Top tips for savvy volunteer recruiting

Posted almost 4 years ago By SGOSS - Governors for Schools


SGOSS Governors for Schools – the school governor recruitment charity - regularly uses to find School Governors.  We asked SGOSS for their top tips on attracting and recruiting volunteers.

Volunteer’s Week (1st-7th June 2017) is a great time to thank ICAEW volunteers that strive to make a difference. It is important to recognise the hard work, time and energy, selfless people put back into their communities. For charities, there is no better time to encourage people to get involved and to raise awareness of the myriad volunteering opportunities available.

This of course comes with its own set of challenges and so SGOSS Governors for schools (, the school governor recruitment charity, has put together 5 key areas charities should consider when looking to attract volunteers:

  • Your website - make sure your website clearly states the service your organisation provides to volunteers and the outcomes you hope to achieve.
  • Your advert – what could be more important than having a clear outline of the role and the responsibilities of the volunteer opportunity – what are they getting involved in? What impact can they have? Make it read like a job description.
  • Your application form – it should capture as much information about the volunteer as possible – include a skills audit so you can see what immediate impact a volunteer can have and will also identify areas for training.
  • Your advertising - look at as many advertising opportunities as possible and over time you will work out which is effective for you. Many can be done for free with social media or the local press. Attend business networking sessions for greater exposure with companies you want to work with and keep going if you are not successful straightaway.
  •  Your team - have a team who are enthusiastic, determined and knowledgeable about the role. If they aren’t engaged, why should your audience be?

We believe these are the fundamentals that need to be right in order to get your message across clearly. After over 17 years recruiting volunteers for skilled volunteering professions, SGOSS would also like to share our 5 top tips for savvy recruiting:

  1. Use free channels like to get volunteers from a particular employment background
  2. Offer a wider range of volunteering choices. At SGOSS we offer places at nursery level up to College and every phase of state education in-between.
  3. Offer networking events so volunteers can meet other professionals from the sector and discuss the latest developments, such as ICAEW’s Annual Charity Conference or NCVO Trustee Conference.
  4. ‘Speed dating events’ are a great way for schools/charities to meet many potential volunteers when everyone is pushed for time.
  5. Produce concise and attractive looking recruitment materials with contact details so potential volunteers can get in touch easily. They do not cost a lot to make and will make all the difference.

You need to cater to your audience and finding a free way to do this is of enormous value. Being able to promote through a successful website like allows fantastic access to professional people. With their site in particular, a user is able to see how many people have looked at your advert and who has applied directly from the website which is great for tracking lead sources and refining your recruitment strategy. What’s more, expressions of interest come straight to your email so you can contact leads immediately; there are so many willing and available people that you are bound to gain some traction and you know ICAEW members make great volunteer school governors.

Schools are under increasing financial pressure and need the right expertise to ensure that the staff and students are fully resourced.  The good news is that are some great tools available to local schools and other organisations to help find the professional experience needed to make the right decisions.