If you would like young people to volunteer at your organization, first ask:
- Do we have a plan to use young volunteers in our project?
- Can we use their time and ideas with respect?
- What projects or activities are age-appropriate?
Then reach out to schools and faith-based institutions, the places where over half of young people choose to volunteer.
Tips for attracting young people to volunteer at your organization
Recruit them online
- You must use social media if you want to connect with young people. They don’t use email, but they do text and use Facebook.
- They’d rather hear about volunteer opportunities from their friends, not through official channels. So use your current young volunteers to help you reach out.
- Post opportunities on your website, but change them frequently so your pages look fresh and appealing. Respond immediately to inquiries.
Good models of online outreach
- Make your opportunities relevant to the interests and needs of young people. Use language that is quick, fun, and exciting. Emphasize involvement and how they can contribute.
- Use photos and quotes from other young people. Develop an advisory group of young people to help you.
- Assemble a group of young speakers who can recruit their peers. Arrange speaking engagements at schools and churches.
Develop competitions and games, encourage teamwork
- Young people love games—incorporate in your recruitment efforts, your training, and when your volunteers are actually performing their tasks. Healthy competition will add zest and excitement to the work they do.
- Develop teams among your youth volunteers and train team leaders. Encourage group participation and let your volunteers learn from each other.
Find young adults who are natural mentors and role models to work with your young volunteers.
Let young volunteers participate at every level. Listen and then act on their suggestions. They will not trust you if you invite engagement and then ignore their input.