A Simple Tip for Catching Dogs and Recruiting Volunteers

recruiting volunteers

Don’t chase them!!!

I’ve done a lot of things in my life.

One of them was training dogs, and I learned a trick that I’d like to share with you.

If your dog won’t come back when you call it, don’t chase it!

They immediately think it’s a game and will run away even faster.  They have four legs, you have two.  Do the math.

It doesn’t matter how small they are, they can outrun you.  I’ve seen chihuahuas leave grown men in the dust.

Instead, run the opposite way, calling in an excited and happy voice, and your dog will think “New Game!” and turn and chase after you.

Keep going until s/he is beside you, then reach down and grab their collar.  Done!

Using that tip, I caught a dog in less than a minute whose owners had been chasing him for half an hour.

How this dog-catching tip applies to volunteers

Now, I don’t want to compare volunteers with dogs (except that we love them both!), but the tip above also works for recruiting volunteers.

Stop chasing them!

Make them want to come to you.  The harder we push when we’re recruiting volunteers, the more we are seen as desperate, and therefore – in their minds – likely to be pushy and ask a lot of unpleasant things from them. Not terribly appealing.

If, however, you show how much fun your volunteers and staff have, how much of a difference you make, and what great people you all are, then they will WANT to be part of it.

They’ll start coming to you, and all you need to do is sign them up.

Think about this whenever you post on social media, interact in the community or update your website.  If you’re fun, and doing great things, volunteers will come to you.

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