Recruiting Volunteers (Quality vs Quantity)

Recruiting volunteers is a process that should produce quality over quantity, because it’s important for organizations to find the best fit for the position.

Perfecting the ask will be a process that always changes, but you have to start there… Just ask.

Ask members and people in your local network because people appreciate being considered to volunteer. If you want to branch out from your inner network, you can try searching the local area for qualified, and interested candidates.

There are a few PRO TIPS to ensure the initial inquiry of candidates match your organization, and most importantly, the position.

Golden Rules for Recruiting Volunteers

  1. Create a short list: working with your board leadership, list the people who everyone thinks would fit well.
  2. Stress the importance of relationship-building: one volunteer that lasts years is worth more than a few that only last a year.
  3. And, remember “No” is not forever: Don’t take an initial “No” as rejection and completely write them off. Yearly schedules and life events change circumstances.

So, now that you know these basics, you’ll want to refine the following sections of your volunteer recruitment:

Job Title & Description

People will be interested in the actual title of the position, just as if it was an employment opportunity. Recruiting volunteers is no different.

Providing a healthy amount of details atop a relevant title will help you filter out unqualified, or just plain uninterested candidates. This is perhaps the most crucial element to recruiting volunteers.

There’s usually plenty of items to work with if you sit and discuss your group’s progress (wins v. losses) and areas that can be improved. What worked, and what didn’t work as well? Are some there programs or events that could be enhanced with a person focusing on them?

Hone the position responsibilities down rather than having it cover several elements of the organization, and you’ll ensure the autonomy needed to make it a success.

On-boarding & Volunteering Process

It would be wise to consider a handbook that has relevant group information such as:

  • Contact Information for Board Members
  • School Emergency Contacts
  • Membership Directory
  • Relevant Account Passwords (Admin Access)
  • Organizational Mission/Vision
  • Complete Job Description/Responsibilities
  • Budget/Expense Sheets
  • Event Notes

Once they have the tools and information needed to do the job, there should be a single meeting with the leadership to introduce the new volunteer. Familiarize them with everyone and their roles in an informal/relaxed setting to ensure everyone gets comfortable before the real work starts.

A second introduction should be made to the members at a regularly scheduled meeting. This allows you to familiarize them with the new position and how it benefits their family. And it’s nice to get to know the parents and children before they get started with reaching out and organizing events.

Hours-Based System (Points Tracking)

Consider tracking hours as a way to incentivize and reward committed volunteers. Since there is no reimbursement, a points-based system allows you to see (and reward) those who go above and beyond. This helps show appreciation for current volunteers while telling future volunteers that you value their time.

PRO TIP: For one-time or sporadic volunteering of parents or members, a points-based system allows them to hit a mark determined by your group to have satisfied their commitments. Better yet? Turn it into a fundraising element where parents or families can buy their way out of needing to hit the points/hours amounts required of membership.

Sign Ups

These digital tools can help you gather initial interest and plan groups and slots for any event. You’ll want to include:

  • Clear Event Description
  • Location, Date, and Time(s)
  • RSVP section
  • Position Groups & Time Slots

PTOffice makes finding, managing, and recruiting volunteers as easy as possible. Customizable and mobile-friendly, our sign ups allow you to establish volunteer criteria, provide self OR admin check-ins, track volunteer hours or points, and send auto reminders at the frequency you choose.