Running a recruitment drive

Tips and ideas to help you show off what guiding is all about

Running a recruitment drive is a great way to bring guiding to more girls and volunteers. 

A recruitment drive is a push to raise awareness of our fantastic opportunities. The way you do it is up to you - run a stall, visit a school or hand out leaflets - just follow 5 simple steps for success:

1. Define your goals

Before you do anything else, ask yourself: why do I want to do a recruitment drive? This will help you plan for success, make the most of your time, and evaluate if you've achieved your goals. 

It's also helpful to look at membership data including your waiting to join or transfer lists, volunteer enquiries, unit membership and current volunteer roles for gaps to fill through your recruitment. 

  • Recruiting volunteers: How many volunteers are you looking for? What roles and skills do you need? 
  • Recruiting girls: Which units have spaces to offer? What's the current awareness of guiding in the community? Are there other roles available for volunteers who don’t want to become leaders 
  • Opening a new unit in a new community: Who are you looking to engage? What do you know about this community?

2. Plan for success

Now put together a plan for how you'll achieve your goals using the time, skills and resources available. Use our recruitment ideas in the expandable box below to help you decide what events and activities you're going to run to recruit volunteers. Don't forget to think about whether you need to complete a risk assessment. 

Ask volunteers, young members and your community to help take your recruitment drive forward. Choose people with the skills you need - graphic design, photography, PR, event planning, catering, public speaking. Then share out the workload by giving people specific tasks. 

3. Promote the recruitment drive

When you've agreed your idea for your recruitment drive and your planning's sorted, it's time to think about how you can promote your recruitment drive: 

Taster events 

Run taster events in partnership with a school, community group or local business. Plan fun activities to show new recruits what guiding's all about. 

Get out and about 

Spread the word about guiding in your local community. Wear uniform and take along posters, leaflets or banners. Take action in the community by helping at an event, supporting a community clean up or through enabling girls to have their voices heard. It all makes you more visible. 

Set up a separate email address and look into a basic pay-as-you-go mobile phone to manage enquiries. Add this email and phone number to marketing materials. 

Link up with special days 

Our national recruitment campaigns are the perfect time for you to build on the increased interest in volunteering for Girlguiding. You'll find out You'll be able to piggy-back on the campaign to start conversations with people in your local area - whether that's online or in person.  

You could also try Volunteer’s Week (which takes place in June every year), International Day of the Girl Child (11 October) or International Women's Day (8 March). 

Find an ambassador 

Ambassadors can come from all walks of life. And they can help spread the word about what we do. If you know someone who is - or could be - a great ambassador, get in touch with your country or region office. 

Work with community partners 

Reach out to partners in your community and gain more support for your recruitment drive. 

Involve your girls 

Ask members of Rangers or young volunteers to join you at recruitment events to get potential new recruits excited about being part of guiding. 

Take on a challenge 

Encourage potential volunteers and supporters to try a short-term volunteering opportunity. They could run a specialist activity or support a local unit for 4 weeks. There's a good chance they'll enjoy it so much that they want to continue. 

Get creative 

Change perceptions and have fun when you're recruiting new members. Try taking over empty shops, joining a flash mob, completing a sporting challenge, wearing our key messages on a t-shirt. Share your activity ideas and pictures online afterwards. 

Word of mouth 

Talk to people at work or in your community. Share your experience of guiding’s on girls - building their confidence, giving them a voice, enabling them to be a powerful force for good and helping them discover their potential. It might be a good idea to highlight all the opportunities for volunteers too - making a difference, meeting new people, taking on new challenges and learning new skills. 

More ideas to try 

These ideas are just the start! Get more inspiration from these detailed recruitment resources from all over our website. 

  • Visit a school assembly, event or class. 
  • Encourage girls to bring their friends along for a fun unit meeting. 
  • Engage parents, families and carers. 
  • Link up with youth leadership opportunities - such as Duke of Edinburgh and National Citizenship Service. 
  • Use our volunteer role descriptions to help potential volunteers understand the opportunities on offer.

Read more ways to recruit new girls. 

4. Run the recruitment drive 

  • Work together as a team to keep the momentum going. 
  • If you struggle to do everything then focus on fewer actions or recruit more helpers. 
  • If something works well then focus on that idea. 

Leave time to follow up with prospective volunteers, families and community contacts in the couple of days that follow each event or activity - you could even run a meet and greet event. 

Evidence shows that people are more likely to join as a volunteer or supporter if you get in touch very soon after meeting them.

5. Evaluate your recruitment drive

Take time during and after your drive to reflect on how things went, if you're achieving what you want and if anything needs to change. 

Don't worry if things don't go to plan. It can take a few events to get things working well. It can also take a while to see the impact of your drive - particularly if you're recruiting in an area new to guiding. 

When you find something that works then you can run the same recruitment drive again. 

Running a recruitment stall