First think carefully about how many and what kind of volunteers you want to recruit. Do you need them to commit to the same hours each week? Take on responsibility for running a class? Or do you just need someone to put up posters as a one-off?

Here are some ways you could recruit different kinds of volunteers:

  1. Build links with volunteer agencies. Your local CVS could be a good source of volunteer referrals and may also offer low cost training to help you implement a volunteer programme.
  2. Volunteers from local businesses. Many professionals are happy to give a few hours of their expertise to look at your marketing plans, your accounts, or even your administration systems.
  3. Use your star learners! Consider some of your existing learners to become volunteers. They already understand the needs of your learners, know your centre, and could help you to target those hard-to-reach groups in your local community.
  4. Hold a volunteer recruitment event. Build up relationships with other volunteering organisations in your area by inviting them to run a recruitment event with you. Advertise the event locally and provide information on local volunteering opportunities, as well as your own centre.

Just say no

Managing volunteers can be hard work - if you don’t think you need the help then don't be afraid to say no to volunteer applicants. Try to suggest some other opportunities which may be more suitable for them. Your local CVS could be a good place to point them!