Saturday, January 28, 2012

Go where the volunteers are

Many of us have offices set up to process volunteers that make it easy for us because everything is in one place. But, have you considered going where the volunteers are? I am not talking about going door to door (that would be silly); but many programs won't consider leaving the office to sign people up.

 As many programs do in the normal course of business, we do presentations at colleges and universities, but those are just presentations not sign ups. We leave web addresses to sign-up but don't actually process any papers there.

 Here is what we did
A year ago, we began talking with a local association of RN's. Now we could have just written emails to the organization; but we thought it would be more effective to work with them to tag onto one of their regular monthly meeting. And we did! Not only did we do a presentation, we processed 18 new RN's into our program on a Saturday morning (almost twice our monthly sign up rate).   After our early morning sign up, we attended the rest of the meeting so we could interact with the nurses who didn't sign up (100 nurses) and got great visibility.

I live in a county that is 2,000 square miles with 37 cities. In the spring, I will be going to the cities that are not Seattle and do advertising, and a sign up of volunteers.
 To Do List:
  • Get interviewed in the local paper (its free)
  • Work with the local EM to advertise your date 
  • Work with the online world to advertise your date
  • Work with your current volunteers to get the word out
  • Think about where your "type" of disaster volunteer frequents and flyer the place
  • Put on your best face and go for it!
Think this will work for you? Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below and share your ideas.

disaster dave

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