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Why start now?
Like fundraising, it is never too early to start building volunteer support for your project. Volunteers are a community radio’s lifeline to what’s happening, who’s who, and where the money is in your area.
Meet with a core group to determine your mission and primary goals. A good rule for volunteer organizations is the more specific your needs are, the easier it is for people to help. To do this, think about tasks rather than titles. Tasks could include entering contact info to a spreadsheet, finding a venue, advertising, and cooking for an event, maintaining a blog or Facebook account, or finding donations. Emphasize consistency in your job descriptions, but delegate so success does not depend on one person. Then pick a date, time, and space that will be accessible to most people who you want to invite to a bigger planning meeting. Give yourself enough time to organize this meeting. Make a Facebook invitation, contact groups via email, advertise in your local paper’s events section, and follow up with interested people. Make a volunteer agreement form to have contact info, interests, and availability in writing. At the meeting be sure to give a brief overview, discuss three main goals and how they relate to your mission and leave time at the end for more open- ended comments and questions. Since there’s no station yet, topics to cover include partnerships with other organizations, fundraising/events, technical support, and outreach for more volunteers.
- Check out our Community Organizing toolkit for a guide to organizing community events:
- Example agendas for meetings.
- A Volunteer Agreement form from KMUD in Northern California.
- An overview of developing volunteer resources with example forms and policies.
- A detailed catalogue of volunteer management resources.
- Another Community Radio Toolkit from England.
- An amazing Volunteer Handbook used by WORT-FM.
- WSLR's Volunteer Handbook
- WRYR Volunteer Handbook