How to select a volunteer

Ensure a good fit between you and the prospective volunteers.

What to look for in a generalist:

  • constant experimentation – The best marketers are constantly learning.  They look for opportunities to test different ideas and to experiment with different techniques.
  • clear thinking – a clear, simple message makes a powerful brand
  • project management skills
  • number crunching – describe spreadsheets they use in their day job to analyze their customer database.
  • Ensure they have received links to the Menu of Projects that corresponds to the project scope.   Have they taken the time to read it before your meeting?
  • their thoughts on the project scope.
  • Judge their comfort level with the project.  Marketing is both an art and a science. Are they more comfortable with the creative, artistic side of marketing?  The number-crunching, “science” side of marketing?   Do they have examples of similar work they have done?

What to look for in specialists:

  • flexibility to adapt to different clients
  • clear, uncluttered style
  • review their portfolio for examples similar to your non profit

What to look for in every volunteer consultant:

  • listening skills
  • asks more questions about your non-profit, than gives answers
  • focuses on the needs of your non profit, not their own accomplishments
  • uses language that you can understand
  • candor, without being disagreeable
  • spirit of collaboration, willing to work with you to figure out the answer rather than presenting you with the answer
  • gives you a fresh perspective
  • helps you think things through

Understand what’s in it for them:

Treat volunteer consultants just like paid consultants, but pay them in ways other than money.  Ask them which motivators in this list apply to them.

Other subjects to discuss:

  • are they available when you are available?
  • potential developments in their work life or home life that might change their availability?