Learning patterns/Find volunteers to support a program

Volunteers are one of the most important resources for running programs, but many organizations and program leaders have said that it is difficult to find enough volunteers to support projects and programs.

A learning pattern foreducation
Find volunteers to support a program
problemYou need volunteers to support a program online or offline.
solutionPost requests for volunteers on mailing lists and in other gathering places.
creatorKHarold (WMF)
created on00:17, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?


What is the solution?


Start by thinking about what kinds of work you need volunteers to do. It may be easier for someone to agree to support a program if they have a clear understanding of what kind of work they will do and how much time they will need to spend. You may want to start a project page where people can read about the program and sign up for volunteer roles. Begin conducting volunteer outreach once you have an idea of how many volunteers you need, when you need them and what you need them to help you with.

  • Contact a local Wikimedia chapter, thorg or user group to ask whether they know any volunteers who might be willing to help. If you live near a chapter that hosts events, you may want to attend an event and invite other attendees to get involved with your program.
  • Post messages on local mailing lists that cover topics related to your program.
  • If you are looking for contacts information about other language wiki's check the Wikimedia Embassy. Not all Wikimedia projects have an Embassy, but the volunteers there may be able to help you reach out to people in different language communities. This could be especially helpful with translation projects.
  • Post a message on your local Village pump. All Wikimedia projects have a space where volunteers can gather to discuss policies, technical and operational issues. Some communities call it a village pump, some have a different name. Some have specific places to post questions that are not in the local language, so make sure to check if that is the case for you.
  • If you notice a particularly active new editor in your community, invite them to volunteer and suggest a simple, easy to manage task.
  • Connect with local Voluntary Service - and offer them to post your call for volunteers

Volunteers for education programs

Things to consider

  • Keep in mind that volunteers may not need to be experienced Wikimedians to help support a project. For example, consider inviting a finalist from a photography contest to teach a photography workshop.
  • It would be very helpful if you create a page or list of available online/offline tasks for volunteers. So a volunteer who wants to help but do not know how can easily access that page and be aware of tasks your chapter/group needs to be done[1].


  • “We use online writing contests as a ‘play area’ for trying to boost the commitment of Wikimedians. For example, you have Wikimedians who join your organization and you want to check if they are good at managing projects, we invite them to manage an online writing contest, often they are enthusiastic about this. If something goes wrong, it is not a big problem. It is a good way for us to test the level of commitment for new members of our volunteer community and give them ownership of projects.” -- User:Kippelboy, Cátalan Wikipedia
  • Grants:IEG/Motivational and educational video to introduce Wikimedia had several people volunteer to translate the scripts. Recruitment of translators was done using some of the methods listed in this learning pattern.[2]



See also

Education Toolkit Learning Pattern
This learning pattern is part of the Education Program Toolkit.
Go to the toolkit.

Grants:Learning patterns/Project roles

Grants:Learning patterns/Using the education extension

External links