Small fundraising organizations often suffer from a lack of available volunteer resources; even large organizations have difficulty finding enough volunteers at times. A lack of volunteers can severely limit the scope of fundraising efforts, and in turn the amount of funds raised.
The good news is that small and volunteer-poor organizations have a larger well of volunteers available to them than they might think. A given organization is not limited strictly to group members; there are family and friends that might be willing to lend a hand, and community resources to be tapped as well.
So where can a group in need of volunteers look for help?
First off, look for groups who require their members to complete community service as part of their membership or a class requirement. The local high school or college is an excellent place to start! Places to turn to for potential volunteers:
• High school, middle school, and local college student groups. Honor societies, student councils, and student governments regularly include community service as a requirement for membership.
• School Civics classes. Many schools include community service and volunteer work as an assignment for class completion for Civics and other classes; some schools have even made community service a requirement for graduation.
• Youth groups, church groups, and municipal youth/recreation centers. Again, these groups often trade their free membership for community activity; those that do not make it a requirement may still support community service and be happy to help you find volunteers among their members.
• Social Service Agencies. Sometimes social service agencies require children in their care to complete community service, especially if the youngster has landed themselves in trouble. The children in these types of programs are generally not serious offenders, and they might be a great resource for helping run event-related activities such as a fair or carnival.
• Local businesses. Not all businesses have cash resources available to donate to worthy causes, but in return for some good PR, local businesses may be willing to donate their services.
• Town Government. Just like local businesses, government officials have a vested interest in positive PR and the betterment of their community.
• Partnering charities. If your group is deemed worthwhile, other philanthropic charities may be willing to partner and help you out; they may be willing to do so in exchange for future help with their projects.
If you’ve tried all of these angles and still find yourself without an adequate response, appeal to your community through flyers, media, and word-of-mouth. Willing volunteers are out there, you just have to find them! If you tap your community for help and get the word out to those who are able, your community will surely respond.