Read these 4 Recruiting/Volunteer Management Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Entrepreneur tips and hundreds of other topics.
Yes, donating for charity should be an altruistic act ... but it usually isn't. To truly have a successful fundraiser, you need to understand and communicate the benefits of participation ... just like you do with a business. You see, most people are thinking, on some level, "What's in it form me?" (WIIFM) Sometimes the benefit is intangible -- that warm fuzzy feeling they get from being charitable. Sometimes its more concrete -- a nice write off for their taxes. Knowing about, identifying and speaking to a WIIFM will take you a long ways in recruiting volunteers, donators, sponsors, etc.
When working on a fundraiser, there are ways to warm up a cold call. Find a natural connection between your cause and the person you are contacting. For example, if you are raising money for cancer research, a hospital with a prominent oncology department would have a natural connection. If you're raising money to help low income families improve their earning potential, financial institutions would have a natural connection. You can use this natural connection to talk about the benefits participation in the fundraiser will have on the business you are approaching.
Having choices -- options -- makes people feel in charge. When you recruit volunteers, use this knowledge and give them a choice. They can either:
* Volunteer for your cause in some way (to be on a committee, raise money, ask for donations, help with sponsorships) OR
* They can give you names of people they know who could volunteer to be on committees, donate items or services, or just give you names and contact info. for people they know who seem to know a lot of other people.
So, when someone says, "Thanks for thinking of me. I'm going to pass at this time," you can reply wth, "Oh, I definitely understand! Can you give me five names of people you know, I can talk too?"
Step 1: Always keep a list of contacts. You'll want names, email addresses and how you know these people. Knowing how you know someone will help you determine whether they are a good contact for your current fundraising project, or not.
Step 2: Start contacting those you know the best first, then branch out from there. Ask each person you speak to if they know anyone who would be interested in getting involved.
BONUS: If you're really stuck and honestly feel you don't know that many people, take a small notepad and for one week list everywhere you go and if you see someone you know or do business with and talk too. These people and businesses (your bank, your dry cleaner, restaurants you eat at frequently, the coffee shop, Wal-Mart) give you a great place to start recruiting volunteers/donations!