We have traveled around the country doing chapter leader workshops and can report that there are chapters succeeding in building volunteer engagement where other chapters struggle. What’s in their playbook?
(1) Have a person or team who’s focused on building the volunteer pool. Call it your Director of Volunteering and Outreach, Director of Volunteer Services, VP of Volunteers, or your Talent Scout. Consider this your HR person that actively seeks “talent” and matches them to jobs. Pull together a team of people who like to connect people led by your coordinator (here are job descriptions). The goal is to develop a talent pool and a “pool of activities”. This pool of activities should include big and small jobs. It should offer variety. The focus is on connecting members. Here’s a resource on creating that pool.
(2) Let it all begin with the person, not the position. This is important. Too often in chapters we identify the open seats and then ask people to claim a chair. There are many problems with this. First, you often get a mismatch between the person and the task. The result is low engagement. Second, we get lots of “no’s” because few ask to be placed in any ole open seat and many do not want a “term”.