With the resources you have gathered and developed in the previous steps, recruitment should be a bit easier. People tend to be more excited to sign up to volunteer when they know what is expected of them. Your brief job descriptions and the amount of time required for the position will help you do more targeted recruitment.

Whether you have new roles to fill or are always in need of volunteers, we have some tips and methods for recruitment.

3 Key Recruitment Tips

  1. Be specific– state what roles you need volunteers to fill and the time commitment for each.
  2. Use more than one method– reaching people with varied interests and skills may require using different methods. You might find the tech savvy volunteer through virtual recruitment or schools. An individual with a more flexible schedule may learn from a physical message board at a church or community center. (Methods are listed below)
  3. Share the why – individuals volunteer to meet a community service requirement and/or to feel good about how they spend their time. Include a volunteer or a guest quote about how the organization has impacted their lives.

Recruitment Methods

Recruitment can be challenging, but there are a variety of ways to get the word out. Here are some ideas to get you started. See which method(s) would work best in your community.

Word Of Mouth

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get new volunteers. Ask friends and family if they know of anyone who would be willing to help. Ask them to spread the word that your pantry needs help to see if their friends know anyone.


Other Groups

Reach out to clubs, organizations, and colleges. It is common for high school and college students to need volunteer hours. This holds especially true for those studying in a public health sector.



Set up a table at a community event. Try to network with subdivisions, health events, etc.

Social Media

Advertise on social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are easy and free ways to share. Join local Facebook groups to share information out.



Create a flyer and post it around town. Be sure to get permission from the site prior to posting it. Try places with a bulletin board like churches, the YMCA, town buildings, the library, and anywhere else you can think of. You can also ask these organizations to share the flyer via email to their clients/participants. You could also reach out to your local newspaper to see if they could put something in the paper.



Invite guests to volunteer. Most neighbors are so grateful that your pantry was open when they needed help and would love the opportunity to pay it forward. Individuals without dependents who receive SNAP benefits need to work or volunteer at least 80 hours/month to maintain their benefits.

Once you have recruited your volunteers, you will need to train them. Let’s review some ideas for training in our next section.

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