This morning I woke up to a very nice email in my inbox from Helene Schmidt. She had read the three-part blog series on non-profit degrees and certifications, liked what she read, asked me to read an article that Onlinecollege.org recent published titled “12 Reasons Community Service Should Be Required in Schools” and share it with the DonorDreams online community.
So, I did read the article and can honestly say it is very good. As you can see, I’ve already shared the link in the first paragraph and you should totally go read it.
I didn’t decided to share this post on “why volunteerism should be required in school” because I agree with the policy position. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m not for it. I’m not against it. However, I do think that making volunteerism “required” feels antithetical to the entire idea of volunteerism.
The reason I am sharing this article is because after reading it I thought, “Wow! These are all great selling points for any non-profit organization’s volunteer program.”
You might want to incorporate some of the “12 reasons” offered in the Onlinecollege.org article in your volunteer marketing materials.
Speaking of volunteer program marketing materials . . . you do have marketing materials for your volunteer program, right?
Uh-oh. Well, if you are like many of the organizations with whom I’ve worked, then you have volunteer opportunities and not-so-actively “hope” volunteers walk through your doors. Many of the programs I’ve seen lack structure such as:
- volunteer coordinator
- written volunteer plan
- written volunteer job descriptions
- orientation and training opportunities
- evaluation opportunities
I just haven’t seen many agencies actively marketing their volunteer program. Perhaps, your agency is different; however, have you looked closely at who and who you are marketing your volunteer opportunities?
I’ve read a lot recently about how the retiring Baby Boom generation is looking for volunteer opportunities. I’ve also read a lot about how the Millennial generation is really into volunteerism.
It doesn’t take a marketing professional to conclude that what motivates a 20-something-year-old to volunteer is probably very different from what motivates a Baby Boomer. So, targeting your marketing message might increase your effectiveness and bring many more volunteers through your agency’s front doors.
If the recent economy has your non-profit organization turning to volunteers to fill gaps and get things done, then you will need to do more than cross your fingers and hope volunteers find you. You need to invest in a volunteer program.
One such investment will be in how you market your volunteer opportunities. The article that I shared at the beginning of this post provides 12 great selling points that you might want to share with young people. Click here if you want to read more about how to more effectively market your volunteer opportunities to Baby Boomers.
Does your agency have a volunteer program? If so, what investments have you recently made and have they paid off? How do you market these opportunities and recruit volunteer? Please use the comment box to share your experiences. We can all learn from each other.
Here’s to your health!
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC