How do you attract volunteers and encourage them to become Friends?

  • Provide a free one–year Friends membership to everyone who volunteers. Add volunteers to the Friends mailing list so they receive regular information about the Friends and the refuge, making them much better prospects to renew their membership.

  • “A very active chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists is the core resource for everything we do. Many are members of the Friends. Networking is key after that: one of our board members is a biology professor, so we get students from the local college. We have made connections to get volunteers from local high schools and local businesses as well.” David Plunkett, Friends of Brazoria Refuges, TX

  • Promote the fact that you can get a free “America the Beautiful” annual federal recreation pass ($80 value) for each 250 hours volunteered on a national wildlife refuge (see page 7)

  • “To attract volunteers as well as members, emphasize what the refuge Friends group offers. Make it more fun for the Friends members who do come and help with an event. Our treasurer suggested a potluck lunch for the volunteers during our December Holiday Open House. It was a big hit!” Thomas Ferguson, Friends of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, WI

  • For Friends groups that are competing with similar organizations for events and members, national Friends and partnership coordinator Joanna Webb suggests teaming up on membership: Buy one, get both. Friends of Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, FL, operated for a time as a subsidiary of the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. Both memberships were available on the same application, with the Friends newsletter sent out as an attachment to the Sea Turtle Preservation Society newsletter.