Unfortunately, most people don’t know where to begin when it comes to ensuring they’ll have enough volunteers. Here are some of the most effective ways to make sure you won’t be caught without enough help:
Focus on Team Building
People work better together when they know they can count on one another. Having a strong team in place not only works well during the actual fundraiser event, but also encourages others to join and be part of the collective. Time magazine notes that volunteering can be great for your career, not only as a resume booster, but also for the team-interaction skills that develop when working with others.
Teach a Skill
When asking for volunteers, explaining that your event will teach them valuable life skills can be a powerful incentive. Forbes notes that volunteering is one of the best ways to learn leadership skills that are highly valued. People skills are always in demand and can be practiced at any type of gathering. However, depending on the event, more specific technical or trade skills can also be taught.
Provide Free Food
Free food always brings in a crowd. If you’re looking for more help for your next fundraiser, providing free food to volunteers is a great way to ensure you’ll have people on hand to help. Gathering around food is a powerful human social event and will help to create a friendly atmosphere, encourage conversation, and create a center point for social interactions.
Lean on Friends and Family
Aside from asking strangers, asking friends and family to help with your next event could be an even better way to guarantee volunteers. While strangers may be more likely to help if they agree with your charity or cause or you provide some other incentive, friends and family are much more likely to help you regardless of what you’re doing.
Show that You’ve Planned Ahead
If you want fundraiser volunteers, you should have clear instructions in place on what they’ll need to do, how they should do it, and when they need to show up. Of course, this means you must plan ahead — not only when hosting an event, but even before you begin asking for volunteers. Having clear plans not only gives everyone involved confidence, but it also helps you keep track of your volunteers. After all, one of the worst things that can happen to any fundraiser is having a crowd of volunteers standing around and not knowing exactly what they’re supposed to do.
Show that You’re Organized
A well-organized event is always apparent to your volunteers and your guests — and makes it more likely that everyone will return for future events. Being organized means you know when, where, and how many volunteers and guests to expect. You should have a schedule for the day in-hand, and roles assigned to every helper. Having managers or other leaders in charge so you can split up everyone into smaller groups will also help you manage crowds.
Leverage Volunteer Lists
After you’ve completed your fundraiser, don’t just thank everyone and say goodbye. Keeping a list of all your volunteers is one of the best ways you can ensure that your next event is fully staffed because those who volunteered for you before are very likely to do so again.
Whether you’re holding a small gathering or a hundred person event, you’ll benefit from having volunteers on hand to help — and providing people with incentives, a clear plan, and a way to contact them in the future will go a long way toward helping you get more volunteers to your event.
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