Today’s post comes from Michael Nealis, Interactive Strategy Coordinator for Points of Light Institute.
Recruiting volunteers is easy. I’ve talked to people at volunteer recruitment events, in line at the grocery store, at the library, waiting for lunch, even at an event where I was volunteering, and gotten them all to volunteer for a project that I had. All it took was two things.
First, I asked them.
No one is going to volunteer for your event if you don’t ask them.
The second reason is because I knew how to ask them. The person in line at the grocery store probably didn’t have a burning desire to volunteer their time, but I knew how to ask them in a way that made them want to volunteer. Something in what I said to them made them think, “He’s right. That cause is important, and I know that I can help.” So what’s the difference between a recruitment message that doesn’t bring in volunteers and one that does?
Alright, puppies and kittens are cute, it’s a great hook, but that’s not going to be enough to get just anyone volunteer at a shelter.
When you make your ask, you’ve got to have an opening message that’s enough to make your potential volunteer keep listening to what you’ve got to say.
“There is a population of adorable animals that you can help find a home!”
Next comes the pitch. This is “why” and “what” the volunteers are going to be addressing.
Make sure to include the need that is being filled by the volunteer’s work, how the volunteer’s work helps to meet that need, and the benefits of the volunteer work. It’s important to address any kinds of worries your potential volunteer might have about the opportunity, too. Don’t forget to tell the potential volunteer just who they need to contact to volunteer.
There is a population of adorable animals that you can help find a home, and you can help without having to open up your own home! At Your Local Shelter there are a wide range of opportunities to help to reduce the population of stray and shelter-housed animals. You don’t have to work directly with the animals, there is plenty of work to do that doesn’t involve direct interactions with them, but there are plenty of opportunities to help socialize our animals too! To start helping to find homes for the wonderful companion animals at Your Local Shelter, call Joe Smith at 555-1212.
Before you know it, the person next to you in line at the grocery could be your next volunteer!