Community Outreach

People are most likely to volunteer when they are asked directly to do so.  Meeting with a small group is good, but be sure to ask as many of them as possible to volunteer in a one on one conversation.  This is more effective when coming from a current volunteer, so make sure the person doing the presentation has also driven members and can relate personal stories and explain the benefits of volunteering first-hand.   Often times we speak to medium to large groups of people.  This is not the best set-up for recruiting volunteers, but can get the message out to many at once.  It is important to employ several strategies and cover particular talking points about volunteering and the ITN service to achieve the best results possible from these Community Outreach Presentations.  

Strategies to Employ: 

Conversational Set-Up- If possible make the presentation feel as much like a conversation as possible- Arrange chairs in a circle, speak without a microphone (if possible and group can hear you), stay on same level as group, don’t speak behind a podium, invite questions throughout presentation and build in audience participation. 

Group Buy-In- Get the group to buy in to the mission at the very beginning of your presentation.  Make the problem relatable for the people you are pitching to. 

Personalize- Be prepared to share a personal story about how the service has changed the life of a specific rider.   Talk about driving a particularly sweet person or an interesting trip or interaction that you have been a part of while volunteer driving. 

Simple Sign-Up/Follow-up- Make sure you give specific instructions about the sign-up process, and keep it as simple as possible. Have there be something they can fill out on the spot, allowing you call or email them to follow up after.   

Talking Points: 

  • Share a personal story about how your life has been affected by a senior that can no longer drive.  (Usually a parent, grandparent or neighbor) 
  • Highlight the statistics of the problem and how the problem is growing 
  • Ask people to imagine how they would feel if they could no longer drive, and how they would get around. 
  • Tell the story of a current rider, and why the service is important to them.  (It is good to have 2-3 stories to share) 
  • Explain that volunteering is flexible for scheduling, can always be changed, and that doing even a few rides a month helps.   
  • Explain about ride credits earned by volunteers and options for using ride credits.  Be sure to stress the “double good” someone can do by donating credits to ITN or to a scholarship. 
  • Be sure to ask your audience to volunteer.  Explain the sign-up process, and how simple it is to get started.  Gather their information so that you can follow up one on one with them later.   Make sure that those who are interested in volunteering can act immediately- have applications ready and set up a time for them to come to a volunteer training.