Recruiting Volunteer Literacy Educators

Recruiting literacy educators and tutors can be challenging, especially in rural and remote locations across British Columbia. How can we attract good candidates? In this post, we are focusing on volunteer positions as these can be the most challenging jobs to fill. While there are no tried and true methods that suit every circumstance, we’ve gathered some tips and resources that may help organizations find great volunteer literacy educators.

When it comes to rural volunteer involvement, traditional volunteer human resources management practices may not be as effective.” – Tobi Johnson

State the Importance of Volunteers

Perhaps you think it goes without saying that volunteer educators or tutors are the backbone of your organization. Make sure you say that in a visible and public way. The leaders of your organization can send a strong signal to future volunteers and the public by publicizing your commitment.

“State that you are committed to having volunteers contributing their ideas and skills at all levels of the organization. Put it in your mission statement. Say it in your volunteer recruitment information.” – Jennifer Ellis

Include Volunteer Educators

Find out what special skills potential volunteers have to offer and how those could benefit the organization. Work with them to see where they could be a good fit. Follow through with your statement about your commitment to volunteers by including them in your planning processes and decision making so they feel that sense of trust and commitment.

“I hear this over and over from younger people in small towns. They want to help somehow, but they run into existing volunteers who won’t let them help. The people currently in charge say they want help, but they won’t let go and trust the new young volunteers.” – Becky MacCray

Recruiting Tips

  • Seek non-traditional organizations or businesses, or individuals rarely called upon to volunteer.
  • Connect with an influential local leader (such as the mayor) to help with recruitment.
  • Advertise in influential local areas: newspaper, radio station, coffee shop, newsletters, medical clinic and/or pharmacy, senior center bulletin board, congregate meal sites, or religious bulletins.
  • Recruit within your literacy learners’ own communities and social circles.
  • Consider partnering with schools, colleges and universities.
  • Leverage your employees’ professional networks for potential candidates.

There are a multitude of factors affecting finding literacy educators and tutors for your program. Check out the resources below for more volunteer recruitment methods.


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