Internet volunteer recruitment strategy
Internet volunteer recruitment is playing an ever increasing role in the recruitment of volunteers for community organizations. Maybe not in the way you might think though! Internet volunteer recruitment for community organizations is not about getting your volunteers to sign up on the net. It's about pre-selling your potential volunteers by providing lots targeted information about your benefits message.
Before we continue, go back and have a look at the
reasons to volunteer
page. There you'll learn how your benefits message is a critical to your recruitment success. If you make the selling of your benefits message part of your relationship building process then you'll never have de-motivated volunteers because they'll be volunteering for the right reasons (that they bought into).
Your internet volunteer recruitment strategy plays a significant role in your relationship build process. Create a special section on your community organization's website for your potential volunteers. This section should contain everything you need to pre-sell those people on the benefits of volunteering for your organization. Obviously your list of benefits is an important part of this section. Feel free to use some of the text from the
reasons to volunteer
page if you wish. Another aspect of volunteering that I sell is a good volunteer training program. Sell the skills that they'll learn during this training and if any of these will help in their life outside of volunteering then sell that as well.
When you feel that you've identified some potential volunteers from one your relationship building events, ask them to take a look at your website. If the volunteers section link is placed in a strategic position on your site then you can be sure theyll have a look at it.
section we dealt with the first half of the relationship building process for volunteers. Now we'll deal with the second half of that process. Hopefully by this stage you will be dealing with people who are pre-sold on the benefits of volunteering, thanks to your internet volunteer recruitment strategy.
Even when your internet volunteer recruitment strategy succeeds in producing a series of pre-sold potential volunteers, those people can feel a unexplained sense of uneasiness. This is because their sub-conscious mind is objecting, due to the perceived loss of freedom associated with volunteering. This is perfectly natural because your sub-conscious mind hates change. You can imagine the internal conflict going something like this: your conscious mind reads the pre-selling material and says, "You know, I like the sound of this. I'll feel real good about helping our youth and the social side of volunteering should be really good". The sub-conscious then says, "Yeah, but you'll be giving up your precious free time!" And so it goes.
The best way to deal with this type of objection is to deal with it before it is raised. When Im trying to overcome the potential loss of freedom objection before it is raised I usually say something like, When I was first asked to help out I thought if would be too time consuming. I just couldnt see what was in it for me. It turned out that it I didnt feel it was time-consuming at all once I understood the benefits we offer the local community and especially our youth. I actually enjoy what Im doing because it is so beneficial to the kids and their development. You know what they say, time flies when youre enjoying yourself! The skills I gained have been very valuable to me in my life outside of this organization. But the best thing of all is that, I always know that in the future I will be able to see the positive impact that this work has on the lives of our young people. That is a great feeling when you are able to see them using the skills they have learned here.
This usually clears the way to ask for them to do the next task. Follow the "Baby Steps" principle by starting with small tasks and then moving to progressively bigger tasks as the person becomes more comfortable. It is very important that you consider the social aspects even for these small tasks. If you can get a few potential volunteers involved in these small tasks so that they can have a good chat while they work, so much the better; in fact I highly recommend it!
After a couple of small tasks the potential volunteer is usually ready for a slightly larger task. After that they have most likely become a volunteer, with the minimum of resistance.
Return from Internet Volunteer Recruitment to Volunteers