Volunteer Recruitment Toolkit

How to use this toolkit:

The idea of a Special Olympics Toolkit for club volunteer recruitment came from a workshop with a number of Special Olympics club volunteers in early summer 2023. 

It sets out primarily to share findings and give information on how to recruit volunteers to clubs. The toolkit will be added to as more resources are developed and updated and/or feedback is given by volunteers.

Why do clubs need to recruit volunteers?

As your activity is in your community you have a better of chance of making that connection between a club and community members (potential volunteers). You have a greater opportunity to reach your community members and tailor your message accordingly. Special Olympics Ireland recently surveyed new volunteers. When asked “What attracted you to volunteer with Special Olympics?” the top two answers were: “Family member involved” and “Wanted to give back to community”. When asked: “How did you hear we were looking for volunteers?” the vast majority of respondents said it was “through somebody already involved in Special Olympics”

Using the toolkit:

We have grouped resources under a number of headings to make it easier for you to locate what you need. In some instances we have created a short information document and inserted links which we have labelled “Just For Now” and in other instances we have created much longer documents which we have labelled “In More Detail”

For a more detailed explanation of this Toolkit, click HERE.

Club recruitment reosurces magnifying glass

1: Identify the Gaps

Click HERE to see some SOI club role descriptions. Identify what roles need to be filled.

Questions to ask:

  • Who do we need?
  • How many are needed?
  • When do we need them?
  • Who could recruit them?
school presentation

2: Youth Volunteers

Just for now

Click HERE for a presentation you can give in your local school; you can find guidance notes for your presentation HERE.

Questions to ask:

  • What are the local schools?
  • Have we a contact in the school?
  • Are there local youth groups we could talk to?

In more detail

Click HERE for tips and facts based on SOI youth recruitment research.


3: Use a Poster Template and Create Your Own

Just for now

Create a poster. Click HERE and HERE for templates you can use.

In more detail

Click HERE for a ten minute guide on using Canva. Canva is a free online design tool for marketing materials.


4: Create a Press Release

Send out a press release to your local media. Click HERE for a template.


5: How to Use Social Media

Just for now

Click HERE, HERE and HERE for video content you can use to attract volunteers. Click HERE for an example of a club active online.

In more detail

Click HERE for a how-to guide for club social media pages.


6: Advertise with Local Volunteer Agencies

Just for now

For clubs in ROI, click HERE to add a vacancy to I-VOL, the national volunteering website. You can find a recruitment advertisement template HERE, and examples of recruitment advertisements HERE.

For clubs in NI, click HERE to register and add vacancies to Be Collective, Volunteer Now's recruitment site.

In more detail

You can read a helpful document "Finding Volunteers" HERE.


7: Onboarding and Mentoring

Just for now

You can find tips and ideas for onboarding and mentoring new volunteers HERE.

In more detail

Check out a comprehensive onboarding document HERE for welcoming new volunteers.


8: Thank Volunteers

Make sure the club has some kind of recognition in place for volunteers so they feel valued. You can find ideas HERE, and a template for a certificate of appreciation HERE.


9: Contact Your Local SO Team

Reach out to your local Special Olympics RDO for Volunteers and RDO for Clubs for support.

Connaught: Breffni.Gorman@specialolympics.ie (Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, and Westmeath (Mullingar, Kinnegad, and Athlone)

Eastern (Greater Dublin Area): eastern.region@specialolympics.ie Dublin, North Kildare, Maynooth, Ceilbridge, Leixlip and east Wicklow

Leinster (Excl. the Greater Dublin Area):  vikki.geldard@specialolympics.ie  Carlow, South Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Louth, Offaly, Meath, Wexford, West Wicklow and Westmeath (Clonmellon, Devlin, Bracklyn, Kilucan, and Kinnegad)

Munster: SO.Munster@specialolympics.ie Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare and Tipperary

Ulster: Contact SO.Ulster@specialolympics.ie
Regional coverage for counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry/ Londonderry, Down, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan