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Volunteering Geelong, like Eastern Volunteers, is one of several volunteer recruitment agencies within Victoria. This afternoon I was invited to speak to the Board of Management of Volunteering Geelong to discuss marketing and strategic partnerships that can assist in promoting the work of Volunteering Geelong.

The discussion outlined the marketing approach adopted by Eastern Volunteers, including the development of a consistent brand and key messages that are used to promote Eastern Volunteers within the community.

Ultimately marketing needs to be supported through a range of tools that assist in communicating these messages. In this regard Eastern Volunteers complements its marketing activities with events that support the aims of the organisation. These events, which include targeted activities with business partners, support the aim of Eastern Volunteers being seen as a peak regional body. Likewise, engagement with the media, as well as online tools, promote these activities and reinforces the role of Eastern Volunteers within the community.

It is imperative that marketing activities support an overall strategy of an organisation. Conflicting messages create confusion and undermine the branding of an organisation and this can diminish outcomes that otherwise would have been achieved.

A marketing plan is required to provide this strategic focus and guide initiatives that achieve the identified objective. The marketing plan should explore all marketing initiatives that are available, including a mix of offline and online tools to deliver positive and proactive marketing.

Once a marketing plan has been completed, it will provide guidance on marketing opportunities and the action required to achieve the goals within the marketing plan. This approach enables an organisation to measure results and effectiveness.

Community organisations are increasingly needing to be innovative and proactive with their marketing to ensure that they can communicate with the community and key stakeholders. The discussion with Volunteering Geelong was useful in providing potential strategies and should support future planning for the organisation.

Alex Makin

Author Alex Makin

In a career spanning over fifteen years, Alex has been instrumental in transforming, reinvigorating and growing the capacity of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a visionary who understands the big picture. Alex's expertise is a Certified Practising Marketer and as Chair of the Victorian State Council of the Australian Marketing Institute. Alex is also an accomplished speaker, author and mentor and former Mayor and Councillor for the City of Maroondah.

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