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9) Recruit supporters, volunteers, and employees

Why Recruit?

  1. Visibility. Recruitment campaigns create visibility for the organization and build supporter numbers. Visibility and supporters translate into grassroots power, which are instrumental in making change in your community’s animal control system. 
  2. Achieve goals. To accomplish the organization’s programmatic goals, whether they are to educate the public about feral cats or promote a change in a local ordinance, your organization needs people power. 
  3. Education. Recruitment drives are intrinsically valuable as they get people thinking about your issues. This is one opportunity to articulate your organization’s vision and issues to a larger audience, in an interactive way.
  4. Vitality of the Organization. New people bring with them innovative ideas and fresh perspectives—valuable commodities for nonprofit organizations, which must maintain credibility both within their movements and externally.

Tips on How to Recruit

  1. Reach out to a broad constituency. Don’t rely on those who are predisposed to getting involved. Think outside of the box, and reach out to a wide range of people.
  2. Use multiple recruiting methods. To reach a broad constituency, you need to reach out in numerous ways. Hang posters, table at your local pet or grocery store, make announcements on community message boards and newsletters, leave flyers at vet offices, and place an ad in the classified section of the local newspaper. 
  3. Have a simple message.  Establish a simple message and stick to it. The message should reflect your group, its issues, and goals. 
  4. Use other networks. Seek out organizations in your community that might be interested in partnering with your organization. Consider service organizations, youth groups, students and senior centers. 
  5. Start recruiting early and don’t stop. Recruitment must be a top priority during the first few months of your organization, but it must be an ongoing process. Integrate recruiting into every event, outreach material, and publicity piece you do.

Carefully select key volunteers and have a structure in place to deal with them.

Volunteers should buy in to your organization's mission and goals. Actively select the right volunteer for you want to do each job. Appoint a good volunteer coordinator to work with the volunteers on an ongoing basis: to ensure that important tasks are completed on time; to get feedback; and to supply training. Anyone in your group who provides hands-on animal care (including trapping, foster care, transport) must receive general animal health-care information, complete training in the care and handling of the animals, and instruction in the proper use of equipment. Training should be a top priority, since you must ensure the safety and well-being of the volunteers and all animals that come under your care. Everyone also needs to have an understanding of the organization's policies and procedures.

Next Step: Provide Quality Services and Continually Assess Your Progress