No school will get all rock stars but here are a few tips for increasing your chances of finding awesome volunteers:
1. Speak with class presidents and vice presidents - When it comes to Reunion, the default choice for a Reunion volunteer is to call on the class president. Sometimes the president would be a great volunteer, but there are also many times when this person is too involved in other activities to give enough time and effort. Sometimes the president isn't actually the networker that one might expect either. However, the class president will know who from their class would be best served in a reunion volunteer role. Schedule a call with him or her as a way to get to know the class better and to do a little recon on who from the class could fit that uber reunion volunteer role best.
2. Search social media - Review your top hashtags on social media or use data from social media vendors you currently work with to determine which alumni are out there who are regularly sharing your information. Pair this with any user open rate data you have from your email system. This alone will not be able to tell you if someone can be a good volunteer but it will give you an idea of how well-connected someone has stayed to your school.
3. Check for involvement at the club level - Which alumni are club leaders? Would they be interested in serving directly with your school in some volunteer capacity? You don't want to cannabalize someone's volunteer time with a club, but many alums are willing to take on multiple volunteer roles.
4. Have a position description available. Being able to provide a short, one page description of what an alum will be expected to do as part of a volunteer role can help set expectations and can help to avoid confusion regarding responsibilities. Position descriptions can ensure that you don't have an alum agreeing to the position but then realizing after the fact that he or she isn't truly up for this type of work.
5. Ask the right questions - When speaking with an alum about volunteering, have a set of questions drawn up that you want to go through. Often times this can help determine if the person you are speaking with will be able to fulfill the responsibilities of the role. Depending on the volunteer position, you may want to ask things like "What other types of volunteer work do you do?", "Have you been involved in fundraising initiatives in the past?", "What do you think about the latest news from the college/university?", "This volunteer role requires 10 hours of work a month, do you think you can fit that into your schedule?"
Finding great alumni volunteers can be challenging. Planning and persistence can help ensure that your success rate is high!