Recruiting New SANEs
Trust me when I tell you that this will be the 1st of many conversations we're going to have about recruitment here at the Sustainability blog. Although I wouldn't call myself an expert on the subject, I would say that I have learned quite a bit in the 2 years since this project was born. One of the most important thing I have learned is this: all the literature out there on nursing recruitment (and retention, for that matter), really doesn't apply. For relevant information you need to look to the volunteer literature.
Very few SANEs make a full time living in forensics--most of them are working other jobs and volunteering time on a schedule above and beyond their work hours. Yes, they get paid to do cases, and many of them get call pay, as well. But the pay received doesn't compensate for some of the intangibles: missing a kid's soccer game; having to take 2 cars to dinner in case the pager goes off; putting off vacations because there's no one else to take call. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
I know that victim advocates have many of the same issues as SANEs regarding interrupted family lives and lost vacation opportunities. And really, that's my point. The resources we're using to inspire creative and effective recruitment of advocates may also work for SANEs. In working with the project's consultants, we've mined a fair amount of that literature. I've written on the topic here on the NSVRC web site, but I'd like to highlight a few more online resources:
- The Corporation for National and Community Service piece on planning your recruitment process
- The Nonprofit Times column on barriers to recruitment (via Energize, Inc.)
- Volunteer Power's piece on being forthright when recruiting (via Energize, Inc.)
- Serviceleader.org's online manual, Volunteer Recruitment: Tips From the Field
Will you be able to adopt the information in these resources wholesale? Definitely not. But, many of the ideas contained in them can be adapted for our purposes and implemented immediately or filed away for future use. And the sites listed above are only a sampling of the many offerings out there on volunteer recruitment.
Do you have tips for recruitment that have worked for your program? Please share them with us in the Comments section!