As all adult literacy programs know, volunteers are the lifeblood to our programs. We use volunteers to tutor students, to assist in the office, to serve on boards, etc. But the challenge is always the same: where do we find more volunteers? This month we would love to hear some of the things that you do to find and recruit new volunteers. Here are a couple of examples to get you started.
- Social media. Though the usage of social media by literacy programs is improving, there are still more opportunities to improve usage of the media. It is imperative that programs keep an active presence – whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Sharing of stories, or opportunities available, and of program status updates will keep people interested in the program, and will get them involved.
- Current volunteers. There is no better resource for volunteers than by your current group telling their friends about their experiences and encouraging them to volunteer. Keep your volunteers involved, keep them active, and keep in touch with them. A good experience will lead to them telling others about the program. (And, don’t be afraid to ask them to share their experience with others!)
- Get your name out. All too often, literacy programs serve their communities in relative obscurity. More needs to be done to keep programs in the public eye. This means not only using social media, but creating contacts with local print and broadcast media. This means having a presence at local fairs, festivals, and community events. There are also opportunities for your current volunteers to share their stories, and share their reasons for volunteering. People can’t volunteer for programs they don’t know about, so you need to get your name out.
These are just a few ideas we should all keep in mind, but we would love to learn more about what you do! We will follow up with your ideas and feedback next month!