The Only Volunteer Recruitment Script Sample You Need (And How To Use It)

Last Updated April 20, 2023

Phone banking or a calling campaign can be a really efficient way to recruit volunteers virtually. 

It helps you reach hundreds of prospects in a few hours while offering personalization which makes it easier to convince people to volunteer

However, speaking to prospective volunteers can be tricky. You don’t want to lose them by being too pushy with your ask. But at the same time, your ask needs to be persuasive enough that they join your campaign. 

To make sure that you get the most out of your calls, you need to be equipped with two things:

  1. A well structured volunteer recruitment script. 
  2. A tool to efficiently put the script into action.

This post takes a dive into both these aspects to show how you can make your volunteer recruitment efforts successful. We’ll start by looking into how to recruit new volunteers. 

How do I recruit new volunteers?

Just knowing the right place to look for new volunteers is half the battle won. And what’s the best place to look for them? 

Your existing network. 

This comprises of your:

  • Existing volunteers.
  • Supporters.
  • Friends and family. 

The trick here is to get the ball rolling. Once you get a few volunteers onboard, your base will start expanding as a ripple effect, i.e. people will start bringing people with them. 

Let me walk you through an example of how Democrats Abroad goes about recruiting volunteers. 

How Democrats Abroad recruited volunteers for phone banking

Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for more than 9 million potential US overseas voters. They are responsible for making sure these voters have all the help they need to cast their vote.

Since their phone banking efforts are primarily driven by volunteers, volunteer recruitment is essential to their operation. Their go-to strategies for recruiting volunteers are: 

1. Sending out regular appeals to their membership list.

They reach out to people who signed up to be Democrats Abroad members via email. Those who express their interest are added as calling agents on CallHub. 

CallHub’s integration with NationBuilder (Dems Abroad’s CRM) comes in extremely handy here. Interested members simply check a box and are automatically added as agents without any additional sign up process. 

2. Outreach during local events and gatherings. 

Local chapters of Democrats Abroad regularly organize social gatherings to engage with voters. In the process, they ask people to volunteer to phone bank. 

Additionally, the organization also uses strategies like: 

  • Putting out appeals on social media,
  • Appealing to enthusiastic or strong supporters during voter ID campaigns, and
  • Peer-to-peer referrals. 

For the 2018 midterms, Democrats Abroad created a distributed campaigning model for volunteers around the world to call more than 150,000 members spread across 190 countries. This resulted in a 300% increase in voter turnout during the mid-terms. Learn more about how they achieved this in our case study here.

You can leverage these actionable strategies to tap into your network and recruit volunteers. 

Volunteer recruitment script

In the introduction, I mentioned how your volunteer recruitment script needs to be well structured. That means it should comprise of the following elements, in the given order: 

  1. Instruction for callers: This helps callers understand how to navigate through the script and carry out the conversation. 
  2. Caller’s introduction: Prospects need to know who they are talking to so they can trust you and open up. Plus, it’s also good manners. 
  3. Background on your campaign: Give them some context into why your campaign is relevant to them and why should they care about it; so much that they should actively participate in it and help you reach your goals. 
  4. Volunteering asks: Have a primary ask, and a secondary ask. Start with the primary and then move to the next if they refuse. This maximizes the chances of getting their help. Since the secondary ask is a relatively smaller one, it may feel more compelling to supporters who may not be as passionate about your campaign. Once your foot is in the door, you can take them through the ladder of engagement to make higher barrier asks later. 
  5. Contact information: Leave your contact information so they can get back to you if they change their mind or need your help. 

Here’s a sample script for your reference. 

Instructions for callers

Make sure to go through the script thoroughly before making the call. Don’t read it robotically. Sound human! 

The data in {} are merge tags that will be filled automatically during the call. 

Parts in Italics are instructions for you to follow. 

The script under Bold is for different scenarios. Follow them based on the responses. 

Make sure to take notes of unique objections so we can be better prepared in future calls. 

Speak with a Smile! 🙂 

Hi {first_name}. 

This is {your_name}, a volunteer with the {candidate_name} campaign/a candidate in the upcoming elections. 

How are you doing today?

Listen to response

That’s great! As I’m sure you know, the elections are right around the corner. And this time, we need someone who is for the people, for you, someone who {insert campaign objective.}. 

To achieve this, we need to reach out to voters to convince them to vote for {candidate_name}. 

But it’s not possible without your help. Would you be willing to {primary_ask} for the next couple of weeks?

If yes 

It’s great to know that we can count on you. 

Could you help me with your email so I can send over the details to you.

Note down details. Tag contact as send {primary_ask} details.  

If no 

Push for the primary ask another time by saying: “It really makes a huge difference if you help us even slightly.” 

If yes, continue the conversation from above. 

If no, continue below.

I totally understand. Alternatively, would you be open to {secondary_ask}. This too is equally important in helping us achieve our mission. 

If yes

That’s great {first_name}. Could you share your email so I can send over the details. 

Note down details. Tag contact as send {secondary_ask} details.  

If no

Alright {first_name}, I understand. And it’s not an issue. 

End conversation

Thank you very much for your time and we hope we can count on your vote come election day. If there’s anything you want from us or in case you change your mind, you can let us know via email. Our id is {email_id}. 

Have a great day!

Tag contact as supporter but not volunteer. Hang up. Mark call disposition as “Meaningful interaction.” You can mark it as “Not meaningful interaction” if the supporter hangs up in between.

This volunteer recruitment script can be used 

  • Independently or 
  • Clubbed with your voter ID campaign script. So, when you come across strong supporters, you could ask them to volunteer immediately.  

Next, let’s get into what you need in your tool to put this script into action. 

Implementing your volunteer recruitment script 

The very first thing you need to make the most of this volunteer recruitment script is a good call center software

However, these volunteer recruitment efforts can only be driven efficiently with a tool that has the following features.

  1. Tags and call dispositions
  2. Interactive calling scripts
  3. Merge tags 

Let’s understand these features (and why you need them) in detail. 

Tags and call dispositions 

Tags are labels that describe a contact based on the conversation. If you look at the script above, it has instructions to add specific tags to each contact during a call. 

In CallHub, you can select the “+ Tag” option on the calling dashboard below the contact name to add it. 


Call dispositions, on the other hand, describe the outcome of each call. A few examples of these are: 

  • Meaningful interaction,
  • Answering machine,
  • User busy, 
  • Left message, etc. 

Dispositions are part of the script in CallHub and can be marked accordingly during or after the call.


Why do you need it?

Two words: List segmentation. 

To get the most out of your voters, your targeting needs to be personalized. This means targeting contacts with specific actions based on their engagement and support level. 

For example, you’ll need to send contacts tagged as “interested volunteers” details on how to sign up. However, the ones that were uninterested will need to be engaged with regular updates to pique their interest. 

Interactive calling scripts

Interactive calling scripts let callers collect information directly on the script while they go through the script. This is what it looks like on CallHub. 


Why do you need it? 

They make data collection extremely easy and ensure that callers don’t lose the thread of the conversation. 

Moreover, it also eliminates the manual effort of data entry required if the caller was noting down the information separately. 

Merge tags

Merge tags are data tags that help you personalize your calling scripts with dynamic information like:

  • First name,
  • Caller’s name,
  • Email ID,
  • Address, etc. 

These tags pull in data from your CRM integrated with your calling solution and display them in the script during the call. 


Why do you need it?

Merge tags help you with two things: 

  1. Script personalization: It really isn’t good practice to refer to voters as “Friend” or even ask for their name every time you call them.
  2. Ensuring callers can read through the script smoothly: If they have to memorize these details or refer to another source for them, the interaction wouldn’t go as smoothly as you’d want.

Additional features that are a huge advantage

While the above mentioned features are an absolute-must to implement your volunteer recruitment script, these features will give your entire campaign a significant edge.  

  1. Call scheduling
  2. Dynamic caller ID 
  3. TCPA compliant dialer

Let’s look at them in detail. 

Call scheduling 

A call scheduling feature in your call center software will allow you to set the 

  • Start and end date
  • Operational days
  • Daily operational hours of your campaign. 

None of your agents will be able to make calls outside of this defined period. 

In CallHub, the final step of each campaign is setting a schedule. 


Why do you need it?

Scheduling your call center campaign helps you maintain TCPA compliance. This is essential if you want to avoid getting blocked by carriers. 

CallHub’s call scheduling provides an additional advantage with the “Timezone calling” feature that lets you set the calling hours based on the timezone of the area you’re making calls to. 

Dynamic caller ID

Whether you are calling a particular region of the country or calling from a separate location, this dynamic feature empowers you to present a local presence. 

It automatically rents out numbers that match the area code of the person being called. 

In case you’ve already rented a bunch of numbers, the tool automatically selects the number (from this bunch) that matches the area code of the region. 

Why do you need it?

Whether you’re recruiting new volunteers or simply running a voter identification campaign, the first barrier you need to cross is getting people to pick up your calls. 

A dynamic caller ID aids that. Studies have shown that calling from local numbers improves engagement and pickup rates by upto 20%. 

TCPA compliant dialer

A TCPA compliant dialer (or FastClick Dialer) is a dialer that uses human intervention to initiate calls from a calling tool. It entails a dedicated agent clicking a button to initiate the next call thereby making it TCPA and FCC compliant. 

However, since the manual intervention is minimal and the tool still aids with intelligent queuing and call routing, the speed of calling is not compromised at all.

TCPA Compliant Dialer Calling process

Why do you need it?

The simple answer is to call mobile numbers. 

Normal auto-dialers are not permitted to call mobile numbers without explicit permission. However, if a human is initiating the call, then permission isn’t required. 

By letting you do that, a FastClick dialer solves two challenges: 

  1. It eliminates the cost of contact list analysis to separate mobile numbers and landline numbers. 
  2. It helps you get through a large list of contacts with mixed numbers fairly quickly (and legally). 

Plus, it’s 2021 and landlines are not as common anymore which makes it even more necessary to have such a dialer. 

Moving forward

So how do you move forward?

You start by using our sample script and adding your campaign details to it. 

Next, you’ll need to look for a calling solution that has all the above mentioned features to put the volunteer recruitment script to action. 

But that would be unnecessary, because you could just sign up for CallHub for free and start setting up your calling campaign. It checks all the boxes and offers many more intuitive features that make your calling campaigns seamless and efficient. 

Featured image source: Photo by Dan Counsell