4 Tips to Recruit Your Volunteer Dream Team

4 Tips to Recruit Your Volunteer Dream Team
March 6, 2019 Bob D'Ambrosio

“In my head, we’re already there.”

In the movie Hidden Figures, Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) said these words when referring to NASA sending a man to the moon. He had a vision to see men in space, a vision so vivid he saw them as already there!

What is your vision for your volunteer dream team?

These days, with so much competition for volunteers, recruiters have to significantly up their game plan when it comes to recruiting top talent. Every organization wants the best, and today’s recruiters need to have a clear strategy in order to attract high capacity volunteers.

Can you visualize a picture of that dream team equipped and ready to tackle the project? Make your vision a reality with these four tips.

  1. Target demographic groups.

Who do you need?

Choose a targeted group of people that can provide the skills and experiences needed for the job. This might include such populations as teachers, military, health care professionals, and so on. Within that group, look for those who have recently retired. There is a whole generation of people who are retired from work but aren’t “tired.” They are looking for ways to stay active. Challenge them to use their network to help build a strong volunteer team.

  1. Create partnerships with the organizations that people are volunteering for.

Where are people in America volunteering today?

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, people volunteered the most hours at religious organizations, accounting for 33.1 percent of volunteer hours. Educational or youth service- related volunteering was at number two with 25.2 percent, and social or community services came in third with 14.6 percent. Why is this significant?

Partner with organizations such as local food banks, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Boys & Girls Clubs, Red Cross, and your local school district. Your volunteer pool will increase, and you’ll be encouraging your members to get involved in the community and “be the church” rather than just “go to church.”

  1. Brainstorm at least 10 dream team prospects.

Get a legal pad and write at the top: “My Dream Team.” Don’t quit writing until you have at least 10 names. Visualize who you think would be an incredible asset to your team. Get others to help you in this process, as each person in the group will know of people from within his or her social network. This list will now become your prayer list before you begin any recruitment efforts.

  1. Ask people personally to join your team.

When you ask someone personally, you are telling that potential volunteer, “I value you for this role.” Announcements and postings for volunteers don’t communicate that value as well as a personal invitation.

And be sure to ask for a single serve experience, not a full-time commitment. To build the successful dream team, ask the volunteer to take part in an event so you can work with him or her and see how that person works. Then you can decide if this is someone you really want on your dream team.


[Edited from Volunteer Power Newsletter by Thomas W. McKee.]

Bob D’Ambrosio is a 25-year veteran of frontline church ministry and now serves with Group’s content solutions team. He’s a trainer for volunteer equipping, a Refresh the Church blogger, and a ministry coach for Group U. Bob is a contributing author and general editor of the E4:12 Bible Study Series Better Together: Connecting to God and Others and Leading Out: Connecting People to Purpose.


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