I just can’t find any volunteers for this position. That was the bewildered statement a director of volunteers made to Rick Lynch. Rick responded to her problem with a question many recruiters of volunteers fail to ask—and the question is brilliant. He asked her, “Who would want to do that?”
This director of volunteers was looking for someone to escort children to school. Sounds easy until you saw the neighborhood that these children had to walk though to get to school. No one would want to walk through that neighborhood, let alone children.
Rick and the director of volunteers began to brainstorm people who might want to do that kind of volunteer work, and they came up with several ideas. She went to the local college and made a presentation to the defensive linemen and linebackers—these over 200-pound guys who love to smash people. Then she made a presentation to bouncers. Soon she had a group of fearless guys who made up the team of escorts for young children walking to school. And the children loved having their local heroes escort them to school.
I met Rick Lynch, speaker, trainer, and business consultant, last month as we were both presenters at the Make-A-Wish Team Leadership Conference in Phoenix. I attended his recruiting workshop, and when he told that story, I asked him if I could retell it. After all, that’s what directors of volunteer do—we learn from each other’s best practices and ideas. And sharing the best practices is O.K., if we credit the author. And that is the mission of Volunteer Power—to provide free resources for director of volunteers. Check out our resources and articles and use any of them. Copy them and hand them out to your staff for training and discussion.