What does the Research say about recruitment?

finding #1

What are the motivations of your mentors? Mentoring programs can develop recruitment strategies that target one or more of these motivations to attract volunteer mentors. The most common motivations for volunteering include:  
  • Values (helping others or contributing to a cause they deem worthy) 

  • Understanding (learn more about themselves, others, and/or a particular problem or cause) 

  • Social (their friends are volunteers or have others in their social networks who share an interest in volunteerism) 

  • Career (make new professional contacts, strengthen their resumes, and/or become acquainted with a future career context) 

  • Enhancement (increase their self-esteem, feel better about themselves, and/or feel needed in their community).

finding #2

Word-of-mouth recruitment. Your best source of new volunteers are your current ones. 

By providing current mentors with recruitment materials such as brochures or videos, programs can ensure consistent messaging about the program, its benefits and requirements, and ensure that current mentors feel confident in recruiting others through word-of-mouth.   


Managing expectations by realistically portraying benefits and the challenges of your program may lead to fewer volunteers, but they will be more invested.

Therefore, it is crucial to manage potential mentors’ expectations from their very first interactions with a program and develop recruitment materials that realistically portray the benefits as well as the challenges of the role. 

finding #4

Recognition, positive identification, and retention. 

Research on volunteer recognition suggests that many Canadian volunteers prefer a personalized expression of thanks rather than a typical volunteer appreciation event. Many also find that learning about the impact of their volunteerism is more gratifying than a physical reward such as a certificate. 

To learn more or to join our #mentoringmonth campaign, join our open house next week.