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On this page are ideas to help you work more efficiently with volunteers. There are tips on recruiting, engaging, coordinating, and managing the work of volunteers.

~January 2013 ~




Providing information to volunteers and board members on how they can support the organization in painless ways is important.  Volunteers are donors.  Help them learn how to help your cause.  Put it on Facebook.  Twitter.  Web site.  In newsletter.  Here are three examples:

  • Socialvest.us------1.5 million charities are registered with this site.  Purchases can made at the site or with a registered credit card at 100+ retailers in the US.
  • TabForACause.org-----Add this group’s link to Facebook or Web page.  Every time you open a new tab a fraction of a penny is donated to a charity you choose.  There are ads, but caution users to ignore them.
  • Shopkick.com-----A smart phone app where you earn points at participating stores.  You can cash in for cash or turn into a charitable gift.

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Remember the days of the phonathon.  There are still organizations who use the traditional “phone” call to raise money.  A recent report in the Chronicle of Philanthropy indicates that the money raised in phoneathons is dwindling each year.  Can the manager of volunteers learn something from the decline in giving that applies to recruiting? The old methods of recruiting are not working like their phoneathon cousin.

But, there is a new tool in the recruiting arsenal: social media.  Organizations experienced in harnessing this new way to raise dollars elusive donors call it the “connectathon,” using all of social media to make the “ask.”

The strategy used begins with an email to former and current donors.  Say you will contact them with a phone call or a social media contact via such sites as Twitter or Facebook.  This strategy can be used to recruit volunteers, too.  Here are tips on how to recruit those elusive volunteers.


Build a big “connection” database

At information booths collect email and Twitter addresses or Facebook; episodic volunteers provide the same information, anyone interested in organization voluntarily provides contact information. 

Build a sophisticated data base.

Create a data where you can sort by zip code, if they have ever volunteered, where they signed up, and other things specific to your program.

Build a campaign to recruit.

Start with email campaign.  Make phone calls; then Twitter, perhaps Facebook or MySpace.  Do things in stages.

Do the recruiting campaign in stages.  Start with those who have already volunteered. 

Do the recruiting campaign in stages.

Start with those who have already volunteered. 

Train volunteers doing calling or tweeting on your “story.”

Have practice sessions.  Make your recruitment “ask” persuasive.  Talk about the mission.  This can be done electronically.



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