Miracle League's across the country survive based on our awesome volunteers that come to support our league every day. So the question in today's blog is: How do you recruit volunteers and retain them year after year. Here are some examples and suggestions from us, and we hope to hear from you in the comments section.
1. Develop a relationship with your surrounding school districts -
We've been blessed to have principals and teachers in our area that support our mission. Getting on their newsletters, handing out flyers to the kids, and being invited to their volunteer days has helped us get the word out to prospective student volunteers. We target the middle schools because we believe that once they are a buddy at age 12, we will have them as a buddy throughout high school.
2. Work with local clubs (Rotary, Lions, Legion, etc) -
This has helped us to not only recruit some adult buddies for our older leagues, but it has been a nice supplement to our donation pool too.
3. Corporate or Group Volunteers -
Many businesses want to give back together. Reach out to companies in your area with a detailed plan on how they, as a group, can make a difference in the community. You may just get them to fill your volunteer needs for one day each season.
4. Seek out businesses that allow employees to take paid leave to volunteers and ask to speak at their business -
We just started this because one of my coaches came to help me with a program the Pittsburgh Pirates were doing. I asked her if she was playing hooky from work, and she said her company allows her a set number of volunteer hours that she can do instead of coming into work. Brilliant! Now, we just need to let these companies know who we are and what we do!
Here is an article that will help you focus on recruiting volunteers the right way.
Starting a Junior Board
One of the major undertakings we've started is creating a junior board. This board is made up of high school students from all the area high schools. They act as the eyes and ears for us in the schools. Benefits to having a junior board:
I always say, "Volunteer one-time and you'll be a volunteer for life at the Miracle League of the South Hills." This is true in a sense, but we need to make sure we treat our volunteers with the respect that they deserve. Currently, we have over 400 volunteers in our database that come out each week between our coaches, buddies, game day help, announcers, score keepers, etc. Making them feel appreciated, even though many don't need/want the recognition, is important.
Things we do for our volunteers that we believe goes a long way:
We look forward to hearing how you get new, retain old, and develop your volunteer program. Thank you for your comments!