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A Simple Guide to Recruiting Volunteers for School Fundraisers

By Clay Boggess on Oct 1, 2022
School Fundraisers

Everything You Need to Know to Successfully Recruit and Employ Volunteers

When it comes to school fundraising, volunteers are priceless. They can assist with diverse roles and aspects of the raise. However, many schools are unsure how to manage recruitment and what duties to assign volunteers once a relationship has been established. In this article, you learn how to recruit volunteers, examples of volunteer roles, and why you should be recruiting volunteers in the first place. We wrap up with additional tips for success.

Why Should Your School Recruit Volunteers?

Volunteers reduce the fundraising committee’s workload. Planning and executing a fundraiser is a lot of work; the more hands on deck, the better. Remember that volunteers aren’t only needed for the day of a fundraising event. They can be integrated into the entire fundraising process and utilized for any type of fundraiser- event, digital, or in-person sales.

Utilizing volunteers may reduce overall costs. Volunteers can replace paid personnel and paid overtime for the faculty involved. It additionally helps build relationships with current supporters, students, parents, and the larger community by working together towards a cause.

School Fundraising Volunteer Roles

There are many roles volunteers can step into. Below are a few examples:

  • Event Personnel: Volunteers can run ticket sales, assist with parking, or help with event set up and tear down.
  • Digital Participants: Volunteers can register a peer-to-peer fundraising page or help market the fundraiser through social media activity and other platforms.
  • Coordination: Volunteers can help with the organization of the fundraiser. This can include writing and responding to emails, managing public relations, and contacting vendors or potential partners/sponsors.
  • Planning: Volunteers may be added to the fundraiser committee to help plan. This is a wonderful opportunity to add experts to your panel in areas such as accounting, marketing, leadership, and event planning.

How to Recruit School Fundraiser Volunteers

Once you identify what roles you want volunteers to fill, the next step is to recruit individuals with skills and interests that match the necessary duties. You can recruit volunteers from the following groups of people:

  • Current supporters: Reach out to your existing supporters and ask for help. List specific roles and duties they can fulfill.
  • Email list: Contact those in your emailing list including parents, faculty, alumni, and local partners.
  • Students: Host an assembly, make a school-wide announcement, or pass out fliers.
  • Local philanthropic groups: Check Meetup, town bulletin boards, and nearby college groups.

You need to officially ask potential volunteers to commit to a volunteer role. There are a few ways of doing this, depending on your preferences and your usual method of communication. Ways to make the ask include:

  • send personalized letters
  • contact potential volunteers directly by phone
  • post a help-wanted ad on social media
  • host a small networking event or assembly to explain the volunteer roles and officially ask for help
  • post a listing on your website and fundraising pages
  • run a newspaper or radio ad
  • hang posters in local businesses and around town

Additional Recruiting Tips

A few additional tips to keep in mind when recruiting and utilizing school fundraiser volunteers include:

  • Plan Ahead: Ensure you are organized and prepared for every step of the fundraiser so volunteers feel supported and confident in fulfilling their duties. An important part of planning is knowing volunteers’ skills and interests and assigning duties accordingly.
  • Provide Purpose: Explain how volunteers’ efforts are helping you reach your goals and what end the fundraiser is working towards achieving. A sense of purpose goes a long way in motivating volunteers to sign up and follow through.
  • Provide Training: Be sure to tell volunteers what to expect and what you expect of them. Train them on how to best fulfill their duties, and tell them how these actions add value to the fundraiser.
  • Show Your Gratitude: Don’t forget to thank your volunteers! Send thank-you cards, make a personal phone call, or announce your thanks at the fundraiser event. You can additionally choose to go all out and host a thank-you gathering for all volunteers involved with your fundraiser. This may be a small party or an outing to dinner and an activity.
  • Follow Up: Check back in with your volunteers periodically. Update them on progress, especially when funds are successfully used to help your cause. This keeps them in the loop, helps them feel important and involved, and makes it more likely that they will sign up to help with your next raise.

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