Volunteer Recruitment in Tough Times

By Kim Deer, Curriculum Advisory Committee Member and Program Manager of Okmulgee County Family Resource Center, Inc., Okmulgee, OK

Volunteer recruitment is a necessary component of any CASA program. In today’s economy it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete for individuals who want to volunteer their time. CASA recruiters need to be creative and determined in their pursuit of quality volunteers. No matter what recruitment method is used, the message must be compelling and convey to the audience that the opportunity is well worth their efforts. 

Following are some ideas that my organization has tried. We have been pleased with the results as we have increased volunteer recruitment by 31% over the past two years.

      Create a volunteer recruitment plan.

    • Set realistic goals and timeframes.
    • Know the role of your organization.
    • Know the demographics of your targeted recruitment area.
    • Evaluate the progress of the recruitment plan periodically.
    • Be flexible. Recruitment needs often change for an organization.

      Organize a volunteer recruitment committee.

    • Include advocate and non-advocate volunteers that are passionate about CASA’s mission.
    • Diversify the committee to reflect the population served.
    • Educate the committee on public speaking and recruitment ideas.
    • Provide incentives for the committee such as free registration to the state conference.
    • Recognize the committee for a job well done.

      Consider these 12 creative ways to think outside the box.

    • Call your local utility company, bank, car dealership, etc. and request they donate space at the bottom of their monthly statement for a volunteer recruitment ad.
    • Host a CASA gathering or social event where the cost of admission is bringing one potential new CASA volunteer.
    • Ask a local flower shop to insert a brochure with all the flowers delivered on Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, the two biggest delivery days of the year.
    • Ask your local newspaper to interview a CASA volunteer. This allows readers to more easily relate to the CASA cause.
    • Call your local school board and request permission to deliver CASA brochures to the teachers’ mailboxes. Teachers make great CASA volunteers!
    • Ask a local sports association to advertise the CASA program on an outfield billboard or scoreboard.
    • Request that volunteer recruitment ads be posted in church bulletins.
    • Request that volunteer recruitment ads be posted in the menus of local restaurants.
    • Sponsor a youth sports team. A CASA logo brings a lot of attention at sporting events.
    • Negotiate an opportunity for current CASA volunteers to work a concession stand at a local event. Word of mouth is a great recruitment tool.
    • Create a social networking fan page on a site such as Facebook or Twitter.
    • Create a website for your CASA program and keep it up to date with activities and announcements.

 The National CASA Association produces valuable resources to help local programs with their recruitment needs. Ad campaigns, promotional videos, logos, photos and other helpful resources are available to local and state CASA programs. Please visit CASAforChildren.org to explore and find ways to incorporate these National CASA marketing and communication tools into your program’s activities.

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