Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What Are You Doing to Support Volunteer Recruitment for Back to School?

I know it's still June, but what are your plans to help mobilize volunteers to be part of organized tutoring, mentoring and learning programs for the 2015-16 school year? School starts in September. Tutor/Mentor Programs should be sending out email to ask veteran volunteers to sign up for another year, and new volunteers to join, as we enter August.

However, what are YOU (business, faith group, political leader, media, celebrity, etc) doing now to help programs in Chicago and other cities recruit volunteers so more youth are able to benefit from a mentor and being part of an organized program?

Here's a presentation with tips for mobilizing volunteers. If teams of volunteers in business, faith groups, media, etc. look at this, there are many ways your team can help mobilize volunteers for various tutor/mentor programs serving your city.

Strategies for recruiting volunteers for tutor/mentor programs by Daniel F. Bassill

Don't wait until August. There is work that already should have been started. For instance:

Help programs build staff to support volunteers. If we were able to organize a massive volunteer recruitment campaign that doubled the number of volunteers we would fail in our mission if we had not also increased the staff available in different programs to support those volunteers. The worst campaign is one that inspires someone to volunteer, who then finds out there is no room for them, or get into a program where they are poorly supported. That volunteer turns around and tells others "Don't do this."

One way to help programs attract talent, is to help them get the operating dollars they need to hire and pay staff. Consider adding organized tutor/mentor programs to your company's workplace giving campaign choices, and to programs like "dollars for doers" and matching gifts. Encourage employees who already volunteer or serve on boards to tell other employees about the value of these programs and to encourage donations to support operations.

Help programs improve the way they tell their stories on their web sites. Volunteers and parents who are shopping to find a place to volunteer should be able to look at a web site and see if the program is close to where they live or work, has a history of success, is well organized, and meets at a time frame convenient for the volunteer and youth to participate regularly. View this shoppers guide for some ideas of what should be on a web site.

Teams of volunteers, or individual volunteers, can offer their talent to help programs improve their web sites, tell their stories, and even organize events that support learning and participation of youth and volunteers. This essay, shows roles of talent volunteers.

While its only June, now's the time to plan ways to include volunteer recruitment ads in fall media and business publications. Non profit tutor/mentor programs have few advertising dollars, yet it is reach and frequency of message delivery that finds potential volunteers (and donors) and encourages them to shop and become involved in tutor/mentor programs in different neighborhoods. Create ads that show your company logo, and point to web directories where people can learn about volunteer opportunities in their city.

One role volunteers can take is to help get tutor/mentor organizations listed on as many volunteer matching services as you can. This graphic is the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC's concept map showing a range of web sites where you can list your program. This includes the Illinois Mentoring Partnership, the One Good Deed Chicago and VolunteerMatch sites.

Do this work now and many kids will have the special opportunity of being part of an organized, volunteer-based tutor/mentor program this fall and for many years to come. You can help change the future through your actions.

If you'd like to meet or talk with me about actions you can take to support volunteer recruitment, just email tutormentor2 at earthlink.net or reach out to me on Twitter @tutormentorteam.

No comments: