How to Make a Volunteer Flyer

by Gail Sessoms

Consider what you want to accomplish with a volunteer flyer before making decisions about wording, borders and paper color. A volunteer flyer is a “call to action,” according to Judy Esmond, Ph.D. You create a volunteer flyer to capture the attention of potential volunteers and provide just enough information to motivate them to do something. A flyer is an important recruitment tool when strategically used.

Organization Introduction

Use **the name of your organization and a brief description of its work at the top of the volunteer flyer**. If appropriate, include information about where your organization does it work or the people it helps -- for example, “Arts and Academics, Inc., helping Southside students excel since 2005.” An organization that helps seniors might state, “Laurel Senior Resources. We help elderly residents sustain independence.” This information helps a potential volunteer decide if he is interested enough in your mission to commit his time and talents.

Target the Volunteers You Need

A volunteer flyer should **state how many volunteers you need**. Also state if your organization trains its volunteers and tell the reader if you need a volunteer with a specific skill or experience, such as accounting or volunteer management. An animal shelter might state that volunteers “need only a passion for animals.” Appeal to retired business owners to “share your knowledge and help a young upstart.” Make it clear if you are looking for volunteers with a wide variety of skills and capabilities -- for example, “Lakewood Arboretum Has a Staff of One. Our Many Volunteers Keep Us Running.” The idea is to help potential volunteers find themselves in the description of the type and number of volunteers you need.

Describe the Work

Readers scan your flyer to learn about the work you need volunteers to perform. Answer several questions with a statement such as “Greenwood Senior Resources Needs 15 Volunteers to Make Telephone Calls to Homebound Seniors.” If you are looking for a specific skill you might state, “Are You an Experienced Accountant? Art and Academics, Inc. Needs a Volunteer for an Auditing Project.” An organization that needs many volunteers to perform different tasks might state, “New Vistas Job Center Needs Volunteers to Assist With Client and Office Work.”

Results and Rewards

**Describe how volunteers make a difference and touch briefly on the rewards of volunteer service**. This information is a critical part of the “call to action” and according to Strengthening Nonprofits, appeals directly to why someone performs volunteer work. For example, state, “Students who work with volunteer tutors show increased reading grade levels.” Follow up with “15 students are waiting for their own volunteer tutor.” Explain that volunteers help your nonprofit accept more dogs at your no-kill shelter. Include a client statement such as “Sara, age 67, says, 'The meal-delivery volunteers make me feel less alone.'”

Flyer Formatting

You might choose to use a flyer template, which allows you to enter information into a preexisting design. If you decide to format the flyer, **start with a bold headline that captures attention** and convinces people to keep reading, according to Esmond. Avoid overdoing the decorative graphics such as borders and clip art, and use line spacing and margins to prevent a crowded look. Experiment with placing the statements, such as how many and need, on separate lines so you provide the information in brief, easily-scanned snippets. A professional, informative and attractive volunteer flyer reflects well on your organization and motivates readers to make contact.

About the Author

Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.

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