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View Full Version : Any tips for getting volunteers?



gimpboy76
09-25-2006, 12:22 PM
Hey guys, I'm a volunteer for Grimes Castle a new haunted attraction in Carson City, NV. This is a reworking of a haunt that's been in existence for the last 10 years or so, but the new owner wants to add a lot of side things such as carnival games and such. Consequently we need more volunteers than what we have currently so we can make everything run smoothly. We started a MySpace site last week and have amassed quite a few friends. We've posted on our site and through a bulletin that we are looking for volunteers but last weekend no one showed up for the first set of auditions. We've had a few contacts by actually looking at peoples' profiles and trying to appeal to their interests but that takes a lot of time. This is a new phenomenon to me, I recently had moved from Denver and people were being turned away from haunts the demand to work in them was so high. Granted haunted attractions are kind of a new thing here, there was a haunt running up in Reno for a while but it has since closed down, so maybe the kids aren't as familiar with what a haunt is, I've even considered having a sneak peek for our "friends" on myspace and once they get a taste of what it's all about maybe they'll want to volunteer. Anyway I'm just looking for suggestions from others on how they've handled this situation, thanks!

Jim Warfield
09-25-2006, 05:20 PM
If you figure out how to do this let me know too.
Before any suggestions get put on here telling me I should start a year round social club of activities to create a crew of usable helpers(which some people do and it may work for them?) I am a one-man show and am open every night of the entire year, so I don't have the time to do such a thing(s))
Of course I'm not even asking or looking for volunteers, these people do get paid!

Thorswings
09-25-2006, 06:49 PM
This is our third year and we have started something new this year that has created OUTSTANDING results.
We contacted one of the local college theatre groups, one of the local high school bands (they raise money each year for trips) and a local college club that I am already associated with. We gave each of them 5000 4 x 6 advertisment cards with their name on them. They must put the cards out around town, supply 7 people a night to work the haunt, and they get $1 per person that comes through the haunt that uses their advertsiment cards (has a $2 coupon on the card). I am thinking of bumping their take to $2 a card just to make sure they want to do it again next year. Basically the harder they work the more they make. I have a business that will produce high quality card stock full color cards and they have turned out great this year!
I split the haunt into sections and gave each group one section that will be "thiers" to man. The Theatre group was so excited they did a casting call, wrote scripts and are helping with the design of the "stage". I think this is the answer to the problems I had last year.
Give it a try.
Roy

Jim Warfield
09-25-2006, 06:59 PM
The only "theater group" here in the cornfield are a bunch of 75 year olds who act like they are 90!
I'm 57 acting and feeling like I am 75!...until the sun goes down.....

gimpboy76
09-25-2006, 11:44 PM
This is our third year and we have started something new this year that has created OUTSTANDING results.
We contacted one of the local college theatre groups, one of the local high school bands (they raise money each year for trips) and a local college club that I am already associated with. We gave each of them 5000 4 x 6 advertisment cards with their name on them. They must put the cards out around town, supply 7 people a night to work the haunt, and they get $1 per person that comes through the haunt that uses their advertsiment cards (has a $2 coupon on the card). I am thinking of bumping their take to $2 a card just to make sure they want to do it again next year. Basically the harder they work the more they make. I have a business that will produce high quality card stock full color cards and they have turned out great this year!
I split the haunt into sections and gave each group one section that will be "thiers" to man. The Theatre group was so excited they did a casting call, wrote scripts and are helping with the design of the "stage". I think this is the answer to the problems I had last year.
Give it a try.
Roy

This sound like a really good idea, the owner of our haunt is friends with the drama teacher at the local HS, so maybe this is something we could try to incorporate, thanks for your help! And Jim I hope you are able to find some help too!

Xeverity
09-26-2006, 10:40 AM
Cash works but I suppose that cancels out the volunteer bit! :roll: But serioulsy offering some kind of incentive or if there is a charity element then it is easier.

Free- T-shirt
Party afterwards
Cast photo - framed
Mystery Prize
Training
Reference for their resume - over here 'work experience' for students is mandatory

HorridIllusions
09-26-2006, 02:03 PM
I've used www.volunteermatch.org before, but you must benefit a non-profit to use them. :)

Basically, I just donate part of my proceeds to the local animal shelter or something similar anyway, as I feel like doing something good, and it helps business. www.volunteermatch.org got me about 20 volunteers.

MDKing
09-26-2006, 09:19 PM
Horrid Illusions,

When getting those 20 volunteers, how much did you have to pay for them after everything?

Thanks,
Allan

HauntedJohn
09-27-2006, 07:35 PM
Have you tried to go to local high schools and put up posters or
something. This would probably work if you are willing to go under 18
years of age.

Ken Spriggs
09-28-2006, 08:20 AM
We use duct tape and rope.....oh and a handy white van with no windows!!!

Joedog
09-28-2006, 09:32 AM
We use duct tape and rope.....oh and a handy white van with no windows!!!

So that why it was parked across the street..... :roll:

Good luck this year and may it be exciting and prosperous as ever

Joe

Jim Warfield
09-29-2006, 01:53 AM
Would that be a van like I saw in that one Cheech & Chong movie?
Bouncing up and down and moaning? (Must be a haunted sound track?)

HorridIllusions
09-29-2006, 07:40 PM
Horrid Illusions,

When getting those 20 volunteers, how much did you have to pay for them after everything?

Thanks,
Allan

Well, we didnt pay the Volunteers from VolunteerMatch.org anything. They were truly volunteering, because they usually belonged to a group which seeks opportunities to simply donate time. Many of them simply wanted to help the doggies, kitties and other pets our event sponsored to find homes.

We did also very successfully contact all the high schools in the area, particularly theater groups, and they supplied a minimum number of volunteers in exchange for the organization receiving $1 for each ticket sold on the night that they had the minimum number of volunteers present. We presented it to the groups as a fundraising opportunity.