Learning patterns/Find volunteers to support a program
What problem does this solve?
Volunteers are one of the most important resources for running programs, but many organizations and program leaders have said that it is difficult to find enough volunteers to support projects and programs.
What is the solution?
Start by thinking about what kinds of work you need volunteers to do. It may be easier for someone to agree to support a program if they have a clear understanding of what kind of work they will do and how much time they will need to spend. You may want to start a project page where people can read about the program and sign up for volunteer roles. Begin conducting volunteer outreach once you have an idea of how many volunteers you need, when you need them and what you need them to help you with.
- Contact a local Wikimedia chapter, thorg or user group to ask whether they know any volunteers who might be willing to help. If you live near a chapter that hosts events, you may want to attend an event and invite other attendees to get involved with your program.
- Post messages on local mailing lists that cover topics related to your program.
- If you are looking for contacts information about other language wiki's check the Wikimedia Embassy. Not all Wikimedia projects have an Embassy, but the volunteers there may be able to help you reach out to people in different language communities. This could be especially helpful with translation projects.
- Post a message on your local Village pump. All Wikimedia projects have a space where volunteers can gather to discuss policies, technical and operational issues. Some communities call it a village pump, some have a different name. Some have specific places to post questions that are not in the local language, so make sure to check if that is the case for you.
- If you notice a particularly active new editor in your community, invite them to volunteer and suggest a simple, easy to manage task.
- Connect with local Voluntary Service - and offer them to post your call for volunteers
Volunteers for education programs
- en:w:Special:OnlineVolunteers -- Not all Wikimedia projects have a page that lists online volunteers like this one does, as it is created automatically via the Education Program Extension. You could create a similar page on your Wikimedia project in your language. You may want to talk with your community about enabling the Extension on your project.
- Outreach:Education/Ambassadors -- Not all Education Programs have dedicated Ambassadors (see: outreach:Education/Ambassadors#Models currently in use). However, you could work with your community to recruit volunteers to be Ambassadors of your Education Program.
- If you are working with several educators at one institution, consider asking if staff working in the library or technology support center are interested in learning how to contribute to Wikimedia projects so that they can answer student questions.
Things to consider
- Keep in mind that volunteers may not need to be experienced Wikimedians to help support a project. For example, consider inviting a finalist from a photography contest to teach a photography workshop.
- It would be very helpful if you create a page or list of available online/offline tasks for volunteers. So a volunteer who wants to help but do not know how can easily access that page and be aware of tasks your chapter/group needs to be done.
- “We use online writing contests as a ‘play area’ for trying to boost the commitment of Wikimedians. For example, you have Wikimedians who join your organization and you want to check if they are good at managing projects, we invite them to manage an online writing contest, often they are enthusiastic about this. If something goes wrong, it is not a big problem. It is a good way for us to test the level of commitment for new members of our volunteer community and give them ownership of projects.” -- User:Kippelboy, Cátalan Wikipedia
- Grants:IEG/Motivational and educational video to introduce Wikimedia had several people volunteer to translate the scripts. Recruitment of translators was done using some of the methods listed in this learning pattern.