Set Goals for Recruiting
Rare is the volunteer program with too many volunteers. So, how can you become one of those rare programs that has more applicants for volunteer positions than you can possibly use. Planning. Planning. Planning. It begins with goal setting.
Start by knowing who is volunteering now, with a demographic breakdown. You should know the following:
Goals cannot be realistic if there is no knowledge of what exists now. Imagine setting a goal of increasing the volunteer pool by 25% over the next year. In a program of 600 volunteers, that means recruiting 150 new people. Is that the usual amount recruited in a year? What if the program has 25 volunteers? You need to recruit about 6 new people. If you are trying to grow the program this might be too low a percentage. So, start with a thorough knowledge of the volunteers you have now. No matter how small the program.
Goals should do three things:
Post goals where they are visible and record successes. Do not be shy about the results of recruiting that help meet the goals. At the end of the year, meet with the volunteer recruiting team (yes, you need one of these!) and share the results of the efforts to meet the goals, even those you might not have met.
Know Your Immigrant Population
Since 1990 the foreign born population of the United States rose to 31 million people. This is a 57% increase. This is in contrast to the 9.3% increase in the native population and 13% rise in the overall US population. This is a power packed group where recruitment efforts would be new and targeted. What do we know about these folks and where they live?
From American Demographics, March 2004-Sources US
The Volunteer Exit Interview
Exit interviews of long-term volunteers are one way to determine what is going well in the program and what needs changing. The interviews are best done by someone other than the manager of volunteers. Preferably by a trained volunteer team of "exit interviewers." These individuals should be trained on staying neutral during the interview, asking open-ended questions, and avoiding any type of defensiveness. Practice interviews are a must! Here are some possible questions.
Interested in more information? Check out our online bookstore for: Volunteer Screening: An Audio Workbook and Volunteer Recruiting & Retention, A Marketing Approach, by author and managing editor Nancy Macduff. For more information, check out these books and more at our online bookstore.
DAILY POINTS OF LIGHT AWARD FORMS AVAILABLE
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, call 202-729-8000.
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