Volunteers: Planning and Recruitment
In addition to building a strong local team to help you plan for and implement your Registry Week, you’ll need to think about recruiting volunteers to help with a variety of tasks during the actual Registry Week.
Think strategically as well about how you can use this process to accelerate your efforts to end homelessness. Beyond getting help surveying your homeless neighbors, you can use the volunteer process to engage politicians and opinion leaders, recruit new allies and build public support for action. Can you recruit politicians to volunteer who would be important to support key advocacy objectives? Can you engage potential funders or other resource holders?
In this section of the Toolkit, you’ll find a wealth or materials that will help you with the entire process of recruiting and managing volunteers during your Registry Week. In order to be successful in this endeavor, you’ll need to have an idea of the size of your Registry Week: how much ground are you going to cover and how many people are you going to survey? The work you have done around clarifying your demand will help you answer this question of size, which will give you an idea of how may volunteers you’ll need to secure for surveying, data entry and any other available volunteer positions.
- When planning for numbers of volunteers please keep in mind the following guidelines:
- All survey teams must have a minimum two members. One individual will be a team lead. We recommend calling on your outreach workers and front line service providers to be team leads. For an upper bound, we would advise that the number of people that fit in a car is a good measure of a maximum number for team members. This will help with transportation logistics to and from survey sites.
- For data entry, it takes about 8 minutes to enter one VI-SPDAT into the data system. Keep this in mind as you consider the number of volunteers you will need to do data entry.
- Bearing in mind the above guidelines, you are ready to begin your volunteer recruitment. There is a wealth of documents in this section of the Toolkit that offer ideas about how to recruit volunteers. Please refer to the following: San Diego Volunteer Flyer, Chicago Volunteer Flyer, Volunteer Recruitment FB Square Banner, Web Post for Recruitment and City of Hamilton Seeks Volunteers.
- As volunteers sign up to participate in your Registry Week, you should start to organize your volunteers according to your mapping and survey needs. See Mapping Survey Locations for tools and examples.
- Create Facebook and Twitter accounts to help recruit volunteers. These social media accounts will also be critical in sharing information about your Registry Week both as you plan it and as it happens. Following your Registry Week, they can continue to be used to share thoughts and ideas around housing your neighbors experiencing homelessness. See the Social Media Setup Guide document as well as the Sample Facebook Posts, Facebook Page Example and Twitter Example in this section of the Tool Kit.
Flyers and Banners
- San Diego Volunteer Flyer (Word)
- Chicago Volunteer Flyer (PDF)
- Volunteer Recruitment FB Square Banner (JPG)
- Ottawa Web Post for Recruitment (Word)
- City of Hamilton Seeks Volunteers (Word)
Social Media Recruitment
- Social Media Setup Guide – Facebook and Twitter (PDF)
- Registry Week Social Media Calendar – Waterloo (Word)
- Facebook Page Example – Phoenix (Word)
- Sample Facebook Posts – Chicago (Word)
- Twitter Example – San Diego (Word)
- Volunteer Role Description (COH)
- Volunteer Coordination for PiT Counts (Vancouver Housing Initiative)
Back: 3 – Clarifying Your Demand
Next: 5 – Mapping Survey Locations