Volunteer Recruitment: Tips from the Field

This resource was developed by Sarah Jane Rehnborg, PhD. and Betsy Clubine with a team of volunteer professionals from around the state of Texas as a project for the Charles A. Dana Center at U.T. Austin. For more information please contact Dr. Rehnborg at the RGK Center.


  • Who compiled this guide and why?
  • Who volunteers?
  • What is recruitment?

Before You Begin or...Pack Your Parachute Before You Jump

  • Understand your organization's history, culture and cause
  • Prepare your organization for volunteer involvement
  • Sell the program inside your organization or agency

Steps in the Recruitment Process

  1. Clearly identify volunteer needs and position descriptions
    • Identifying Meaningful Assignments
    • Meeting the Realities of Today's Volunteer
    • Writing Volunteer Job Descriptions
  2. Know what you have to offer - the "costs" and benefits of volunteering
  3. Plan a recruitment approach based on volunteer needs and position descriptions
    • Recruitment Strategies
    • Making Volunteer Recruitment More Manageable
    • Secrets of Success
    • Where to Look for Volunteers
    • Places to Distribute Recruitment Information
  4. Implement your plan - making the appeal