Most charity organisations know the importance of recruiting and retaining volunteers. For projects to run smoothly, charities must have a team of people working passionately to ensure that the organisation fulfills its mandate. The reality is that charities cannot afford to have as many staff members as they would wish since most charities depend on donor funding. Thus volunteers are indispensable. With each passing year, the number of people who are willing to volunteer for charities has been dwindling since most people would rather spend their time watching TV or being on their computer.
How to Recruit Volunteers
Use social media: If you run a charity and you want to reach out to more people, you should consider using social media platforms, such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Package your call for volunteers in a way that attracts people. Use photos that will convince them that your charity organisation is worth volunteering for.
Use word of mouth: Do not be afraid of talking about your charity organisation to the people you meet. Of course, you don’t have to be pushy when doing this. Politely tell people about your organisation and ask them if they would be interested to join as volunteers.
Use your team: Your team can be very influential in recruiting volunteers. Tell them to reach out to people they know and ask if they are willing to become volunteers. Remember that you have to make your team feel valued if you want them to help in getting volunteers.
How to Retain Volunteers
Make them feel appreciated: Everyone wants to feel appreciated, including volunteers. You do not have to pay them to show your appreciation. you could simply acknowledge them and recognise them when they do an outstanding thing.
Understand their strengths and weaknesses: Do not have a blanket duty that you expect the volunteers to fulfill. They all have their strengths and weakness. For instance, a volunteer who is struggling with osteoarthritis of the knee or any other condition which makes it hard to move might not be the best to put on outdoor activities, but they could help with paperwork.
Give them titles: Volunteers feel motivated if they have titles instead of simply being referred to as volunteers. For instance, if someone is helping with accounts, call them “accounts assistant” instead of volunteer. It makes them feel like you are recognising them for something specific.
Listen to their concerns and feedback: If you want volunteers to feel like they are part of your team and stay longer, you should listen to what they say. Do not brush them off or give an impression that what they are saying and feeling does not matter.