Toolkit for Volunteer Speed Matching
24 September 2007 at 4:19 pm
The concept of Speed Dating has taken off around the world and now one clever volunteer centre on the outskirts of London has created "Volunteer Speed Matching"- so get out your egg timers!
The centre’s first ‘event’ had all the characteristics of speed dating including score sheets, a stop watch, and "daters" moving from table to table on 3 minute whistle sounds!
After the event the Centre was deluged with inquires about "how could we do this in our area, too?" So, with the same speed as their new recruitment approach, the Centre produced a Toolkit with event planning hints and tips, templates for score sheets and other basic materials, sample press releases, etc. – all you need to run your own Speed Matching event!
The toolkit is very practical and simple: you bring around 20 new volunteers into contact with the same number of organisations in a fun environment. They have a limited time with each organisation and move on at a signal to the next. Both organisations & volunteers keep score sheets & matching of "yes" & "maybe" scores occurs afterwards.
The essential ingredients are:
– 20 or so well-prepared speed matching organisations [or one large organisation with a variety of opportunities]
– Same number of labelled dating tables in a spacious venue
– An equal number of volunteer "daters"
– Timekeeper with a loud voice & an even louder whistle
– Lots of coffee!
The Toolkit authors say it offers a new way of recruiting volunteers, which is fun & upbeat. Not all volunteering could be described as fun, but there is no reason why the recruitment process has to be too heavy, especially at the first "date" stage.
They say it focuses organisations’ minds on the way they portray their activities to the general public. It’s much easier to talk at length about what they do than to distil it down into 3 or 4 minutes.
It also makes organisations realise the competition they have from other local organisations. Why would a volunteer join them rather than another group?
A Volunteer Speed Matching event can be used as a PR opportunity for organisations – a chance to describe what they do to a variety of people regardless of any potential volunteering relationship.
The toolkit can be purchased as an e-book online for $US15.
Editor’s note: The online process is fast and easy. The PDF offers everything needed to adapt this to an Australian event.
Purchase online go to www.energizeinc.com/store/5-220-E-1