Maybe you’ve never had to plan a major fundraising event before and recruit volunteers, and now you’re wondering where to start, or maybe you’re just looking for a little inspiration to streamline your existing volunteer program. Even if you’re a volunteer management veteran, you might find some of the following recommendations helpful to up your fundraising game. Whatever the case, the following are four steps to successfully recruit and retain the right volunteers for your charity.
Create a handbook stating the plans and policies of your organization to help volunteers catch your vision and prevent them from becoming liabilities, should something go awry. You will want to clearly lay out your policies on things like discrimination, substance abuse, harassment, dress code, and everything related to your volunteers that could affect your mission.
For more on this subject, 501 Commons has an excellent article with resources for crafting the perfect hand guide that you’ll definitely want to check out.
Find volunteers that will help you fulfill your mission, and the right manager to make them shine.
It’s not just about training your volunteers, it’s retaining them long-term as sharers of your organization’s vision.
As important as it will be to focus on your constituents after an event, your staff will require some attention as well if you hope to retain them. Make sure to recognize the accomplishments of your volunteers--not just as a group, but as individuals, for the specific work they completed.
Also, keep a detailed record of everything done by volunteers, and share the collective achievements of your volunteers not only with your staff but with your community. Never thank your volunteers for working five hours and call it a day; if they fed 230 homeless people, or collectively raised over $3600 at the carnival fundraiser, publicly celebrate that. This will not only reinforce your relationship with your current supporters but catch the attention of the ones looking for places to make an impact with their time and resources in the future. Thank you emails are also important and can be easily sent out utilizing the right fundraising software.
Ask your volunteers for feedback to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your program. Volunteer management is a science and an art, and what works best for you might be a little different than what works for the next Joe. Every time you practice planning for an event, your insight will grow and your skills greatly improve as you continue to make reflective amendments.
Learn more about volunteer management and event planning strategies here.