Recognition Ideas

Community Literacy of Ontario has collected a sampling of techniques used in various literacy programs in Ontario to recruit volunteers, called the “ABCs of Volunteer Recruitment”.

  • Advertise! We place advertisements for tutors in community newspapers. (Georgian Literacy)
  • Books! We donate adult books for new readers to the public library. We place an inscription in the book with the volunteer’s name on it. (Manitoulin Literacy)
  • Corporations! We get involved with corporations in our area and recruit volunteers from within. (Muskoka Literacy Council)
  • Displays! We place displays about our program in our local library. (Barrie Literacy Council)
  • Events Column! We place a notice of upcoming tutor training workshops in the community events columns of local newspapers. (Renfrew County Community Upgrading Program)
  • Farmers Market! We have a display at the Farmers Market. (St. Mary’s Adult Learning Program)
  • General interest workshops! We run a general interest workshop (i.e. birdhouse building) and recruit volunteers from amongst the participants. (North Frontenac Literacy Program)
  • Happy volunteers! The best technique is to have our happy volunteers tell their friends & family to volunteer with us. (Trent Valley Literacy Association)
  • Information Table! We set up an information table at the local mall. (Timmins Learning Centre)
  • Join up! We join local service clubs where we promote our program and recruit new volunteers! (Literacy Council of South Temiskaming)
  • Knowledge! We make the time and effort to know our community and where to best recruit volunteers. (John Howard Society of Victoria/Haliburton/Simcoe/ Muskoka)
  • Libraries! We place posters in our public library. (New Leaf Literacy, Sudbury)
  • Mayor! We enlist the support of our mayor and council members. (Sturgeon Falls Literacy Alliance)
  • Newspaper! We place a “thank-you” advertisement in our local newspaper in the Volunteer Section. (The Literacy Group of Waterloo Region)
  • Open House! We hold open houses in our community. (Reading Routes, Napanee)
  • Portable sign! We intend to hire a portable sign and have it placed on a major intersection. (Peel Literacy Guild)
  • Questions! We host a question and registration night for learners and volunteers. (Red Lake Adult Education Centre)
  • Retirement communities! We have advertised in the newsletters of local retirement communities. (Literacy Council of South Simcoe)
  • Spelling Bee! We have local celebrities involved in a spelling bee. This interactive display attracts volunteers. (Tillsonburg and District Multi-Service Centre)
  • Television! We put “Volunteers Wanted” notices on our local cable television community programming. (Focus on Learning, Wawa)
  • Up! We put up help wanted ads at our local community college. (Tri-County Literacy Council, Cornwall)
  • Volunteer Centres! We contact our local volunteer centre. (Stonegate Literacy, Toronto)
  • Word of mouth! Word of mouth works best! (Iroquois Falls Adult Learning Centre)
  • Xerox! We xerox information about our program and post it around the community. (Lakeshore Adult Literacy Program, Toronto)
  • You! We use the personal touch to tell people “YOU are wanted as a volunteer.” (Literacy Council of Niagara West)
  • Zone! We put advertisements in the “Literacy Zone” of the local library! (Literacy Program – YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington)

Web 2.0 and Volunteer Recruitment
Web 2.0 technologies give literacy agencies new ways to recruit volunteers. These technologies are easy to use, free and fun. Here are some ideas to try.

  • You could create a YouTube video talking about the benefits of volunteering in your literacy agency.
  • If your organization has a Facebook page, you could post a request for new volunteers on your site.
  • You could create a YouTube video profiling volunteer success stories.
  • Many literacy agencies post volunteer recruitment information prominently on their websites.