Two New Reasons to Recruit Volunteers: Family Volunteer Day and International Volunteer Day!
Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 by Verified Volunteers Staff
Regardless of your geographic location or the types of communities that you support, recruiting and retaining volunteers can feel like an uphill battle. We’ve posted several blog entries about creating a positive volunteer experience to help increase retention, but the reality is, volunteerism in America is on the decline.
As important as it is to focus on your organization’s spotlight projects, getting involved in the greater volunteer community can help you attract new volunteers. In the U.S. alone, there are several days each year dedicated solely to volunteer efforts. To highlight a few:
• Corporate Philanthropy Day
• Random Acts of Kindness Week
• National Volunteer Week
• Global Youth Service Day
• Make a Difference Day
• National Philanthropy Week
Each of these nationally organized efforts bring millions of volunteers out of the woodwork. In the next few weeks, two more events will be taking place: Family Volunteer Day and International Volunteer Day. Both of these events are excellent opportunities to draw new volunteers to your organization.
How to Prepare for Volunteer Recruiting Opportunities
When it comes to connecting with potential volunteers, nonprofit groups need to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Be prepared for these events and you’ll be able to maximize those opportunities.
1) Be aware!
Do you know what opportunities are coming up to get involved in your community? Do you know what national events are coming up? If you don’t, make a more concerted effort to stay connected. Each of these events is a golden opportunity to recruit volunteers.
2) Promote the Opportunity
Now you know which opportunities are around the corner, but you need to share that information in order to encourage potential volunteers to participate. Email blasts, social media and adding an “Upcoming Events” section to your website will help spread the word.
Be sure to share the reason your organization is getting involved in these volunteer events, the types of projects you’re working on, and why this opportunity might be right for them. What else should you include?
• When the event is happening
• What it’s all about
• How they can get involved
• Where it’s all going down
3) Engage with Everyone – Networking is Everything!
During the event, branch out and meet new people. Take an interest in them: Why did they decide to come out? What types of projects might they be interested in helping with in the future? Tell them about your organization and the type of work that you do for the community. Invite them to stay in touch with you via your social media network or volunteer newsletter.
4) Reflect and Follow Up
Once the event is over, don’t just pack up shop and go home. You’ve spent the day alongside hundreds if not thousands of people that are trying to get involved. Follow up with these individuals and share some of the success stories from your organization’s day at the event. Invite them to your next event, or let them know about other opportunities to volunteer with your organization.
It’s paramount that all of us involved in the volunteer community share information and encourage more people to get involved. Here’s some additional information on the upcoming events noted earlier:
Family Volunteer Day:
When: Saturday, November 22, 2014
What: Family Volunteer Day was started more than 20 years ago by Points of Light. The day demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together to support their community. This year, the event was organized by generationOn with their exclusive sponsor Disney Friends for Change.
How to Get Involved: Plan a project and share it with the community, or search for a project in your community that needs some more helping hands.
International Volunteer Day:
When: Friday, December 5, 2014
What: International Volunteer Day was launched in 2012 by UNV (United Nations Volunteers) with the purpose of raising awareness about the contribution of volunteerism and promoting the integration of volunteerism in our lives. This is an opportunity to celebrate volunteerism in your community.
How to Get Involved: Check out the IVD 2014 website tips for great suggestions on how to celebrate.