How to Recruit Student Volunteers for Your Campus Activities

How to Successfully Recruit Student Volunteers for your Campus Activities

It’s the first week of a new semester, and the campus is swarming with nervous freshman students. As a returning student and member of the student activities board (SAB), you’re in charge of putting together a semester of campus activities that will keep students engaged and entertained. But to pull off those events, you’ll need student volunteers.

Coming up with a slate of interesting and enjoyable campus activities is hard enough in and of itself. But without student volunteers, trying to get events off the ground is even harder.

Recruiting student volunteers, however, is easier said than done. So how do you do it? What approach should you take? Keep reading to find out!

The Challenge

According to statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 62 million Americans volunteered with some sort of organization between September 2014 and September 2015. While that might seem like a lot of people, the bad news is that volunteer rates were lowest amongst 20-24 year olds. Less than one out of five college age students engaged in some sort of volunteer activity.

Between partying, going to class, and partying some more, many American college students will tell you that there simply isn’t time to dedicate to volunteering. But as a member of the student activities board, you’ll need to convince them otherwise. It’s not as impossible as it might sound, either.

Make it Fun

First things first: if you want people to volunteer for campus activities, they have to be fun. There’s no shortage of fun activities at college. Student activities volunteer opportunities have to compete with frat parties, sporting events, pong tournaments. But volunteering doesn’t have to be a chore: it can be just as exciting as anything else that’s happening on campus.

So, how do you make volunteering fun? Easy: just make sure that events that students are helping with are fun, too! Getting students to volunteer to pick up trash around campus can be a tough sell. But if you host a concert on campus with awesome musicians, students will flock to the opportunity to help (as long as they get to hang out backstage afterwards, of course).

Remember, too, that exciting events are a great way to sign up new volunteers for future campus activities. Make sure someone from the student activities board takes the time to go around and talk to students about signing up for volunteer opportunities. At bigger events, it’s a good idea to set up a volunteer signup table in a high visibility area.

Recruit at the Right Time

As a member of the student activities board, you probably know that trying to recruit volunteers during mid-term exams is next to impossible. And, once students spend a month or two on campus, they will most likely already find several activities, groups, and responsibilities that will take up the majority of their time. In other words, you’ve got to land as many student volunteers as early in the semester as possible. Don’t wait until mid-year to start signing people up.

In fact, the absolute best time to sign up dedicated, long term volunteers is at the beginning of the semester. This is when student energy is at its highest, and people are ready and willing to find activities that will keep them busy all year long. Everyone’s chomping at the bit to join a student organization on day one of classes -- but by the time finals roll around, everyone’s too busy to even think about adding one more thing to their schedule.

Because you’ll obviously be competing with several other student organizations that’re all vying for the time and loyalty of students on campus, it’s important to be organized in your approach. Make sure you have student activities board representatives at various freshman orientation events. It can also help to set up an exciting semester kickoff event at the beginning of the year, as this will give you a solid opportunity to sign up volunteers right away.

Let ArtistHub Help

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