Member recruiting is hard enough but recruiting chamber volunteers is even harder. In addition to getting them in the first place, you always worry about burnout when it seems you depend on the same people over and over.
A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook recently asked:
How do recruit/keep volunteers on committees? We are a small chamber (about 180 members in a community of 5,500 people) and consistently need hands that we can’t afford to pay for.
Tips on Finding Volunteers
Seek out the Musts
There are certain populations of your community that need community service hours. They are a good section to hit up. These may include kids going into high school or high school students trying to bolster their college applications.
Seek out Business Majors and Entrepreneurs
Another group that may be willing to help if you do the marketing is the young business set in your community. Look to interested and eager entrepreneurs. Get the word out that you can help them with their future businesses while they help you with your chamber. These young people need the connections and they need exposure for their ideas. They may not realize what a help the chamber can be in making their dreams come true.
Place Your Committees on It
Volunteer recruitment shouldn’t fall entirely on your shoulders. Put a committee in charge or ask your ambassadors to bring you a few volunteers. Another idea is volunteer sponsorships. Instead of paid sponsorships, a business could sponsor an event by providing volunteers to work it.
Play Up the Good You Are Doing
Chambers may not have social media pictures of hungry dogs that they’re feeding to win over the public and bring on new volunteers but chambers strengthen the business community so that there’s money to contribute to other causes. Take some time to market what the chamber is doing for the community in addition to what you do for members.