Diversify your volunteer pool

Apr 16, 2011


photo credit: Jay-P photo licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

by: Sarah Moreland


The best-running organizations are usually those with people who each offer something new or unique. If the members of your club all seem to have the same interests, activities and opinions, you might be struggling with club growth or innovative projects.

When you recruit, look for diversity in people’s backgrounds, skills, ages and viewpoints.

Attract New People

Is your club mostly the same age? Send meeting invites online or through Facebook to recent college graduates or former members of collegiate service organizations. Tell them what you can offer, even beyond volunteer opportunities: advice on “real life,” chances to network and find professional opportunities, and friendship during the school-to-work transition.

Find New Places

This is probably the easiest way to recruit new members who have the skills you’re looking for. If your club has a typical meeting spot, plan a monthly social or service project in a new location. Want more tech-savvy members to help with social media-based fundraising? Ask whether your club can volunteer to set up or tear down at a technology fair. While you’re volunteering, talk about your organization with fair attendees.

Try New Projects

Take a break from tried-and-true service projects. The less familiar you are with the project, the better. Does your club want to make blankets for a children’s hospital—but has no members who have experience at sewing? Seek out a weekly crafts group and invite its members to help. Enlisting help from another organization introduces potential members to your club, and it teaches current members new skills.


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