Top Tips for Attracting Volunteers

Some organisations are inundated with offers of support while others struggle to find volunteers.

Top Tips
Word of mouth is still top of the list as one of the most successful ways to attract volunteers so make sure you’re asking your volunteers to spread the word.
Dedicate a volunteer role to recruiting others or involve volunteers in as many ways as possible. Volunteers could help write your recruitment messages and promote the opportunities at recruitment talks.
Give great customer service! As people's lives get busier they get choosier how they spend their time. People now expect things to happen a lot quicker so make sure and get back to potential volunteers quickly even if it is just to give clear timescales for the next steps.  You are more likely to attract volunteer by providing an efficient, friendly experience. 
Allow volunteers to try it out before they commit.  Promoting taster sessions for volunteering roles can be more appealing for people who like to ‘try before they buy’.  This can alleviate any fears people have about the role and making a longer term commitment.
Open yourself up to offers!  You may be surprised what talents and experience people may bring and offer to do for you that don’t fit into a role but would be useful for your organisation.  Make sure potential volunteers know you’re open to offers.
Try and be as flexible as possible. Some people like to suggest what they could do but others like to see clearly what is on offer and what you are asking from them. For example promoting specific tasks, skills required and time commitment up front.
Providing a wide range of ways people can volunteer can increase your chances of attracting a wide range of volunteers.  Can support from volunteers be given online? At one of events? Over the telephone? Short term?
Can you accommodate teams or group opportunities? Make sure you promote this as these are often in demand and difficult to find.  Promoting the opportunity to volunteer with friends and family can also attract people.
Make sure your volunteering roles are interesting enough. Would you do them? If they are not motivating to you then they are unlikely to motivate others. You could mix up some of the less interesting tasks with others to make the roles more enjoyable.
Promote the difference volunteers make. People are more likely to be motivated if they can see the impact they could make through volunteering.This could be for example reducing loneliness for older people or improving people’s quality of life.
Promote the positive impact volunteering can have on volunteers! Share the great benefits such as making friends, increased confidence, learning new skills.  What can volunteers expect from you? If you offer training or other opportunities promote these too.