Recruiting Volunteers

what you need to think about

Why might someone want to volunteer with you?

A Home Office Review found that people who volunteer:

People usually have a strong reason to volunteer, such as:

How will you give people a strong reason to get involved with your organization?

The better you understand your potential volunteer’s motivation, the better match

you’ll get to your role, and the more likely they’ll be to stay.

Can you promote diversity?

Through involving a diverse range of volunteers you can better reflect your local

community and your service users. In this way you can bring your organisation’s equal

opportunities policy to life.

If you are struggling to recruit volunteers, or a particular type of volunteer, it helps to think

about how you might target them. Informal surveys are a good way. You can ask

potential volunteers as well as your own volunteers:

            survey providers, such as

Are you clear about what your volunteer will do?

It’s worth spending time drawing up a task profile – or refreshing the one you have.

Clarity is key to successful recruitment - it will help you attract someone with the qualities

and skills you need. See our Nuts & Bolts guide to developing role profiles.

How will you promote your opportunity?

            Volunteer connect database.

recruit. The only problem is that through ‘word of mouth’ you tend to recruit people

similar to your existing volunteers so you may not attract as diverse volunteers as

you want.

You can display printed information in:

volunteers themselves are most likely to inspire others.

radio stations, stressing the human interest of local people getting involved to help

the community.

Some tips on recruitment materials

in the design.


Should you use an application form? Asking volunteers to fill in an application form

can be very appropriate and useful if the volunteer is going to need to have the skills

utilised in filling out the application form when they are volunteering. If this is not the case,

being asked to fill in an application form can be a daunting task and a barrier to


Interviews – you might invite the volunteer for an ‘informal chat’ rather than an interview

as an interview sounds very formal and can put people off. When you meet the volunteer,

if they haven’t filled in an application form themselves, you can ask them for all the

information you need to fill in the form on their behalf.