Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, learn new skills, and make new friends. Projects like community gardens, community farms, school gardens and food bank gardens offer a fun way to bring together neighbors and create positive change in your neighborhood. However, if you’re trying to organize a volunteer group for your garden project, it can be difficult to find people willing and able to give their time. In this post, we will talk about how you can attract volunteers for your garden project!
Be specific and clear about what you need.
Be specific and clear about what you need. Don’t be vague: “we need help with the garden” is not as effective as “I would love to have some help harvesting kale today.” When you think of what you want done, make a list and share it with your group.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Volunteers are often more than happy to lend a hand if they know exactly what their tasks will be and when they need to do them by—especially if it’s something really fun like planting flowers or watering plants! It’s okay not to know how to do everything yourself; there are plenty of resources out there that can help (just search “gardening tips” on Google).
Be specific about what you need from volunteers so that everyone feels confident in their roles, knows where they stand in relation to each other and can work together effectively as a team!
Make it easy for people to contact you.
The first step to getting people to volunteer is to make it easy for them to contact you. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most effective way is through social media. Create a Facebook page or a website with your contact information that has everything about your garden project readily available for anyone who wants to give back.
If there is no website and/or social media page, then at the very least include an email address and phone number on any flyers or posters advertising your project.
If people respond and volunteer, follow up with them.
If people respond and volunteer, follow up with them. You want to make sure that they’re doing what they said they would do. That their expectations are being met. And that they’re happy doing it! This can be as simple as asking how things are going once per week or so, or setting up a Slack channel where volunteers can ask questions and get support from others working on the same project.
Make it easy for volunteers to do the work.
The best way to attract volunteers is by making it easy for them to do the work you need done.
- Make sure the work is something they can do. If a volunteer comes along who doesn’t have the necessary skills or experience, it’s going to be frustrating for them and possibly dangerous for your garden project. If you’re looking for someone to help with irrigation, don’t accept anyone who claims they know how but has never worked on an irrigation system before if they’ve been living under a rock all their life!
- Make sure the work is something they want to do. If this isn’t important, skip this step and go straight onto #3 below (“Make sure it’s something they can do well”). It’s not enough that your potential helper wants credit for helping out around town; you need someone who actually wants to put in some sweat equity into caring about your cause…and does so because of pride in their own contribution rather than just wanting a warm fuzzy feeling from helping others every now and again (and after enough time passes between such opportunities). Volunteering should come naturally because of one’s passion (not just because there is nothing better going on at home).
Don’t be afraid to ask repeatedly.
Don’t be afraid to ask repeatedly. If you still need help, it’s okay to ask again.
If someone has already said no once, it’s okay to ask again. They might have forgotten or thought of something else they could do that would be helpful.
If someone has already said yes once, don’t hesitate to ask them again if there is something else they can do that would make your project run smoother or more efficiently in any way!
Create a culture of appreciation for volunteers.
A great way to make sure you have a constant flow of volunteers is to create a culture of appreciation for them. Volunteers are often giving their time, money, and other resources to help you out. If they know that what they’re doing matters, they’ll feel appreciated and respected.
A simple way to show your gratitude is through verbal recognition. Letting volunteers know how much their contribution means—and why—is a good way to keep them coming back again and again. The more you let volunteers know how valuable they are, the more likely they are to continue helping out in the future!
If you’re ready to get started, begin by thinking about what skills you need and who might have them. Then, consider how you can reach out to those people when they might be most interested in helping out. You don’t want to overwhelm them with requests or make it difficult for them to volunteer their time—so keep things simple! And don’t forget: appreciation goes a long way towards making volunteers feel like part of something important and meaningful.