Attracting and recruiting the right volunteers is one of the most important aspects to building your inclusive volunteering programme. This section includes top tips on how to attract your ideal volunteers on page 1, recruitment methods and channels on page 2, and then covers how best to manage volunteer enquiries, data protection requirements and the DBS or Access NI check on page 3.
The volunteer opportunity advert – top tips
- Give the advert a clear title that describes the role
If you’re advertising online bear in mind that the title may be the only thing that people will see so try to avoid using titles like ‘Volunteer Helper’ that don’t really tell you a huge amount. If you are recruiting people for a sport related role for example – include the word ‘sport’ or similar in the title so it’ll attract people with a relevant interest to click on the ad.
- Make sure your advert is accessible so people with diverse communication needs can access it. Watch the video from EFDS about reaching more people through inclusive and accessible communications.
- Explain why you need volunteers
- Explain what you want to achieve and be specific about how the volunteer will make a difference.
- Make sure you include what’s in it for volunteer!
On the whole people don’t volunteer simply for the sake of volunteering. Make sure you include what the volunteer could get out it – For example what skills/experience would they gain? What training would be provided? Would they have meals provided or travel expenses?
- Address potential concerns
Think about the role from the volunteer’s perspective and what might put them off and then address these in the advert. For example – if they might be concerned about not having any experience say ‘no previous experience required and full training and support is provided’
- Avoid Jargon
Try not to use complicated language or acronyms and use plain and simple words. Maybe get someone from outside your organisation to check that the language you’ve used is clear and understandable.
- Include contact details
It’s an obvious one but don’t forget to include information about how to apply or who the volunteer needs to contact to find out more about the role.
Download – Sport and Physical Activity Mentor advert
Here is an example of a volunteer advert that may appeal to people’s motivations to volunteer because they want to make a difference to the lives of others and enjoy being active.
Attracting your ideal volunteers
Volunteering Matters’ Head of Communications, Alison talks about how to find the volunteers you need. She talks about how to make the most of the limited resources and capacity you may have on your project, and what you should always be keeping in mind.