FORUM: What is your most effective mentor recruitment message?

wantyouMentoring programs are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they recruit mentors and the messages they use to get volunteers to take the plunge and formally apply to be a mentor. Large national organizations might hire leading advertising firms to carefully craft their recruitment messages, but even the smallest local programs can come up with a meaningful “hook” that gets those prospective mentors to say yes.

The nature of these messages has been on my mind since a webinar back in July, where one of the participants shared this core message they use to recruit male mentors:  “We get overwhelming responses from women to mentor—and they do a great job.  However, a woman cannot teach a boy to be a man.  We need your help to do that!”

I was struck by the boldness of that statement, especially considering that many men feel intimidated by the scope of what may be asked of them in a mentoring relationship. But the program decided to honestly articulate their need and really put a challenge in front of these men. Of course, they also wrapped this message in other talking points and information. But their formal “ask” was also phrased boldly:  “We really need men like you, John. When can you join our program?”

So what recruitment messages does your program rely on? What messages seem to be the most effective in reaching your targeted groups? Please share your best recruitment messages and phrases in the comments below. I’m curious to see the diversity among all of your programs’ messages and see if there are any commonalities around the “pitch” that you find to be most effective.