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The Power of Personal Connections

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Research shows that over 50% of those volunteering do so in response to being asked by a friend, co-worker, or relative.  This leads to what Steve McCurley and Rick Lynch call the “concentric circle” theory of recruitment, an approach that maximizes the relationships of those who are already connected to your organization – board members, staff, volunteers, donors, clients/customers, etc.  These individuals are already familiar with the organization, are invested in its mission, and can be excellent allies in your search for prospective new volunteers.    

While we all can agree on the common sense of this recruitment strategy, the challenge often lies in how to actually tap into the various personal connections of those with whom we work.  This article describes how to lead a group through a specific process to generate a significant list of potential contacts.  It is a very practical tool for applying the “concentric circle” theory when you need to recruit for a specific type of volunteer.  And, it is flexible enough to be applied in a variety of ways.  Katie Campbell also offers two real-life examples of how the process was used by a mentoring program and an agency board of directors.