Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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November 21, 2018

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How to Overcome Barriers in Recruiting More
Volunteers to Your Organization

by Ian Crawford

Now I'm sure that you would like some strategies on increasing volunteer numbers as soon as possible. Well here we go. Let's do this by investigating some of the trends that are impacting on whether volunteers want to be involved in your organization and more importantly how can you respond to these trends to better recruit and retain volunteers.

Trend 1

I am sure that there is no surprise with this first trend. Busy lifestyles, changing family structures and changing work patterns affect people's ability to volunteer.


Try providing shorter volunteer commitments, job sharing and flexible hours are more appealing. Try not to sign up your volunteers for a 12 week roster. Rather break it done into smaller chunks. Let your volunteers know exactly how long you will need them by setting start and end dates.

Trend 2

The sense of "community" has diminished, as has the concept of "giving back". People will no longer volunteer for the sake of volunteering.


I don't totally believe that. What we do need to do is find more creative ways to recruit volunteers. Promote volunteering for your organization like you are selling a fantastic product.

Trend 3

"Baby Boomers" are approaching retirement and will be looking for ways to put back into the community. They are a huge source of potential volunteers that so far has been untapped.


There is no doubt that "Baby Boomers" have great skills to offer, as they are often retired professionals, but they do not want to waste their time! Offer them a position that interests them and lets them use the skills they have gained over their professional career.

Trend 4

There has been a steady decrease in the number of young people volunteering. This can be attributed to them not understanding the benefits of volunteering, or being considered too young by the organization and not approached.


First of all, do not underestimate the skills and knowledge of young people. They are guaranteed to surprise you if you just give them a chance.

Look at the strengths of young people and the skills they can bring to your organization. Identify special positions that they can fill. For example, most young people are pretty good with technology so why not recruit them to develop an organization website or membership database! Promote the benefits of having volunteer roles on their resume.

The real key is to not only understand why people don't volunteer but more importantly why they do. Here's an extra tip ... Ask them what they would like to get out of volunteering? From this simple question you will get exactly what they are looking for and then you can deliver this.

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About the Author:

Ian Crawford from Candor Training and Consultancy travels the world assisting not for profit organizations to be more efficient and effective. Just visit us at if you would like to receive a free "volunteer toolbox". This is a fortnightly email newsletter that will assist in developing your organization to reach its full potential.

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