Volunteers Wanted

A Practical Guide to Finding and Keeping Good Volunteers

The author, a leader of volunteers for 30 years, draws upon her experience to craft some practical guidelines for finding and keeping your most valuable resources.

136 pages. ©1999.
Available Formats:

Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted October 4, 2018


This is the perfect book for learning how to recruit and retain volunteers. Such a big help.


Review posted September 28, 2018


I found very concrete specific ideas to find, retain, and encourage volunteers in my organization. I recommend this book to Volunteer Coordinators.


Review posted September 26, 2018


This book has great information on seeking and keeping volunteers. It outlines steps for recruiting and rewarding, examples of good and bad efforts, and takes a clear look at the motivation behind engagement in volunteerism. Great for anyone new to volunteer management and program development like me. The only issue I had was with the smattering of mechanical errors and confusing sentences that could have been fixed during editing. Nothing major though.


Review posted September 19, 2018


As someone who is just joining a group with one of my main purposes being recruiting volunteers- this has helped me solidify practices to use while forming this process. I now have more information to give to my group on how to better interact with volunteers. Immensely helpful!

[email protected]

Review posted September 8, 2018


As a non-profit organization grows, one component of its funding portfolio that can help it to be more effective is a core group of volunteers. This book addresses all of the relevant issues that I can think of, and does so in a brief space. The substance of the book excels. I would like to see some minor editing and proofreading in a future version, but the important aspects are covered well here.


Review posted August 17, 2018


Every small community in America needs volunteers to survive. This book gives keys to recruiting them and keeping them. The volunteers in our small community are presently receiving the benefit of what I learned by reading this book. It's a keeper.


Review posted July 13, 2018


Very common-sense style. Easy to understand suggestions by examples given. Lots of different types of volunteer needs, so easy to apply these ideas. Book is a reasonably quick read for busy people looking for help and ideas to grow volunteerism.


Review posted June 18, 2018


This book has some good ideas in it.


Review posted May 9, 2018


This is a great book for anyone working with and managing volunteers. It takes a comprehensive look at not only recruiting volunteers but the ideology of why volunteers sign up and sometimes why they quit. Great Read!


Review posted January 10, 2018


While some of the examples give this book a fated feel, the concepts presented are solid. Too often I have been involved with projects that rely heavily on volunteers and those volunteers are not valuable members of the team, they are but disposable bodies providing grunt work. Volunteers are such a valuable asset to any organization that uses them and the care you place in retention will reward you beyond measure. The idea of training volunteers before turning them loose on an organization is a great suggestion, may not be practical for every situation but could definitely alleviate the fear of failure some volunteers face which prevents them from even joining a program or makes them feel inadequate when they don't fully grasp what is needed. Recommend

Michelle Munro

Review posted August 23, 2017


The information was useful to help locate volunteers and how to make volunteers feel useful and appreciated.

Creswell at Home

Review posted April 22, 2017


Volunters Wanted is one of the best "how to" publications for nonprofit organizations I have ever read. It's exactly what it promises, "a practical guide to finding and keeping good volunteers," and it's well written to boot! In fact, I'm so impressed that I would like to re-order it as a permanent resource for my organization. I've instituted a reference library at our donated office space for officers and members and this volume is a worthy addition to it. I want to keep this copy close at hand for easy access during this expansion phase for our grass-roots all-volunteer organization. Thank you for making books like this one available to us at no cost!


Review posted November 13, 2016


Jammed-packed with practical information about finding and keeping volunteers. This is one book that I'll be referring to again and again!

[email protected]

Review posted November 9, 2016


Great book; super motivational!


Review posted November 8, 2016


The majority of this book is common sense for anyone who has experience with people, or even only minimal experience with volunteers. The one helpful takeaway I found for my program was the idea of getting my current volunteers involved in recruiting (but there were no specific suggestions--I just brainstormed on my own after reading the general suggestion). I would say this book would really only be beneficial for someone who has never volunteered and never recruited or worked with volunteers.


Review posted October 14, 2016


I liked the book as a go to manual for successfully bringing volunteers to your organization. It is detailed with step by step outlines. The message throughout the book is 'make it easy to volunteer'. I knew this from years of recruitment, but it is nice to have a quick review handy. I would highly recommend it for anyone just starting in the recruitment field. Understanding why people volunteer and speaking to those requirements is an all important step to bringing volunteers into your organization.


Review posted October 3, 2016


This book is a useful tool to those of us that recruit and work side by side with volunteers on a regular basis. I must say that the book reads rather slow, however, the information presented is ALL pertinent to the goal of attracting and retaining volunteers! I recommend this book for anyone who is, or will be in volunteer recruiting, including other experienced volunteers!

[email protected]

Review posted September 27, 2016


I liked the ideas found in the book. Sometimes the information seemed not to be geared toward very small rural communities though.


Review posted September 20, 2016


This book is a great guide for knowing how to approach and keep volunteers. It can be very difficult to find volunteers and it is nice that this book gives many different ideas on how to recruit.


Review posted August 5, 2016


A good overview. Experienced volunteer coordinators will be familiar with the content. Good for newbies though. The examples given are a mix of success stories and cautionary tales.

Margaret Tomlinson

Review posted May 26, 2016


This is a short, easy-to-read book with good pointers on running an effective volunteer program. It's full of examples to demonstrate the principles and ideas presented. The ideas tend to be geared toward larger organizations with many volunteers, but almost all are applicable to any organization that uses volunteers.


Review posted May 13, 2016


This is an amazing book for those of us just learning, or wanting to refresh, our volunteer process! This book gives great pointers about how to be specific about the types of volunteers you want and especially how to thank those volunteers once their job is done! Highly recommend this book.


Review posted March 17, 2016


I think the value in this book is listing out and making explicit many things that we intuitively know about working with volunteers and human beings in general. There are some good lists and examples / case studies that support the book's points. There's nothing necessarily ground-breaking in here, but it's a fairly quick / simple read that provides a good framework. The other benefit may be for an organization considering working with volunteers or starting a volunteer program, this book makes the strong case of the investment the organization needs to be prepared to make in order to have a successful and sustainable program. This is a useful resource if an organization is debating this idea and different people (board and or staff) are not aware of the energy and capacity a volunteer program will require to be successful.


Review posted November 13, 2015


Really helpful, practical advice.

Karen Gentry

Review posted September 15, 2015


I found this book very practical and well organized. I was specifically interested in the section on Recognition and Rewards. I did find this extremely helpful, I have been a volunteer coordinator most of my professional life and find that I need to find new ways to reward and recognize volunteers and their talents they bring to an organization. Thank you. Karen

Josephy Center

Review posted September 14, 2015


This book was a great resource for brainstorming to recruit volunteers. It covered all the ground I was looking for. I have found that volunteers are an important part of our non-profit and this book clearly lays out all of the steps one needs to take to be successful.


Review posted August 16, 2015


The book was very basic and vague. However, i did enjoy the chapter on how to deal with problem volunteers. I appreciated that Rusin addressed how to ask a problem volunteer to leave the organization. Also, the book came with great examples from real organizations.


Review posted July 21, 2015


Book was great

Sandi Richard'

Review posted June 4, 2015


Volunteers Wanted A Practical Guide to Finding and Keeping Good Volunteers By Jo B. Rusin This is a good basic guide to help someone recruit, train, encourage and retain good volunteers. I supervise a team of forty + volunteer chaplains in a hospital setting and find myself agreeing with most of what Ms. Rusin has to say. One of her most important points is to maintain flexibility; when working with volunteers, one needs to adapt the program to meet the needs of the organization and the volunteers alike. I can’t agree more with the need to make it easy to volunteer, once a person shows interest. Calling, meeting one-on-one and laying out the steps is all important in the early stages. The main reasons people volunteer are because they care about a cause or the people they will serve, they want to make a different, they have friends who volunteer, or they may be seeking more challenge and fulfillment than their job offers. Rusin points out that people may volunteer to meet others and make friends. With the chaplains, it starts with having a basic love for people. I especially like the concept that people start at entry level jobs, but that their training and skills don’t end there. I also believe that people like to be challenged to gain more expertise and try new things. And we as leaders certainly need to accept input from our workers. The volunteers are a wealth of knowledge and experience, and I believe in encouraging them to think outside the box, which can improve any volunteer program. Rusin is spot on with her understanding that volunteers quit because they no longer have time. Somehow their volunteer service is no longer a top priority. Perhaps they don’t feel they are making a difference. Taking time to find out what is going on, and perhaps making changes in their schedule or duties can retain good volunteers. All in all, this is a well written and practical guide to coordinating a volunteer program in any venue.


Review posted March 15, 2015


In my new employment position, after being the volunteer for many, many years I find myself in the position working with the volunteers and supporting and encouraging them. This book helped me to find new ways to do this.


Review posted January 4, 2015


Well thought out and written. A must read for some who is in charge of recruiting or managing volunteers. Jo B. Rusin's has written an excellent primer for the inexperienced volunteer manager and a thought provoking addition to those more experienced.