Kentucky-Ecuador Chapter Best Practices: Recruiting Members and Volunteers

Austin Cantor, Kentucky-Ecuador Chapter Member
KY Partners in Sales Booth (1)_0.jpgKentucky-Ecuador Partners members in the sales booth.

Recruiting new members for the Kentucky-Ecuador Chapter is a challenge for all volunteer organizations. We have been successful reaching out to secure new volunteers through our fundraising projects. To raise operating funds, we have been selling various clothing and craft items made in Ecuador at multiple venues including a large outdoor art festival and the Festival Latino in Lexington, Kentucky. The sale items are brought back from Ecuador by our volunteers on their return to Kentucky. 

School children in El Chaco_0.jpgSchool children in El Chaco.

When people drop by our booth to look at the beautiful alpaca shawls, sweaters, and other items, we not only sell them the items they are admiring – we also sell them on Partners. Our most active members are usually staffing the booth, so they can enthusiastically share what they have been doing in Ecuador and what our compañeros from Ecuador are doing in Kentucky. It is a great opportunity to tell prospective members how they can also be involved. Of course, we also just happen to have chapter membership applications with us. 

Applying fluoride_0_0.jpgUniversity students apply flouride.

We invite prospective members to our next meeting to learn more about Partners in general and about specific projects. For example, many of our new members get hooked after listening to our Past President Rankin Skinner describe and show photos from the long-running Ecuador Dental Health Initiative (EDHI) project. It is critical that we clearly show our new Partners that, with their skills and interests, they are highly qualified to make important contributions to both ongoing and new projects. The EDHI project involves applying dental sealants to thousands of children in schools across Ecuador, so many volunteers are needed. 

IMG_9627 (1)_0.jpg(From left to right) Former Chair for Fundraising Linda Roberts, Former President Rankin Skinner, and Former President and Current Fundraising Chair Jan Yon gather at the sales booth.

In addition to recruiting and training our Ecuadorian Partners and other local people, we get assistance from Kentucky Partners working on other projects in Ecuador. We also receive help from university student groups from the U.S. on tour in Ecuador. This not only allows the EDHI project to assist more children, but it also gets these students interested in Partners. This recruitment helps us bring people together to make a great difference in the lives of citizens and communities.

Fluoride day in Ecuador Rotary Club_0.jpgFlouride day at the Ecuador Rotary Club