Recruiting Volunteers

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Ideas for recruiting Volunteers

Some tips first of all...

  • Be clear about the training, supervision and support that potential volunteers will have. If people know they are going to be supported and encouraged while they learn the ropes, they'll be more likely to give volunteering a try. Most people are understandably cautious when they are unclear about what they are signing up for!
  • Be positive about volunteering. People volunteer for many different reasons, so instead of just describing the benefits of helping young people develop, be blatant when letting them know that it's a great addition to their CV and career development!
  • If someone shows an interest, you could ask them if they would like to come down to one of your meetings so that they may see what is involved.

Now, how to find those elusive volunteers...

  • Distribute leaflets and posters near you where women meet or frequent: Local shops, Church notice boards, Sports Clubs, Hospitals, Post Offices, Libraries, Community Centres, pharmacies, local gym, weight-loss meetings, crèches, local GP, dentist, veterinary clinic, playgroups and schools. Always ask permission first!
  • Hold a parents' meeting - you can meet the parents and use this to try and recruit some as helpers or volunteers. Parents sometimes think that Guiders are paid, so be clear that you are a volunteer, not a babysitter! Sell the positive points and instead of making them think they are doing you a favour, let them know that although it can be a lot of hard work, it's a rewarding job to volunteer. Even if they aren't interested in helping out right now, keep parents informed and updated on what goes on at meetings/events as they may volunteer in the future. If they are not able to volunteer on a full time basis, they might commit to helping out on outings, etc. or even from time to time at meetings.
  • Host a mother and daughter tea party- you might recruit some mums! And if not, at least it will be fun. Why not make it fancy dress and get everyone to bring some cakes and biscuits?
  • Host a mother and daughter event - perhaps a bowling night, visit to a local event, circus, fi lm, swimming night, keep-fit meeting, etc.
  • Advertise in colleges that have nursing, education or caring professional courses. State in the advert that volunteering in the youth/community sector is great on their CV!
  • Hold a coffee night where adult members 'bring a pal', and showcase what fun you have in your Company/Unit. Even play some games with the adults!
  • If you don't ask, you don't get... get talking to people in your community and let them know if you need volunteers. They might know a friend or neighbour who might be suitable and interested in volunteering.
  • It didn't work last time... don't only try recruitment strategies once, your timing may have been wrong, circumstances might have changed etc. The best recruitment strategies will depend on the particulars of any community/ parish/ location and the choices are only limited to what you and your fellow Guiders can imagine! So get creative with your recruitment ideas and if they work, don't forget to tell us so we can share your great ideas to all the Guiders in CGI.
  • Don't forget to have fun too! Girls love guiders who enjoy working with them, who have fun, and who encourage their growth and personal development. Great Guiders are essential to keeping girls in CGI so keep up the good work!
  • Don't forget about retention! Girls who are happy in their Company/Unit will tell their friends, so see what you can do to improve your Company/Unit. Stuck for ideas? -get onto our facebook page and get a discussion going! There is a whole community out there of CGI Guiders with great ideas, so get talking!
  • If you find you do have members leaving your Unit/Company, find out why they are leaving. There are many reasons why girls/Guiders choose to leave, Guiding doesn't always suit everyone. However, if you ask why people are leaving, you might find for example that your meeting time clashes with another popular community activity etc. or there could be problems with another member in the group. It's always best to find potential problems as early as possible so you can see what your Unit/ Company can do to solve them. If you need advice, talk to your Diocese/Region or the National Office.