The growth of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs, means that these are potential tools to reach out to new volunteers. If you don’t know much about social media or want to learn how to use the tools, Dudley CVS runs a number of free social media surgeries, which you can attend to develop your skills in this area.
Many supermarkets have community notice boards as do Churches, Mosques, Temples, Community Centres, Schools and Leisure Centres, Libraries, Newsagents, corner shops and garages. Ensure that it is a clean poster (change regularly if dog-eared or covered in graffiti) with up to date information on it.
Notice boards are very useful if you want local volunteers. They may be a rich source for one-off events like fun-runs or fetes. Remember to have interesting posters etc., and remove them when they are outdated. If possible put a sign outside your own organisation or in your shop window, saying what kind of role(s) you are currently seeking volunteers for.
Local newspapers are approachable, sometimes free and helpful, particularly if your volunteer needs could link to something that is photogenic and of local interest.
Producing press releases and building links with the media has spin-offs for your work. Often press releases are free of charge however, some organisations e.g. the Guardian (cheap volunteer ads on Wednesdays) may charge.
With a press release, keep the message simple. Get someone who is not too involved to check your promotional literature, to check it is clear and free of jargon.
Remember: The most effective way to attract more volunteers is through word of mouth. Volunteers tell other volunteers about their roles and this often encourages family, friends and colleagues to come forward to volunteer. Through supporting and valuing your current volunteers you could ultimately attract more volunteers.
As mentioned research indicates that most volunteers will come by word of mouth however, below is listed a range of outlets/organisations, which may also complement the services you provide:
- Local Schools, Student Community Action Groups at Colleges
- Community Centres, Youth Clubs/Centres and Tenants Halls
- Pre-retirement courses and links with local businesses
- Clinics, Doctors Surgeries, Dentists and Opticians
- Job Centres, Job Clubs, Rehabilitation Centres etc
- Lions Rotary Club etc
- Churches, Gurdwaras, Mosques, Temples etc
- Libraries, Borough Council Offices, Hospitals, Police & Fires Stations
- Specialist Organisations, self-help groups and professional agencies in your area of work
- Post Offices, Garages, Supermarkets and Corner Shops
- Sporting and Leisure Clubs
- Advice and information organisations like the CAB.
- Local Radio & TV e.g. the Community Channel
- Talks to specialist/relevant audiences, religious groups, schools and colleges, youth clubs/organisations
- Exhibitions either static in a library or shop, or mobile for a school or club
- Leaflets, which can be for wide circulation or customised for different audiences
- Open days at your centre or project
- Devise a fancy dress or other promotional stunt
- Distribution of leaflets to promote your organisations and for the recruitment of volunteers