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Volunteer Recruitment

Best practices on recruiting and engaging new volunteers within the chapter.

NEBRASKA CHAPTER: Train Your Board to Recruit!

In recent years, the Nebraska Chapter has experienced high annual volunteer turnover, especially among new board members who were less than one year into their term. In response to concerns around volunteer retention, the chapter designed and implemented a recruitment training for their board. The goal of this training was to enable board members to feel more confident in finding volunteers to serve on the board or in other chapter leadership positions. It also allowed the board time to share their motivation for volunteering, generate excitement for a return to in-person service, and standardize expectations around what it means to serve on the board and how to best prepare new board members for success. As a result of the new training process, the chapter has seen an almost 30% reduction in volunteer turnover and an increase in volunteer referrals from board members. The board even had to start a waitlist to join the board because of increased interested in volunteering.

YEAR: 2022

KANSAS CITY CHAPTER: Annual Volunteer Social Media Campaign

The Kansas City Chapter created a unique way to encourage chapter volunteers to share their new roles on LinkedIn. To celebrate the new volunteers and raise awareness for the chapter, they used Canva to design and provide a branded graphic to incoming board members and volunteers to post on LinkedIn. When new volunteers posted about their accomplishments, they also tagged the chapter. Due to this campaign, the chapter’s LinkedIn views increased rapidly by 575 percent and unique visitors by 425 percent. In the 30 days after, engagement on other chapter posts had increased by 348 percent, comments increased by 262 percent, and shares increased by 114 percent. Additionally, the chapter’s LinkedIn page gained 16 new followers, bringing the total number to 320.

YEAR: 2021

NEW YORK CITY: Using Associate Vice President (AVP) to Attract Volunteers and Succession Planning

SUMMARY: The New York City chapter developed a volunteer strategy to engage more members and shift volunteers to board members. The chapter created multiple associate vice president (AVP) roles to get those interested in volunteering involved in an entry-level volunteer position. AVPs assist a specific vice president with operations, administration, and logistics. The opportunity gives the AVP the ability to take ownership of projects and for vice presidents to include them in further leadership development opportunities. The chapter set up a clear and defined role description and expectations. They marketed the opportunity to its membership and received a lot of interest. Since the execution of the AVP volunteer strategy, several of the AVPs have moved into board positions.

YEAR: 2020

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: Networking Through Nonprofit Partnership

SUMMARY: Based on feedback from the chapter’s annual member survey, members suggested partnering with nonprofit organizations for a volunteer and networking opportunity. The board worked with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to set up an event that provided both organizations exposure to community members. Fifteen people participated in the two-hour event, and the chapter provided refreshments.

YEAR: 2018

PIKES PEAK CHAPTER: Bringing ALC to Pikes Peak ATD Members

SUMMARY: To bring information from the 2017 ATD Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC) back to the chapter and deliver conference value, the chapter leaders who attended created a web-based compilation of information using Storify. The conference Storify shared key points from each session with chapter members who did not attend and demonstrated value of attendance at ALC to prospective board members. The Storify increased the chapter’s Twitter reach and momentum during and after the conference as well as spurred new programming ideas for next year.

YEAR: 2018


SUMMARY: The Charlotte Chapter Board of Directors recognized the need for more resources to help effectively manage the chapter. The board also believed having members actively participate in chapter activities would increase the likelihood of their renewing and provide “bench strength” for future board roles. To address these the needs, the chapter created a Volunteer Fair held during the networking portion of a regular chapter meeting. The fair resulted in ten new committee members enlisting to help support the chapter.

YEAR: 2014

BATON ROUGE CHAPTER: Volunteer Recruitment

SUMMARY: The Baton Rouge Chapter traditionally experienced high involvement from board members, but had few consistent non-board volunteers. To help encourage and promote volunteer opportunities within the chapter, chapter leadership decided to identify and promote specific volunteer opportunities within the chapter. The chapter developed a Volunteer Opportunity Information Sheet, which describes the opportunity, outlines realistic time commitments required for the opportunity, and aligns the opportunity with competencies that are used.

YEAR: 2013

MARYLAND CHAPTER: Leveraging Wild Apricot to Identify Volunteers

SUMMARY: The Maryland Chapter included a question on their membership application that asks new members if they are interested in being contacted about serving as a volunteer for the chapter. Using Wild Apricot, chapter leaders set up a query that quickly identified all members who answered “yes” so they could be followed up with immediately.

YEAR: 2012


SUMMARY: To encourage volunteer engagement, the chapter instituted a Chapter Points program four years ago. Members earn points for attending programs, volunteering for different committees or sponsoring events. At the end of the year, the top five volunteers are recognized with certificates and tokens. The volunteer who has accumulated the most points during the year is awarded a certificate that can be redeemed for any ASTD certificate or education program.

YEAR: 2012

MIDLANDS CHAPTER: Identifying Volunteers

SUMMARY: The Midlands Chapter shared their best practice methods of identifying quality volunteers to serve in chapter leadership positions. This process addressed the need that board directors and committee chairs regularly had when trying to increase the chapter’s volunteer pool each year.

YEAR: 2012

CENTRAL INDIANA CHAPTER: VIP (Very Involved Person) Bucks!

SUMMARY: The VIP Bucks program was developed to encourage participation in chapter events, especially participation in committees. Members can use their VIP Bucks to bid on silent auction items at events and pay for monthly programs.

YEAR: 2008

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