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Selfish Volunteers June 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gillespieka @ 4:21 pm

Many people are looking for ways to contribute to their community, but often don’t contribute because they don’t know where to start to get involved. PR practitioners should use this knowledge to get information to these people in order to recruit them as volunteers.

It would be a great world if there were true altruistic acts. True selfless acts cannot happen because as soon as a person feels good for doing something, he or she has received something in return. Even though some people will strive to do something and expect nothing in return, this is not true for all.

The majority of people, before they sign up to do something, think what is in it for me? Society has molded people to think of themselves before they think of others. This information is paramount for a non-profit organization to understand when trying to recruit volunteers.

One organization, for example, that can apply this theory is the YMCA.

The YMCA, or the Young Men’s Christian Association, is a non-profit community service organization that is open to children and adults of all ages, races, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. The YMCA’s mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

The YMCA offers many options for those who want to volunteer for its non-profit organization. Some options include:

·      leading an exercise class

·      reading to a preschool class

·      coaching a basketball team

·      cooking for a bake sale

·      helping out in the office or at a special event

·      being a part of a group working on a neighborhood problem

The Goal

The YMCA is one of the largest community service oriented organizations in the United States. All 2,663 YMCAs are volunteer-founded, volunteer-based, and volunteer-led. It is always in search of more volunteersthis is the goal  for its organization so it can continue to expand and provide it services to more people.

ObjectiveI’m expecting you to follow the formatting of objectives from the notes on planning. 

By implementing the tactics provided for this plan, the recruiter should meet the objective of increasing the amount of  volunteers between the ages of 16-22, that are high-school and college students who play sports, at the YMCA by 20% by September 31st, 2010.

Tacticsyour tactic should be specific and relate to your objective 

One excellent approach to achieve its goal is to find those most interested in volunteering that are between the ages of 16-22 attending high school or college. A recruiter should approach those people with the most appealing scenario, while keeping the “what’s in it for me” mentality in mind. The high-school and college students involved with clubs and/or sports could be actively targeted as potential recruits by explaining what activities they could do as a volunteer that revolved around the sports they are in. As an example, the recruiter talking to a high school basketball player would let him know he can get involved by teaching children how to play basketball or that he could even coach a youth team. The recruiter would also mention the importance of volunteering when it comes to college and job applications to the high-school basketball player. 

Some tools to actually touch base with an audience would be social networking. Using sites like Facebook to form groups for people to join from each public. For this specific example, a group would be made called “Basketball Experts Needed at the Y.” The person in charge of the social media page would find these people within the age range of 16-22 who are interested in basketball. Then, those people found would be added to this group and more information about volunteering would be on this page. Another option would be to set up an information table at an open house for a high-school or college so the recruiter could talk to people that stop by the table. The budget estimate for this campaign would be $3,000.


As all good PR practitioners know, there are many communication theories but the uses and gratifications theory influenced this idea. The uses and gratifications theory lets a targeted public guide what the media tells it. It’s as simple as not listening because of a loss in interest. The media has done nothing if the person it is trying to reach is not listening. Therefore, the media tailors its messages to the specific audience it is trying to reach.

What do you think about this?


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