Monday, February 13, 2012

Vampire charity wins international award for innovative volunteer recruitment program


Volunteer Recruitment
The Metro Foundation for Vampire Health has won a prestigious international award for its volunteer recruitment program. The charity won the Cullen Award from the Volturi International Foundation last week in a special ceremony in Italy.

“We’re very pleased to have won this award from the Volturi. It shows the hard work by our staff at finding and recruiting fresh blood into our organization,” said Foundation Executive Director Sinead Gnimmuk, a six foot tall, pale-looking vampire.

Like any charity, the Foundation has a never ending need for volunteers. Before they began their new recruitment program a year ago, the number of new volunteers was continually dropping. Since they started the program, recruitment has more than doubled.

“We have a great thirst for new volunteers. But we found that we hadn’t set up the right infrastructure for attracting new people, training them and then feeding them into the system. We had to do a total reboot of the whole system,” said Gnimmuk.

Over dinner, the Foundation held a strategic planning session with volunteers and staff members to gain consensus about what direction the program should take. This was followed by an extensive review of other successful volunteer models at other charities, including a local program run by a first nations werewolf organization. A new advertising campaign was then created aimed at healthy, blood-filled high school students and people that no one would miss if they suddenly disappeared.

“We used some of our younger staff members – only about 100 years old or so – to spearhead our recruitment drive at high schools, community events, drive-in-movies and outside homeless shelters. They really sunk their teeth into it. With a new website, some brochures and a Facebook page, we were really able to get people’s attention.”

New systems were put in place to prepare new volunteers and to make them feel wanted. This included a mandatory training session with key Foundation leaders, usually at night. Volunteers were thanked for stepping forward, weighed, given blood tests and then show motivational videos. Screening was thorough. Those who were immature, look like they would taste bad or had blood-borne diseases were rejected.

The Foundation’s culture was an important factor in the program, said Gnimmuk.

“We didn’t just give them a volunteer name tag and then have at them. We wanted to give our volunteers a sense of who we are, our long history and why we do the things we do. We wanted them to be one with us.”

Jane Tastey was one of the new wave of volunteers. She said she was overwhelmed by the process and now can think of nothing else but recruiting more members for the Foundation.

“I don’t look back at my life before the Foundation. After I became one of them, I had a great and never-ending need to feed more volunteers into the system. I’m so hungry for this program to be a success. Heh, heh heh,” said Tastey.

Gnimmuk says he welcomes the opportunity to share their success with other charities who want to attract more people.

“I’d be willing to discuss this with anyone. All they need to do is come visit us at our mansion. They just have to avoid eating garlic before they come and not wear crosses. Then, we’ll give them what they need. Hmmmm.”