Capital campaigns that engage great volunteers have a better chance of being successful than those that don’t. Why? Because people who volunteer to help with campaigns also give to campaigns — much like board members
Furthermore, people who might have given without volunteering will generally give more if they do volunteer.
That said, lousy volunteers are worse than no volunteers. You can’t fire them without causing damage. And if volunteers take on assignments that they don’t follow through on, those assignments are likely to go undone.
10 Tips to Get the Best Capital Campaign Volunteers
So, you’ve got to know how to recruit excellent campaign volunteers. Here are ten suggestions that will help you do just that.
1. Create a clear process for recruiting volunteers
Who will your volunteer candidates have to speak with? And who will make the decision about whether someone should or shouldn’t be selected? Get crystal clear on your internal process before you invite your prospects to volunteer.
2. Be selective when recruiting your volunteers
Not everyone is good for every role. It’s important to select volunteers who are passionate about your organization’s mission and committed to making a difference.
3. Use existing contacts to identify prime candidates
Start by asking people who are close to you — board members and current volunteers – to recommend others who might help.
4. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of your volunteers
This will help potential volunteers understand what they will be doing. It will also help determine whether the role you’re asking them to play is a good fit for them.
5. Walk through your expectations with the potential volunteer
When recruiting a volunteer, it’s critical to be very clear about the importance of being responsible. Explain exactly what’s required and when. Be up front — let them know that you’ll ask them to step down if they find they can’t do the work the position requires.
6. Outline the benefits someone gets from serving
Serving as a campaign volunteer has its privileges. Many benefits are social – for example:
- Meeting new people
- Being part of something important
- Having access to people with community and organizational ties
What other benefits can you think of?
7. Collect video testimonials from current volunteers
Request video testimonials from those who already volunteer for your organization. You might try a tool like VideoAsk. Ask them to explain how much they enjoy being involved in the work you do. You can share these testimonials with people who are considering the job.
8. Highlight the incredible impact of volunteer work
Sell the volunteer position by highlighting the impact their work will have and the benefits they will get from volunteering.
9. Test your prospective volunteer’s responsibility
Devise a little test to assess whether the potential volunteer is responsible. Do one or both of the following:
- Ask them to email you some basic information
- Request a brief bio or some other small thing
Then, watch carefully to see how long it takes them to get back to you. And what’s the quality of their response? If it’s poor and/or untimely, I wouldn’t ask them to volunteer. People are consistent.
10. Be flexible whenever possible
Be flexible and willing to accommodate the schedules and needs of volunteers. Remember — they’re donating their time to help your organization.
Make it Fun and Rewarding to Volunteer
On top of those 10 tips, perhaps the best key to recruiting great volunteers is making it fun. Strive to make it enjoyable and rewarding to serve as a volunteer throughout your campaign. If you do that well, word will get out and other people will be happy to serve.
Having excellent volunteers helping with your campaign can make a world of difference. Not only can they carry out important tasks, but by becoming involved, your volunteers will be good donors and great advocates for your campaign.