Creative Ideas for Recruiting Volunteers

Creative Ideas for Recruiting Volunteers


Sometimes finding volunteers can be hard. People are generally busy and might be unwilling to fit your project into their schedules.

Recruiting volunteers can take some creativity. It’s all about convincing people this is a project they should make time for.

Once you plan days for volunteers to gather and help with your project, you need to get rolling with recruiting.

Start recruiting volunteers early. This gives people time to plan their schedule and increases the chances people will save the date.

Here are some creative ideas to try when finding volunteers:

1. Reach out to friends and family

One of your first sources of volunteers is friends and family. These people are likely to be more invested in what you’re doing and realize its importance to you.

Of course, don’t expect every person you know to participate. Just let people know you’re working on a project that interests you and may interest them.

Friends and family are an existing possible volunteer pool. Ask them to spread the message to their friends!

2. Deliver an appealing message

Recruiting volunteers is essentially marketing. You want to convince people they’ll be missing out if they don’t participate in your project.

Creating an appealing message that draws volunteers is key. It’s not enough to say “we need help.” You need to make volunteering sound favorable for potential volunteers.

Here are a couple useful marketing messages to jump start your project:

  • Volunteering is good for your well being
  • Volunteering helps improve quality of life for others
  • Volunteers can make new friends
  • Volunteers will be appreciated
  • Volunteers can possibly learn new skills

If your project involves tasks volunteers can do at home with a flexible timeline, that’s another talking point that may appeal to those who can’t show up to a volunteer day.

Use these messages to create flyers to post in local businesses or for social media posts. Make sure to keep the message clear. Articulate the purpose of your project and the benefits for volunteers.


3. Social media

Social media is a great marketing tool because of its popularity. It’s possible to reach a lot of people through this medium. Take advantage of this when recruiting volunteers.

Create Facebook event pages for a volunteer day. Then invite your friends and encourage them to share the event with others!

You can also see if there is a community volunteer group on Facebook where you can post a call for volunteers.

Meetups related to volunteering are another possible way to get your project in front of possible volunteers.

4. Reach out to community groups

Think about what community groups might be interested in the focus of your project. For example, if you’re creating a community garden, see if there are any gardening clubs that may be interested in volunteering.

These groups may already be looking for ways to volunteer. They are already in contact with others with similar interests.

This can also be a great way to get volunteers who can contribute their skills and require little training.

5. Offer something in exchange

If you’re having a hard time finding volunteers, try offering people something for volunteering.

This could be something as simple as t-shirts. It could also be school credit for a class (talk with teachers about this first).


Reach out to possible sponsors and see if you can get donations for volunteer gifts. Sometimes simple prizes can be a small push people need to volunteer.

6. Make it an event

Make volunteering for your project into an event. This can make it seem less like work and more like fun!

After completing project tasks, set up a “volunteer social” with food and activities. This gives volunteers the opportunity to mingle and make new friends with similar interests.

Creating an event centered around volunteering can involve more planning work, but can pay off in terms of getting more volunteers.


Using several ideas for gathering volunteers will increase the odds of having a good crowd come volunteer day.

Volunteers are essential for project success, especially if the project is one that requires a lot of hands. Not having enough volunteers can mean having to amend the project idea and scope.

Make sure your project is successful by recruiting plenty of volunteers early on.

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