Is your nursing home on the lookout for new volunteers? With the enormous number of volunteer opportunities out there today, we need to come up with a wide variety of creative ways to attract good people.
What ideas can you add to our list? Please share in the comment section!
- Keep an eye on visitors as potential volunteers. Does a visitor show a particular interest in the animals? Invite them to be a volunteer dog walker. Is a visitor especially good at communicating with residents on the memory care unit? Invite them to help with activities.
- Write a newspaper article about something special going on at your nursing home and put in a plug for volunteers.
- Many nursing homes do exit interviews when employees leave. If they left on good terms, invite them to return as a volunteer. (That’s what I did!)
- Check with mom groups, especially if you offer opportunities for them to bring their kids along when volunteering.
- Encourage employees to have their teenage children come in and volunteer. Ask them to bring their friends.
- When a resident leaves after a short-term rehab stay, encourage them to consider returning as a volunteer in the future.
- Place an ad in your local newspaper thanking your current volunteers.
- Invite a potential volunteer to spend a day as a “buddy” with a current volunteer to see what it’s like.
- Be sure to have an application and interview process. This lets people know that being a volunteer is something special; you don’t take just anyone.
- Interview current volunteers. What ideas do they have for recruiting new volunteers?
- Send a note and brochure to family members of past residents inviting them to return as volunteers.
- Set up booths at community events during National Nursing Home Week in May.
- Host a “Get to Know Us” event. Be passionate about your mission, and share opportunities available for volunteers. (It always helps to serve food!)
- Invite community groups to help with a specific event. If people enjoy the experience, they’ll probably be interested in learning more about long-term volunteer opportunities.
- Take good care of your current volunteers. Word will get out that this is a great place to volunteer.
- Check with local high schools and colleges. See if they have a program where students can get credit for volunteering at your nursing home.
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” – Marjorie Moore