Food Security for elders:

Challenge: At Meals on Wheels and Lanakila, providers of home-delivered, hot or pre-frozen meals to Honolulu's Kapuna (elders), one of the biggest challenges is getting and maintaining volunteers.


  • Finding and recruiting volunteers.
  • Delivery of food. Volunteers have difficulty scheduling training and volunteer hours.
  • They may feel isolated in their volunteer work.
  • There is limited engagement with the central office and though drivers are bringing life-giving meals to their clients, there is little engagement with the client.
  • The hunger project, collection of food.

Net Squared Honolulu aims to bring social media practitioners together to help with the strategy and implmementation of a campaign over three months targeted at recruiting 30 new voluneteers. Local AARP chapter, along with two of the three Meals on Wheels styled programs have been most responsive to participate.  We hope to accomplish this through leveraging 2-5 local social media experts along with a college class of business students engaged in a service learning project.

Meeting One: Outline strategy and recruit social media volunteers. Simplify application form on organization website. Update meta tags and key words. At this meeting these things came up:

  • Public may not realize how easy it is to drive a route. (less than two hours per week). Decided a series of FB Post Cards with FAQ questions might be a course of action.
  • Public may not realize they have neighbors that could benefit from their volunteer time. Decided local map images tageted in FB ads may be a way to reach prospective drivers with this message.
  • Encourage more ride-along among netsquared members and our volunteer outreach team (college business class) to encourage first hand understanding and more authentic sharing via social media
  • Idea: create short video of ride-along. Pending.

Meeting Two: Refine strategy with collateral images and plan of action, timeline.

Meeting Three: Inform social media participants of schedule and outcomes. Invite all service learning students to relevant pages and test sharing and commenting strategy.

Meeting Four: Check in on progress and make adjustments

Meeting Five: summarize results.





I think it's great you are going to explore social media as a tool to recruit volunteers. It sounds like you are on the right track. What will the project budget of $500 pay for?

I'd be curious to know how well the web site details all information any potential volunteer needs to know. I regularly research challenges to organizations in recruiting and keeping volunteers (and regularly train on how to address those challenges). I find that most organizations that are facing challenges don't have really detailed information on their web site about what exactly volunteers do, what a day-in-the-life of a volunteer is really like, what the time commitment really looks like, etc. I find that these organizations also rarely link to such detailed information on the home page and on any page of the web site dealing with "support us" - they provide lots of links to "donate to us", however! I also find that these organizations haven't trained all staff in how to talk about the volunteering program - because everyone at the organization, employee and volunteer alike, is a volunteer recruiter, whether they know it or not.

I have a very detailed web page, called:
Required Volunteer Information on Your Web Site

I think you will find it helpful.