The recruitment message should be broken into three parts: a statement of need, how the volunteer can help, and the benefit to the volunteer.
The statement of need should be drafted in two versions. First, create a version that’s just for internal use; second, create a public version that’s more compelling and “dressed up” to attract potential volunteers. You’ll use this version in advertising materials.
- Example of an internal statement of need: “Special Olympics needs a softball coach for spring league.”
- Example of an external statement of need: “They have gloves, bats, and softballs... but no coach. 75 boys and girls with developmental disabilities are waiting for a coach. Don’t let them strike out. Join our Special Olympics Team!”
The next part of the recruitment message explains how the volunteer can help. What can he or she provide? What hard skills and interpersonal qualities would make an individual a good fit for your organization? Be brief but explicit in terms of the most important qualifications.
Finally, explain the benefit to the volunteer of working with your organization. People don’t volunteer to get a paycheck. Each person has his or her own reasons, which are usually intrinsic; in other words, the volunteer gets some kind of internal satisfaction or gratification from their task. What might a person accomplish by helping your group? It might be helping a child learn to read, serving meals to those who cannot afford to buy food for themselves, or simply easing the burden on an overworked staff by helping with administrative work. A good way to think about the reward for a volunteer is by considering the reward for the person being served. For example, if a senior citizen gets a lift in their day by spending time with a volunteer as an adopted grandchild, the volunteer may also feel the lift of having brightened someone’s day.