7 Deadly Sins of Volunteer Recruitment

In preparation for MIN 507 Leadership Development & Team Building, I came across this great list of “7 Deadly Sins of Volunteer Recruitment” in The New Breed: Understanding & Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer.

  1. Expect Announcements to Get Volunteers. “Not only do you not get enough people, you get the wrong people.” It is totally a shotgun approach.
  2. Go It Alone. Instead, establish a recruiting task force or other similar team or network.
  3. Recruit Only Volunteers Who Make Long-Term Commitments. Give people a taste and they have a good experience, they will volunteer again — or for longer.
  4. Assume that “No” Means “Never.” Sometimes the “no” just means “not now” or “not this role.” Don’t take it as a personal or permanent rejection.
  5. Recruit Any Ol’ B.I.C. (“Butt in the Chair”). Give specific roles and responsibilities. This helps volunteers know whether they’re a good fit, and what to do once they get started.
  6. Ask Busy People to Do Busy Work. “Professionals want to be asked to be in charge of something significant that they also love.”
  7. Hire Professionals Who Know Nothing About Volunteer Management. “Organizations that rely on volunteers need to hire volunteer managers for their volunteer management positions.” If you are looking for a someone to recruit and manage Sunday School teachers, don’t look for a good teacher; look for a volunteer manager who also knows teaching.


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