You started your animal welfare organization to help the furry friends in your community that could not help themselves against neglect, abuse, and being forgotten. The sacrifices you have made through your organization to save and help care for the helpless animals in your community has become a truly wonderful service. However, having extra helping hands can really make a difference in caring for the animals you currently look after, and can further aide your organization’s efforts to extend its services and outreach in 2020. If you’re currently looking to attract new volunteers, or ramp up your efforts to attract volunteers, then here are some simple and effective ways to do just that!
Look Inward, Project Outward
In what animalrescueprofessionals.org believes in getting the best local animal rescue volunteers in the door, it is helpful to start by looking at what got YOUR foot in the door and where it all began. This can be done simply by:
- Reflecting on your own experiences in animal welfare/rescue organizations and how they made you feel
- Know your WHY? (“Why did I get into animal welfare?”, “Why did I stay in animal welfare?”)
Understanding your personal experiences and motives for getting involved in an animal welfare organization, or why you may have started your own, helps create a personal testimony that can be reflected outward through social interaction, an online platform, or any another form of media that people can relate to. Share your testimony via social media, your website, or even a simple blog post. If people see the meaning behind why you do what you do and are interested in doing the same, then they will have a good, motivating feeling and want to help!
Recognize Volunteers Have Needs Too
According to Joanne Fritz, it’s no surprise that volunteers want to be happy and have their own set of needs that they seek to fulfill through their volunteer efforts. They want to:
- Be prepared for
- Feel welcomed
- Receive good training
- Do interesting work
- Know how much of their time it will take
- Be appreciated
- Be communicated with
- Know they are making a difference
- Be socially connected
- Learn something new
They seek just as much fulfillment in their work as everyone else in your organization. Assessing the wants and needs of current volunteers within your animal welfare organization is a great place to start gaining insights on what motivates them, why they do what they do, and can even offer great suggestions as to how to get new volunteers involved! The better you can understand volunteers’ wants and needs, the more effective you can be in fulfilling those needs for both current and new volunteers.
Get Your Name Out There
Potential volunteers want to know who you are, what you are about, and what you do. Getting your name out there in the public eye is the best way to do this. And guess what? You don’t have to be a marketing expert to do it! Something as simple as creating and posting an informational flyer seeking volunteer help on bulletin boards within local businesses is a great way to advertise your organization (just make sure you ask permission before posting).
No website just yet? No problem! Social media is going to be your best friend. Abby Jarvis of Qgiv.com lists some of the most effective social media posts from animal shelters that you can mirror on your own social media pages and spread awareness of your organization.
And let’s not forget one of the most classic ways to promote awareness: word of mouth! Telling people about your organization, encouraging current volunteers to ask their friends to join, and sharing your heart for your organization are pure ways to show people who you are and what you do. Share your heart, share your mission, and don’t be afraid to mention that you are seeking volunteers to help your cause!