduate


Some college


College graduate



Independent Sector, “Giving and Volunteering,” 2001

Cities with Highest Annual Givers

Averaged Annual Household Giving
San Francisco, CA
Boston, MA
Rochester, NY
Washington, DC
Naples, FL

$956 - $1093
Salinas, CA
New York City, NY
Minneapolis, MN
Punta Gorda, FL
Anchorage, AK

$890 -$954
Seattle, WA
Denver, CO
Chicago, IL
Atlanta, GA
Fort Pierce, FL

$876 - $886
San Diego, CA
Dallas, TX
Detroit, MI
Raleigh-Durham, NC
West Palm Beach, FL

$854 - $860

Source: ESRI Business Information Solutions

Return to the Menu
Targeting Your Message to Recruit

Some volunteer positions require physical agility and strength. Recruiting such volunteers needs to be targeted. One way to reach these people is through the clubs or organizations to which they belong. If the club is one that requires agility and strength to carry out the activities, then members are likely to be interested in volunteering for position where they can use that strength. This includes, but is not limited to, rock climbing or mountaineering groups, bicycling clubs, sports walking groups, and weight lifting organizations. The increasing presence of “gym” or sports clubs around the globe makes a ready target of those who go to them, for the savvy recruiter.

In the United States for example, 58 million people are members of health clubs, and this includes those generous older patrons of 55-plus. The demographic diversity in clubs means that generic marketing is not likely to reap any rewards. For example, one company delivered samples of their product to a tennis club during a senior’s tennis tournament. This is called “niche marketing.” It is targeting the people most likely to be interested in the product or service.

For volunteer recruiters it means finding people in the targeted group who are willing to help develop a method of reaching out to the potential volunteer with the right message. For example, at that tennis tournament, clients or volunteers could assist by handing out water, towels, and tennis balls. They could wear t-shirts from the organization, free advertising could appear in any of the booklets prepared for the tournament, and a volunteer sign up booth could have literature on being a volunteer. Lots of time is spent standing around at such things as tournaments or races. How can a recruiting appeal be sandwiched in those places? And remember, the appeal is to the physically fit!

Some of these groups or clubs might be interested in sponsoring an event as a “friend” raiser, rather than fund raiser. It would be a bike race to recruit volunteers rather than raise money. The racers would receive prizes, but all the effort would be aimed toward finding more volunteers for the organization.
Never overlook new and innovative ways to tell the needs of the organization and how people can help. And start looking for new places to do that.

Interested in more information? Check out our online bookstore for: Recruiting and Retention: A Marketing Approach, by Nancy Macduff. Recruiting Book Recruiting & Retention book Image

Return to the Menu
Giving Speeches Make You Nervous?

Giving speeches is the most feared activity next to snakes for most adults. Here are some tips to help you conquer your fears.

Know your audience. What do these people want? Are you there to help them make a decision? Support your cause? Or fix a problem? Many volunteer appeal speeches are at luncheon and dinner meetings where the participants want to laugh and visit with friends. Organize the speech to be short, humorous, and engaging.

Reframe negative thoughts. If all your thoughts are about your fear and loathing of giving speeches you enhance your own nervousness. Think positive thoughts. I will answer questions that are important tonight. I will encourage someone to volunteer. I am charming and it will show.

Organize your speech with a structure to help people follow your thinking. Assume you are recruiting volunteers to work with children in foster care or for a museum docent program. “Let me tell you the story of Picasso and Annette, an artist and a little girl living in foster care. You know Picasso, the wonderful artist (slides would be great here!), but you don’t know Annette and how Picasso changed her life.” Tell Annette’s story in heart warming, not pathetic terms. “A volunteer came into her life and introduced her to Picasso. The volunteer even bought a Picasso coloring book for Annette when she was 8.” Talk about how coloring and talking with the volunteer gave Annette confidence and she did better in school, was easier to handle in the foster care situation, and is now in middle school and quite the artist. End with, “You or a friend of yours could be the person who helps the next Annette in our community to grow and develop in healthy ways. And Picasso is waiting to lend a helping hand.”

Control tension stress. Imagine the worst thing that can happen at the speech. Tense your muscles as you think they might be at that moment and then practice relaxing them. Do this over several days so you can feel “tense” and you can feel “relaxed.” Then at the speech you can move from one mode to the next, because you have already done it.

Blue triangle line Image

Return to the Menu

Interested in assessing volunteer and staff relations in your program?

Looking for help from an expert?

Get help with one of the Volunteer Program Evaluation Series.



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.

Return to Top

A Service of MBA Publishing All materials copyright protected ©2003
925 "E" Street Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 529-0244 FAX: (509) 529-8865 EMAIL: editor@volunteertoday.com

The content of all linked sites are beyond the control Volunteer Today and the newsletter assumes no responsibility for their content.