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Tips for Successfully Recruiting and Advertising Your Project or Club

AUG 03, 2020 • 7 min read

The most impactful extracurricular projects that we’ve seen come from our student community are innovative, one-of-a-kind, and a step above the rest. One common misconception about extracurricular activities is that in order for the activity to matter or stand out on an application, students must be the president and/or founder. However, this simply isn’t true!

What’s most important about a student’s extracurricular profile is that they are able to demonstrate their commitment to the activity as well as the positive change/impact they had on the initiative. Your extracurricular activities should clearly showcase three things: your interests, your intentions, and your impact. Starting your own club, project, or non-profit organization comes with many benefits, but many students wonder how can I recruit others to be a part of this mission?

Where to start?

The first step to recruiting for any project or club is to figure out who you want to recruit and the way you want to recruit them. When recruiting, imagine yourself casting a net, and keep in mind the three I’s of extracurriculars: your interests, your intentions, and your impact. You may catch some people that share the same interests but not the same intentions. The way in which you recruit has a big impact on who you recruit. Three main ways to do this are:

  1. Warm Body Recruitment: ideal for a large number of volunteers for a short period of time where qualifications are minimal.
  2. Targeted Recruitment: use this method when you are trying to recruit volunteers that need to have specific skills or uncommon characteristics.
  3. Concentric Circles Recruitment: This type of recruitment requires you to identify and contact people who already are in direct or indirect contact with your organization. These might be friends, family members or co-workers

Craft your Message

Regardless of the recruitment method you use, creating a meaningful message will be key for getting others involved in your initiative. Make your message short, simple, and direct. One great method to go by is creating a simple elevator pitch that is effective for both direct and indirect communication.

  1. Your pitch should include the name of the organization, the purpose, what makes the initiative unique (what gap is being filled), what makes them a good fit, and why they should join (your call to action).
  2. Be clear about what their role would be in the organization
  3. Explain the benefit of them joining your organization

Where to Find the People

  1. Your personal network of family, friends, or co-workers

    a. Referrals

    b. Clubs at school

    c. Community organizations

  2. Social media

    a. LinkedIn - professional space to search by industry

    b. Instagram - search by # and key phrases

    c. Facebook - join groups to find similar interests

Social media is a fantastic way to find students who might be interested in your initiative. Social recruiting allows you to share your project with your entire network and encourages a two-way conversation. Even if they aren’t particularly interested in your project, it never hurts to ask them to repost it on their own accounts for their network to see. Consider making a Facebook page dedicated to your organization and inviting others to join. If you have a website dedicated to your project, consider linking it in the bio of your Instagram account and any posts you make.

Be sure to promote and advertise your club or project in an enticing way that makes others want to join. You can do this by creating a short blurb to send out via email, post on social media, or text if you have their contact information. Another incredible way to connect with students with similar interests and goals is to join Crimson! Crimson has an extracurricular network of hundreds of students looking to collaborate across states, nations, and even continents! We’ve had students connect and collaborate on projects ultimately resulting in large scale organizations that have made incredible impressions on admissions officers!

A fantastic example of recruitment can be seen in Crimson student, Anjeli’s extracurricular capstone project. Anjeli’s organization, Little Virtuosos (check them out on Instagram, Youtube, or their website) aims to create music for mental health awareness, as well as share and promote research on the neuroscience of music and cognitive development. When asked about her recruitment techniques, Anjeli offered her own insight, “Originally, the Little Virtuosos Project was a small community service project that started with four close friends and I. We began by performing and teaching at a local homeless shelter, but because of the pandemic, we wanted to shift to a more virtual presence. Since then, we’ve reached out to new members with whom some of us have connected with from previous musical groups and events. Social media and email have been our best friends. We have also used some of Crimson’s resources to reach out to members from around the world! While involvement in our project is open to everyone who is passionate about music, ideal characteristics include dedication, having good time management skills, flexibility, and being a team player.”

Anjeli’s organization has grown tremendously! In terms of the future of the initiative, Anjeli shared, “I hope that more musicians from around the nation and globe will become involved in the Little Virtuosos Project mission and that our project will continue developing as a resource for the global public to educate themselves about how music can help alleviate mental health issues and the neuroscience behind music.”


Click here to learn more about how to create your own online initiative!

Shannon F.

Written by

Shannon F.

Shannon completed her Bachelors at Franklin University Switzerland where she majored in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies & minored in Social Justice and Sustainability. Shannon has a passion for learning new languages, environmental and social justice, and immersing herself in new cultures. Shannon has worked in higher education and now works as an Education Coordinator with Crimson. Shannon currently lives in Denver, Colorado, and enjoys reading, hiking, practicing yoga, and traveling.