This Q & A feature of The Planet is a combination of how-to tips and activist experiences. Sometimes we'll consult an expert in the field; other times we'll solicit expert advice from our readers.
"Offer a free one-year membership. I gave a membership to the host of a local talk-radio program that has a large number of listeners. Now, years later, the host mentions that he's a member of the Sierra Club when discussing environmental issues. It's great publicity. It shows someone that you really value them, and I've been more than repaid in volunteer time and other contributions from people recruited this way."
- Becky Gillette, Chair
"We invite new members to our chapter office for volunteer activity nights to stuff envelopes, clip news articles, make phone calls - all while learning about our conservation issues from an experienced volunteer in an informal social setting. To keep new recruits, we order pizza whenever they volunteer at the office; hungry volunteers don't stick around long."
- Kate Moffat,
Membership Chair, Maine Chapter
"Check the editorial page of your newspaper. You'll find people who care enough about an issue to write a letter to the editor. Invite them to join the Club."
- Sam Booher,
Chair, Georgia Chapter
"Through our Senior Conservation Fellows program, we recruit retired persons. Freedom from a full-time job permits them to accept tasks that require deep background knowledge, patience and stretches of time for larger projects. For instance, John Anderson, a retired entomology professor in Oregon, puts his expertise to work when he interacts with biologists doing surveys on wildlife, soil and water samples. If volunteers know their professional skills can make an impact, they're more likely to accept a challenge."
- Michele Perrault,
Vice President for International Affairs
"Write specific, clear job descriptions for every volunteer position you need, including expected time commitments. Post them in your newsletter, on your chapter Web site and in any e-newsletters you have. See our examples at http://eastern.sierraclub.ca/volunteer_opps.shtml. We recruited our own fabulous volunteer coordinator this way!"
- Paula Boutis, Chair, Eastern Canada Chapter
Want to contribute?
Send us your answers to the following questions for upcoming issues: What was your first action as an activist? What's your favorite green gift to give? To share good advice or stories, send them to "Natural Resources," The Planet, Sierra Club, 85 Second St., Second Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: November 15
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