Advances in technology make volunteers more accessible than ever. Seniors are buying computers and getting on the Web in record numbers, for example, but are often not included in e-mailings. Fax machines are cheap and many people have fax machines at home.
In order to be knowledgeable about your volunteers, you need information on the technology available to them at home and work, where you can send messages. Be sure to include a "communication" technology section on your application.
Once you know what is available, a volunteer can create and maintain lists for distribution of information. For example, if you are sending out a reminder about a volunteer training, it would go to some people via e-mail, others might get a Fax, and others would receive phone calls. This is a great job for someone online or home bound.
Are you gearing up to recruit online? You might want to slow up! A new study released by the Cyberdialogue research firm found that 30 million Americans stopped using the Internet in 1999. The report says that 30% of people younger than 25 are turning their back on the Web. Teenagers and college graduates are the largest number of this group. Most described themselves as former users. A research project by Virtual Society confirms this fact.
A researcher for the international organization, Virtual Society, attributes the turn-off to the changes in the Web. The constant stream of ads and inability to find what you are looking for is turning people off. The Internet used to be this elite academic resource, as it has broadened it has become a commercial entity and that is turning some people off, according to this expert.
The study also showed that self-taught Internet users were more likely to turn off their Web use than those with some type of formal training.
Review the list below to assess if your recruiting efforts are on track.
- I can state in measurable terms what I want to accomplish this year in recruiting.
- I have involved volunteers in the organization, design, and implementation of the recruiting efforts.
- Usually volunteers are recruiting new volunteers.
- Everything related to recruiting, brochures, PSAs, applications, etc, communicates clearly the mission of our program and the requirements for the volunteer.
- We use different strategies to recruit different types of people.
- Recruitment is about helping someone make the right decision about where and when they should be volunteering.
- Volunteers are not recruited to fill a space, but because it is a good match between the program and the person.
Capital Broadcasting, through its Fletcher Foundation has an online news service called Nonprofitxpress. It posts a weekly news round up on its Web site and e-mail bulletin each Friday to subscribers. It has quite a bit on fundraising, donors and the like. There is some interesting information on volunteers and management, but not in the same depth.
What is intriguing about this site is that you can personalize it to the area in which you work, the arts, health, social services, and several others. It is a free member's location.
The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future.
The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Crystal Hill at 202-729-8000.