Recruitment is the LAST thing you should do regarding involving volunteers. It is extremely important that you have well-written task descriptions for each volunteer assignment, as well as dates for a volunteer orientation, BEFORE you begin recruiting volunteers!
You should already have followed all of the preparation directions in section of this handbook regarding Working with Volunteers / Mentors before you begin recruiting volunteers.
Curtis Montague (VISTA 1998-99) documented his entire volunteer recruitment strategy, and his information is provided on the Web. You need to review this web site to find out how to write task descriptions as well as to see what recruitment methods are most effective.
A KEY resource that proves quite helpful every year in recruiting volunteers, as well as getting the word out about events and resources, is the ACEE Survey of Community Involvement in Allison and Sanchez Elementary Schools, a document by Allison Bradley produced in 1997 for the Dana Center. This binder has an overview of the demographics of Allison and Sanchez Elementary Schools, a categorical inventory of involvement at both schools during the 1996-97 school year, an inventory of businesses and groups that were geographically-near both schools, and an extensive contact glossary of area organizations, churches, groups, etc. that wanted to receive information about volunteering at these two schools.
WORKING WITH THE UNIVERSITIES
Early in the Fall, contact the Volunteer Center at the University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward's University to ask when their volunteer fairs are. You can sign up to have a display at each of these fairs and recruit volunteers, including mentors, for Sanchez.
Don't forget Austin Community College, Concordia and Huston_Tillotson as recruitment resources! You will want to send information about volunteering at Sanchez to all of these area colleges and universities' student organizations, volunteer or student life offices, social work departments and organizations, and education departments and organizations.
You also should contact these universities' social work and education organizations about volunteering opportunities at Sanchez. E-mail or call instructors of education classes and sociology classes, to ask them if they can give you 10 minutes of their class time to talk about volunteer/mentor opportunities, or send them information via e-mail or postal mail and invite them to upcoming volunteer orientations at Sanchez.
Curtis found it helpful to speak to the Second Language Acquisition Class at the University of Texas at Austin, to highlight volunteering opportunities with the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at Sanchez. He also spoke to employees of Southern Light Company, the largest public utility company in Austin, during their lunch break. The Austin American Statesman is also a big supporter of Sanchez and has welcomed onsite recruitment and mentoring training in the past.
Jennifer San Pedro (VISTA 1999-2000) said she found talking to the Acquisition of Language (AL) classes at UT to be another great way to connect with potential volunteers and mentors.
Posting information on the Internet will be a KEY way, as well as the easist way, to recruit volunteers! Curtis's materials provide detailed information about his use of Internet discussion groups (like utexas.general and Herdomain) and Online Volunteer Centers (like VolunteerMatch), as well as how to write online recruitment messages and sample messages that were posted on the web and sent via e-mail.
If you do not have time to input opportunities into online databases like VolunteerMatch or the University of Texas database, or you don't have time to post information to online discussion groups, you can find a volunteer to do it! If you already have written all of the volunteer task descriptions, contact Jayne Cravens at the Dana Center to help you find an online volunteer for these tasks.
You should also list volunteer opportunities with the Capital Area United Way. They have no way for you to do this online, so you will have to go by their offices or call them to send you the paperwork.
Call large organizations up like the Hispanic Bar Association, Hispanic Business Association, and other professional groups. Offer to come speak to them about volunteering opportunities, or invite them to upcoming orientations.
Other places to post signs are in community business and organizations around East Austin and Downtown. The Survey of Community Involvement in Allison and Sanchez Elementary Schools can be a big help in identifying these locations. Also, let members from the other schools help you by putting up posters around their schools and colleges.
Jennifer San Pedro (VISTA 1999-2000) added this about making volunteer recruitment signs:
"It is important that you answer Who, What, When, Where, and How much. These are the things people want to know. It is also important that the signs are not to cluttered, easy to read from a distance, and bold in color (Orange is said to be most effective)."
When you are making signs for ESL teaching volunteers, put the contact information in cut out slips along the bottom of the page, so people can rip off a slip and take the contact information with them if they are interested.
Local newspapers, radio stations, and television are also
other great places to publicize -- simply e-mail them a press release, similar to what you use to post information on the Internet, and many will be happy to make a public service announcement about the opportunities.