BOOKS AND RESOURCES
UNUSUAL RECRUITING RESOURCE
Our local travel agent recently sponsored a reception for representatives from three cruise lines. It was an opportunity to learn about cruise ship destinations and amenities. Also among the speakers was a “travel wholesaler.”
A What?! A travel wholesaler purchases unused hotel rooms, airline seats, or cruise space at a highly discounted rate. The wholesaler then works with the local travel agent to craft the perfect visit for individuals. [Keep reading! The volunteer part is coming]
During this wholesaler’s presentation he mentioned that a local travel agent had a traveler who asked to do some volunteer work, especially with animals. The wholesaler arranged for the family to volunteer with the local humane association. The idea was so intriguing to this wholesaler that he has lined up other nonprofits willing to take on episodic volunteer travelers.
This unique resource might work in your location. Let’s say you live in Cleveland. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a big draw. What about the zoo? So, a mom from Dallas is coming to town for a conference. Dad and two pre-teens are coming too. Dad has to figure out what to do while Mom is at all her meetings. The family is making arrangements through a local travel agency.
If the wholesaler used by the family’s Dallas travel agency knows about volunteer opportunities in Cleveland they can make suggestions to the agent who in turn has the kids and Dad doing service and having a “behind the scenes” view. It could be four hours volunteering at the zoo or museum and reduced admission rate for the other half of the day. Yep, it seems complicated, but coffee with a local travel agent could help get information on travel wholesalers who have packages for your location.
This might be a great project for a small committee of experienced volunteers who are also travel savvy. Share this article. Set some parameters and a deadline. Have them keep you posted.
You need specific jobs, descriptions, and a management mechanism that might involve more experienced volunteers as supervisors. It is important to remember that reaching out to unique audiences builds visibility for the organization and its mission. Think of a newspaper or TV story following this family. This seems like work, but is certainly could be worth the effort.
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