“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” William Shakespeare
We all give and receive gifts at Christmas and one of the greatest gifts you give as volunteers every day is your time, and for that, we would like to thank you! December is a great time for thanking our volunteers because without you, many parents would not get the help and support they seek on a day to day basis.
January is a great time for recruiting new volunteers, but this takes time, effort and planning. We hope we can help you with this by providing some great tools which will make your time more effective.
We all hear the words ‘new year, new you’ or ‘new years’ resolutions’. Although these may seem they have had their day, they are in fact what people think about in January.
Here are five ways in which you can build on this kind of thinking in order to recruit volunteers at the start of the year.
1. Gift of time
In the new year people often think about making changes to how they invest their time.
List off opportunities by the time they take. Include activities that happen weekly, monthly and on a one-off basis. Pick a range of times one hour, five hours, one day etc. Briefly explain what is involved and what the benefits are for the volunteer and the people our branch helps.
Always include how to find out more, having planned to respond speedily to people who are interested. One option might be to contrast a typical leisure activity with a voluntary activity. For example “In less than the time it takes to watch a movie, you could help a mum feel less lonely.”
2. New Skill
Many new year’s resolutions involve learning a new skill. Show how being involved with your branch can help new volunteers achieve their goal. For example you might say being a volunteer at the nearly new sales can help develop organisational and people skills: ask an existing volunteer to teach a new volunteer to create a video story promoting the nearly new sales.
At the start of a new year people evaluate their wellbeing. Think about the ways volunteering with your branch helps the wellbeing of your volunteers through: making friends; building self-esteem; keeping fit; staying mentally active.
Think of opportunities for groups of friends or families to volunteer with you. i.e. nearly new sales.
4. Hold an open event
Host an informal event, open to everyone to showcase your organisation. Tell stories of how you make a difference to people’s lives. Ask positive current volunteers to share the benefits of being involved for both them and the organisation. Prepare a range of volunteering opportunities, making sure they are meaningful. Think about fitting the different commitment levels that volunteers might be able to make. Capture contact details whilst conveying that if the role isn’t a fit for the volunteer, there will be no hard feelings! Plan the first three sessions with new volunteers so they get a positive first impression.
The New Year is a great time to creatively engage people in your fundraising. For example if they are trying to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less they might find it motivating to ask for sponsorship linked to their goals and your branch. You might have a local challenge event like a half-marathon or Tough Mudder near you which could help you reach personal goals and raise funds for NCT. People often like to combine a personal challenge or memorable experience with doing good. Whatever the challenge is don’t be afraid to suggest fundraising for the branch.
If you need any further advice, support or inspiration, please do not hesitate to contact us email@example.com.