Creating a Robust Volunteer Program

Creating a Robust Volunteer Program

As many parks and recreation organizations are made possible through government funding, harnessing volunteerism within your community may be a necessity due to strict budgets. Attracting volunteers can already be a struggle, but finding ones who are committed to what your organization is doing can be even harder.

Engaged volunteers are important, as they can be the key to the long-term success of your city programs and help your parks and recreation organization meet its goals. Here are some tips on how you can attract some committed volunteers to join you in your volunteer programming.


RELATED: Developing an Effective Volunteer Recognition Program  

Host Events that Cast a Wide Net

When it comes to finding volunteers, where do you start? Committed volunteers can come in all shapes and sizes, which means that the recruitment process should be as inclusive as possible. Consider hosting an event that will interest a number of people, like a holiday party or a potluck. As you, your staff, and other volunteers connect with attendees, you will have a better gauge of who may be good candidates and also a good fit for your organization. Set up a table so that interested individuals can quickly sign up, and answer questions about availability, skills, and interests.

Use resources like these events as opportunities to help educate potential volunteers about the roles that are available, as well as the time commitment, hours per week required, and whether they are short term or long term opportunities. As well, you can use these events to meet volunteers of all types, collect their information, and contact them when a project comes up that you know they would be interested in.

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E-BOOK: 5 Tips for Successful Member Based Organizations

Find Volunteers Within Your Donors and Active Community Members

Active community members, like those who visit the community centre for classes every week or your donors, are great resources to help you in finding potential volunteers. They have established relationships with staff and others who use the community centre, giving them an advantage. As well, they have proven an interest in supporting your parks and recreation organization; it may take as little as a nudge in the right direction to get them even more involved.

 Even if your donors or community members are not in a position to volunteer, they likely have resources such as a network of like-minded people who may be. Asking them to help share opportunities and spread the word is a great way to get your message out organically. While they may be a time commitment, it is certainly effective. And, speaking of sharing your message organically...


Use Social Media

When it comes to your communication resources, do not underestimate the effectiveness of social media. It is likely that your prospective volunteers are on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram right now. Your parks and recreation organization should already have a strong presence across social media and it can be used to promote community involvement and to attract potential volunteers. Social media is also a quite accessible platform that can see intimidating, but is actually simple and straight-forward for anyone of any skill set on your team to use.

Post about recruiting events or even messages that ask for volunteers, to convert social media followers into volunteers. Social media is also a great space to show off what your parks and recreation organization is up to as you share photos from other volunteer events or notes from those who have volunteered.

RELATED: Email Marketing For Community Associations

Take Time To Appreciate Your Current Volunteers

One of the easiest ways to get the message out about your volunteer programs, and spread positivity surrounding it, is to highlight your current volunteers and share your appreciation for all that they do and the time commitment they have made. When potential volunteers see the praise and recognition they receive, it will help them see how being a volunteer comes with benefits.

Everyone likes to be appreciated and have support for their hard work, especially when they are spending countless hours per week volunteering their work for free to help your cause. It’s important that you don’t let your volunteers’ hard work go unseen. Recognizing great work and your volunteers' skills can also encourage other future volunteers to join. Your recognition is one of the best resources available in spreading the message of your volunteer programming.

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A Perfect Solution For Volunteer Opportunities

To better manage your volunteers, Xplor Recreation’s cloud-based community center management software is a terrific solution. With it, you can easily view all of your staff and volunteer schedules, as well as book staff and volunteers, rooms, and equipment with one simple interface.

Xplor Recreation's member management system is a simple, user-friendly way to manage volunteers! With scheduling functions, online booking, event hosting, and more, it's the perfect start to building your volunteer base. If you have questions, learn more about Xplor Recreation’s facility management software here.

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