April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week. It’s the perfect time to recruit new volunteers to your organization.
Start by putting out a call for volunteers. If your organization wants help, you’re going to have to ask for it. Plan an open house for prospective volunteers and advertise it. Your website, blog, Facebook, and newsletter are the obvious places to start, but where else can you find volunteers in Charlottesville?
Online Listing Services
Submit a volunteer listing on the following websites: CNE, Idealist.org, and VolunteerMatch. You can also advertise for volunteers on Craigslist and CvilleCalendar, or take out a free ad at Cvillenews.com.
Once you’re planned an open house or volunteer orientation, alert the media. Send out a press release. Suggest a feel good story about your organization. When a reporter calls, push your need for volunteers. NBC-29 and CBS-19 are really good about highlighting organizations’ need for volunteers.
Need volunteers for your schoolyard garden? Tack up a flyer at Southern States or Snow’s. Looking for vegetarian volunteers? Post a flyer outside of Integral Yoga. A few well-placed flyers around town can help you target the types of volunteers you’re looking for.
The Young and Young at Heart
Depending on your organization, there may be a place for children to volunteer. If so, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are often looking for ways to give back to their community.
Many high schools require student to complete a certain number of volunteer hours before graduation. Either as part of a club or as an individual, students are often seeking service opportunities. Contact the school’s guidance department.
Senior citizens have a lifetime of skills, knowledge, and experience that can benefit your organization. Both JABA and the Senior Center have active volunteer groups. Contact them and let them know that you’re seeking volunteers. Whether it’s a one time mailing or a weekly jig, they’re bound to have seniors who are interested.
Charlottesville nonprofits are blessed to have Madison House as part of our community. Each week, more than 3,000 UVa students volunteer through this fellow nonprofit. If your organization hasn’t partnered with them, you’re missing out. UVa’s alumni are also active volunteers in our community. Check out Cavs Care or contact the UVa Club of Charlottesville to find out more.
PVCC offers service learning in many of its courses. Talk to a professor who’s coursework connects with your organization’s mission and they may offer their students credit in exchange for volunteer work.
If you or someone you know is active in a faith-based group, spread the word about your need for volunteers. Many faith-based organizations donate to nonprofit each month. If you’ve received such a donation, why not ask if you can thank them in person or go speak to their group? When you’re there make a pitch for volunteers.
Many corporations encourage their employees to give back to the community by volunteering. Ask a friend who works at one of our major area employers to help you recruit volunteers, or contact their community relations manager. You can frame it as a team-building activity, and possibly get an in with their employee giving campaigns.