Recruiting volunteers can be quite the tedious task sometimes. Whether you only need a few volunteers to work on a project, or a truckload to help pull off a successful fundraising dinner, here are a few tips to help you recruit volunteers more easily.
1. Get assistance.
From the beginning, get help in finding volunteers. This can be a colleague, an intern, an event organizer, or even just a good friend of yours. You have enough on your plate that taking on the task of finding and managing volunteers on your own may take its toll. You have a higher chance of success if you have a partner working with you, who is just as eager and committed as you are about the project, to help you recruit volunteers.
2. Youth make great volunteers.
Anybody can be a volunteer, but the majority of volunteers tend to be young people. They often aren’t juggling families and full-time jobs, and are eager for work experience and to be useful, so they are able to be more committed and excited about working on a project. If you are looking for young volunteers, look in the Masjid, the local Islamic school, MSAs on college campuses, etc.
3. Mention it at prayer times.
Many times, Masjid-goers are eager to be a bigger part of their Masjid, wanting to contribute some time and effort to it. They just don’t know when volunteers are needed, or for what they may be needed. Call for volunteers after each prayer so that everyone knows their time and effort is welcome. Encourage all ages to help, and if parents can’t commit, ask them to pass the word along to their children or neighbors.
4. Excite and motivate potential volunteers.
When calling for volunteers, don’t let your expression or voice show how tired or frustrated you might be. If you’re excited, they’ll be excited. Express to them the benefits of being a volunteer on your project: they’ll be building leadership qualities and other skills they can put on a resume; they’ll be in a position to mentor a new generation; change lives; and meet prominent people and make connections.
5. Ask them to bring friends.
If you need a significant amount of volunteers, ask each person who has committed to bring a friend. This provides a dual benefit: you’ll increase the amount of volunteers you have, and it also increases the commitment level of the volunteers. A person is more likely to stick with a project if they have a buddy to encourage them.
6. Treat them well.
These volunteers are doing some heavy lifting for free. Make sure that they know how much you and the Masjid board appreciate them. Treat them to lunch. Offer rewards, recognition and thanks. Tell them often how much their work is needed and how well they are doing. This includes publicly thanking them, whether it’s at Jumaa Khutbah, an event they helped pull off, or a program they helped launch.
7. Keep a volunteer database.
You won’t want to start from scratch the next time you need volunteers. Keep all of your volunteers’ contact information in a spreadsheet and contact them next time you need volunteers. Remind them of how much you enjoyed working with them last time, and that you need volunteers like them to work on an upcoming project.