Jason Dick made a great connection between volunteerism and donors in his posting Will You Be My Volunteer? He suggests that the same strategies used to court donors could be applied to volunteers. He talks about applying the strategies of one-to-one conversations, direct asks, and crafting the organization's story to use in the pitch.
I'd go two steps further. First consider marketing. We put much effort - and even money - into marketing materials that spell out the benefits of sponsoring. In fact, we develop full-blown marketing plans for selling sponsorships and donations. What if did the same for volunteers. Imagine a detailed plan for the year and having tools like glossy brochures, ads, banners.
Second, we often think in very detailed manner how we're going to treat the sponsor or donor after the sell. They get a confirmation with a thank you. Their name is often splashed on the website and in signage. Then we make sure the board and staff know who they are at events so we can gush over them. Imagine a personal note when a volunteer raises their hand and quick note on a website banner or in the newsletter.
Volunteers are our lifeblood but do we take them for granted?