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Archive for September, 2017

5 Ways Non-Profits Can Keep & Grow Their Volunteer Base

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

As a nonprofit organization it’s obviously important to use a majority of funds to support the mission. But most nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers to manage a variety of aspects of their organization. So what can you do when your volunteer base is dwindling?

  1. Take An Outside Look:

It’s easy to love an organization that you’ve been a part of for years. Take a step back and try to imagine what your organization is like from an outside perspective. What would be a newcomer’s first impression? Do volunteers feel welcomed? Do volunteers leave with a sense of fulfillment?

  1. Listen To Others Objectively:

Refrain from becoming defensive when someone explains how a process could be done more efficiently. Successful nonprofits are always seeking new ways to improve, and embrace a free flow of ideas from volunteers, sponsors, and other stakeholders. While your ideas may be great, make sure that others feel like they are being heard since their ideas are essential to the nonprofit’s success. Stakeholders will be more loyal to your organization if they feel they are needed.

  1. Help Them Make Connections:

Be intentional about connecting volunteers to staff members and those you serve. Volunteers will be more likely to come back if they felt socially noticed and accepted initially. Make them feel like they will be personally missed if they don’t return.

  1. Provide Opportunities:

Give them a job & provide clarity. They came to volunteer. Before having volunteers come, make sure you have enough areas for them to help in. No one likes going to volunteer, and then being put on a one-person task with five other people. Make sure to plan well, so that people can be fully utilized.

  1. Sell Them On Your Mission:

Great non-profits have leaders who believe in their mission, and help others believe in it too. Sell volunteers on your mission, and then let them sell others – they become your brand ambassadors. Educate new volunteers on what your organization does and why that’s important, and then let them advocate for you.

3 Ways Social Media Is Hurting Your Organization

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Picture this—a small organization is looking for new ways to gain public awareness; people keep telling them they need to implement social media, but that’s all they know. So, they make accounts, and then abandon them due to lack of understanding or time.

This is a common tale, as many clubs, organizations, small businesses, and non-profits are looking for new ways to expand with a small budget, but they only hear the advice “get more social media,” without any further explanation. What does that mean?

  1. Just Having The Account Isn’t Enough

Creating a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media account is great, but if you don’t post or don’t post often, you would be better off without them. An account that is never used makes an organization look like it’s inactive and will not attract new awareness or involvement.

It’s important to be strategic about which platforms you select. If you have a limited amount of time to devote to your social media presence, select platforms that will best showcase your organization. For example, if your non-profit could be best featured visually, then choose a platform that is picture based, like Instagram, instead of posting ‘occasionally’ on multiple platforms that are ineffective.

  1. Forgetting Your Core Members

Social media can be a great way to reach new people or those currently involved in your organization, but don’t abandon your old channels of communication in hopes that social media will do everything for you.

There will be some members of your organization that will never get a Facebook or Twitter, but are tireless volunteers that read your mailed newsletter every month. Don’t forget about them!

  1. Stop Selling

Just as no one likes someone who only talks about themselves, no one likes an organization that only talks about themselves either. Although an organization wants social media to promote and spread awareness, they must think beyond advertisements.

Think of your social media presence like you’re building a new friendship. Be intentional about making small talk with your followers, finding common interests, and showing them that you care about their interests. Engage with them using interesting content, instead of selling them the same product.