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How to Find and Keep Volunteers for Your Horse Rescue Organization

Finding Horse VolunteersVolunteers are the life blood of a non-profit organization. For a horse rescue organization, they are critical. Caring for a large number of horses is overwhelming for just a few individuals. You need a team of people to make your organization successful and fun. Besides, you never know when a volunteer may want to give a permanent home for one of your equine friends.

Finding the Volunteers

1. Check out your local high schools for posting a flyer about your organization.
Some high schools require a number of ‘student service learning hours’. Contact the schools to see what they require from you.

2. Post an ad on Craig’s List. It’s FREE and easy to setup an account.

3. Post a flyer in your local feed store, grocery store, riding stables and/or animal shelters.

4. Be sure you mention on your website that you are looking for volunteers and give them information on how to apply. Make it super easy for them to contact you.

5. Post on your Facebook you are accepting volunteers.

6. Check out these websites for finding volunteers:

www.Craigslist.com (Volunteer Section of your city)

Keeping the Volunteers Motivated

1. Utilize all the talents of your volunteers
Utilize their strengths and talents. Is a volunteer a computer genius? Use them to help you with your website and Facebook account. Is a volunteer creative? Have them come up with ideas to make inexpensive fundraising items. Is one a good writer? Have them create a newsletter for you. Is one good with a video camera? Have them create videos of your horses and ranch and be sure to post it on Youtube.com. Look at your volunteers as a team and utilize the best they have to offer.

2. Have a Volunteer Appreciation Day
Remember, volunteers are working for free so treat them kindly and respectfully. Make them feel their efforts are meaningful. Pick a weekend to have a celebration party; don’t forget to include the parents. Have a lunch catered or make it a potluck. Offer mementos of your appreciation. Memento ideas: take pictures of your equines and have them laminated on a plaque with an inscription. Other memento items: Gift cards, t-shirts, hats, gloves, movie tickets, etc..

3. Provide your volunteers with a t-shirt with your organization logo on it.This will make your volunteers feel they are part of your team. Plus, it provides free advertising of your organization.

4. Have a “Code of conduct” so everyone is clear on what is expected.Be sure the ‘code of conduct’ is posted on a wall somewhere it’ll be seen and give a copy to every volunteer to help prevent misunderstandings. Be sure to have training days for everyone.

5. Have clinics at your ranch.
Offer clinics about horse handling, training, riding, care, health, shoeing, etc. Make this a learning experience about horses.

6. Post pictures of your volunteers on your website.You can make it fun and mention something special about that individual.

7. Phrase, phrase, phrase your volunteers for work well done.If your volunteers are happy working for you, they will stay with you longer and they can refer other volunteers to join your organization.

Always remember, the ultimate goal is the care and wellbeing of the horses, the safety for the volunteers and having fun.

About the Author
Kathy Klossner is an avid watersports enthusiast, writer, photographer, webmaster and SEO specialist. She worked as Patagonia Clothing Company’s Watersports Marketer was instrumental in the successful campaign to stop one of the last virgin coastlines in California to be turned into the next Pebble Beach. Between checking out the surf breaks with her dog, Boss, she is traveling around Nevada’s remote deserts looking for the last remaining wild Mustangs to photograph. You can view Kathy’s photos at Waterdancerphotos.com and Surfergirls.com .

2 Responses

  1. Vicky

    Ahhhh. Great ideas here! Good info and site

  2. Andrea Siedsma

    Great info! I love your web site and blog!