/ February 8, 2017

Recruit and Manage Event Volunteers

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Setting up a fundraising event is always a great idea and very exciting. You may have a million ideas of how you can raise money for a great cause, but do you have the manpower? Every successful event requires many people working together, so here are some tips to recruit and manage event volunteers…

· Hold an Information Drive. Holding an information drive to let people know of the opportunity to help a good cause usually works well. It is important to do it well in advance to give potential volunteers time to mark the date in their calendar. Seeing that the event is for a good cause often makes people want to help out, but remember that sometimes people may not volunteer just to support the cause, but may want to gain experience in certain areas, such as your field, or event management.

· Social Media. This is one of the best places to find volunteers. There are many businesses or groups who will support your cause, so they are a great place to ask for help. You should also set up an event page on Facebook and ask for volunteers. If this is shared by many people, it could potentially reach thousands.

· Offer Freebies. Even though it may be a fundraising event, you can offer small incentives to participate. This could even be free drinks or pizza.

· Create a database. If you have held events in the past with volunteers, create a database to keep the details of those who have helped before, so you can let them know in advance when you have new events upcoming. Make notes in the database so you can assign them tasks which you know they like, and so you know if this is something they are suited for.

· Communicate. Make sure you communicate regularly with your volunteers. Copy them in on everything sent out so they are up to date with where you are up to. You may even like to hold a volunteer training day, to make sure everyone is on the same page.

· Thank Your Volunteers. Spotlight your volunteers in emails, newsletters and social media, acknowledging the help they provide. If you have a long time volunteer, honor them at your event- this is a great way to recognize them, and also show how much you appreciate your volunteers.

· Clarify Your Expectations. It is a good idea to put in writing what the volunteers can expect from the event, and what will be expected of them. The hours they are to be there, what is required of them and any rules or guidelines are all good to set out beforehand.

· Look like a team. If you want your volunteers to look like a team, set a dress code, such as a certain colour or theme. You may also want to provide branded shirts for them to wear.

· Include the Volunteers in the Debriefing. Remember that your volunteers will have been at the forefront of your event, and will have received valuable feedback from attendees, so be sure to include them in the final analysis of your event, and ask for their input.

Good volunteers can make or break an event. Make sure you recruit and manage your volunteers to help you achieve your goals, and thank them for doing so!

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