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Good Samaritans Volunteers Helping Victims Program Handbook and Training Guide
Top navigation About This Guide Message From the Director Acknowledgments About the Authors Related Links
Photo: Man and woman looking out of a broken window.

Publication Date: April 2009

minus iconFilling a Void—Origins of the Program
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Volunteers: Recruiting,
Screening, and Training

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minus iconModule 2: The Victim Experience
minus iconModule 3: Basic Skills for Volunteers
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Volunteers: Recruiting, Screening, and Training


The book, Successful Strategies for Recruiting, Training, and Utilizing Volunteers: A Guide for Faith- and Community-Based Service Providers, produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides some excellent guidance for establishing and managing volunteer programs. This book may be downloaded free from

Here are some of SAMHSA's ideas for recruiting volunteers:

  • Contact your local volunteer center.

  • Use current volunteers—they are convincing salespeople because they are committed to your cause and believe in your organization.

  • Use the mass media (e.g., television, radio, newspapers, billboards), as well as neighborhood newspapers, newsletters, and organizations' bulletins.

  • Make announcements at faith-based services, educational sessions, meetings, and social gatherings of your congregation or organization.

  • Post volunteer opportunities on appropriate Web sites.

  • Make personal appearances at schools, senior centers, career fairs, and other venues or events.

  • Give slide shows and videotape presentations.

  • Staff booths and exhibits at special events.

  • Use mailings, from mass mailings to personalized, handwritten notes.

  • Get referrals from staff, ministers, friends, and lay leaders, such as deacons.

  • Register with volunteer referral organizations.

  • Volunteer in other organizations' projects.

  • Coordinate with schools that require community service hours for graduation.

  • Ask people to volunteer—most people volunteer because they are asked.