Describe your best practice
When we ceased to attract new volunteers to our Force Area Association Board via the traditional route of an application supported by applicant’s Neighbourhood Watch Association, I devised a completely new approach to attract a diverse range of volunteers. This has proved particularly successful with younger people looking for CV-enhancing opportunities.
What did you do and why?
Our Board members were reducing – mostly retiring and despite annual pleas for volunteers at our Conferences, the few who were interested didn’t have time to take on any actions.
I researched other charities application processes and devised our “Join Us” campaign. Through trial and error, I revised it, but essentially wrote specific job roles plus provided information on the benefits of volunteering and our organisation in an appealing, simple to access way.
Job roles included Trustee, Event Planner, Minute Secretary, Communications Team (Website Editor, Social Media Editor, Newsletter Editor and Communications Liaison Officer) & Community Development Coordinator. I promoted these using Charity Job agencies and social media.
Duration of the project
Ongoing – introduced late 2018
What worked well?
Recruitment – I have received many applications mostly from graduates needing valuable, relevant experience to help them develop and get into their chosen career. Retention has been harder. Some have left when the right job came along or graduated from university. I currently have five excellent younger volunteers and, following a further placement of adverts, have received two promising applications this week.
These volunteers offer enthusiasm and fresh ideas and form my Communications Team plus Student Multi Scheme Administrator support.
How did you overcome any challenges?
Some older volunteers were sceptical that younger people would work for nothing and be effective in the role. Through personal experience I believed differently. I didn’t try to put them into traditional roles. I created new roles to suit their skill set and situations.
How did you cover any costs?
Zero cost – but good time management to make best use of the hours I put in was essential.
Which main category does this fall into?
Force/ Borough area