Step 4 (continued). Membership - Volunteers, Basic

Volunteers are a key way to get citizens involved in protecting watersheds and increase community support for your project. Volunteers can provide a wide array of services, including:

  • Assisting with fundraising efforts
  • Organizing events
  • Providing pro bono legal, financial, or technical support
  • Providing valuable connections and contacts to the community

Volunteer hours can also be tracked and valued to provide the matching component required in many private and government grants. In recruiting volunteers, the most important thing to do is to ask for help. Individuals asked to volunteer were much more likely to volunteer (71%) than those not asked (29%). You can either recruit broadly or advertise specific jobs. Either way, make sure that volunteers have specific tasks, adequate training, and supervision.

It is also important to keep in mind that volunteers are a big time investment for your staff. Organizing volunteers for projects or even administrative tasks will mean staff and time energy for organizing, training, and follow-up. You need to have a good system in place to keep track of volunteers, as well as staff members who are able and willing to work with volunteers.

Volunteering in the United States, 2000
Percentage of adults who volunteered 44%
Total number of adult volunteers 83.9 million
Average weekly hours per volunteer 3.6 hours
Annual hours volunteered 15.5 billion hours
Estimated hourly value of volunteer time $15.40 per hour
Total dollar value of volunteer time $239.2 billion
Percentage of adults asked to volunteer 50%
Percentage of adults who volunteered when asked 71%

Citation: See Resources, Works Cited #9

Additional Resources on Volunteers

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