October 6, 2017 Five Resources to Find Volunteers for Your Event
We recently heard “We don’t have a very big volunteer base” from one of our clients. We were discussing their upcoming event and it saddened me to hear that. This nonprofit staff member was pretty much a one-woman show and it was obvious that she felt as though she were on an island by herself. I didn’t have the background of her organization’s internal structure but it was easy to see that she needed help.
As we continued to discuss the volunteer needs for the event we talked about various resources she could tap. I’d like to share these ideas with other nonprofits who may be in the same or similar situation with their volunteer base.
Local Colleges – Many fraternities and sororities require their members to do community service. What a better way to accomplish that goal than by volunteering with your nonprofit to help you execute the best event possible?
Corporations – There are department stores and other corporations who encourage their employees to give back by participating in their communities. For instance, in our area Kohl’s department stores will provide volunteers to help out at your event. Check out their website to see if your nonprofit qualifies for this wonderful way to staff your event. As an added bonus, they’ll even pitch in a $500 grant to your nonprofit!
Volunteer Exchange – This is a fancy term that I came up with to describe what is in essence a volunteer swap. Simply contact a local fellow nonprofit group to see if they will provide volunteers for your event. In return, you and your volunteers help them with theirs. This is a great way to help your community, grab some nuggets from different events that you might incorporate into your event and learn about the missions being carried out in your area.
Local Churches or Clubs – Reach out to your church friends and ask if they’d like to help staff your event with volunteers. Or maybe they have friends who would be interested in volunteering.
Clubs are also a great resource – you can check with your local Rotary, Kiwanis and Young Professionals, to name only a few. In return for their assistance, you might offer to make a donation to their group.
Networking – While YOU may not know folks who would be willing to volunteer, don’t forget about your personal network. We all know someone who knows someone. This is a great time to call in favors. Begin working your network early in the planning and be sure to be specific about your volunteer needs.
I’m sure there are other resources you can tap but this list should help you get a leg-up on building a volunteer team that will make your fundraising event a resounding success.
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