Volunteers are often the backbone for events. They are also often misused, overworked, and under appreciated. The biggest mistake an event planner can make is simply viewing his or her volunteers as cheap labor and not much else. Here’s how you can find and retain quality event volunteers:
- Check out online volunteer boards through local universities or community group websites. Most volunteers are passionate about a cause or are looking for hands-on, learning opportunities.
- Search reputable volunteer databases like VolunteerMatch or Idealist.
- Stay organized using software platforms Volgistics, VolunteerSpot, or TRS.
- Create a job description that clearly defines responsibilities, goal, and objectives for all your volunteer positions so your they know what is required from them.
- Provide your volunteers with a list of what they can expect from you.
- Find out which method of communication (e.g., email, phone call) your volunteers prefer.
- Consider using chat apps like GroupMe or Slack when collaborating with larger groups.
- Try the project management tool Trello, which visually tracks and organizes your projects and gives everyone access to the same real-time updates, no matter where they are.
- Tell your volunteers where they are excelling and areas that need improvement. Be honest, but constructive.
- Ask past volunteers about their experiences working with you, your organization, and your event. Improvement is vital on your end too, plus it lets the volunteers know you value more than just their time.
Lastly (and most importantly), remember to thank your volunteers throughout the planning process, at the event, and afterwards with a handwritten note.
Are you ready to start successfully recruiting event volunteers? Start by creating your event on Events.com and organize all the moving parts of your event in one place.