Many not-for-profit organisations rely on volunteers for service delivery and to assist with administration and other functions.
Managing Volunteers – Take the Next Step, was a full day conference hosted by the Shire of Yarra Ranges and Eastern Volunteers. The conference discussed several topics relevant to volunteer management national standards, the steps required to prepare an organisation for volunteers, as well as marketing and promoting an organisation.
I presented a session for the afternoon workshop, discussing the Essentials of Social Media and Marketing. The presentation discussed the need for a strategic marketing approach, to identify aims and to understand what would attract volunteers to assist with the organisation.
Organisations need consistent messages to demonstrate the volunteer experiences that are created through their involvement. Messages need to be communicated using a range of marketing tools to reach prospective volunteers through multiple communication channels.
Social media is one of the tools that can be used to reach prospective volunteers and should be considered as a part of a cohesive marketing campaign. Social media should be integrated with website content, providing the seamless ability to update websites, as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites
It is important to utilise the strengths of each tool and one advantage of social media is the ability to share content. The intent should not necessarily be to develop viral content, but to ensure your target audience is able to distribute content and share their views on being involved with the organisation. Stories can be very effective and assist in providing content that can be shared. The sharing of content is the online equivalent of word of mouth recommendations and can help reach the connections of people already involved with the organisation.
Successful volunteer recruitment will use a mix of tools to reach prospective volunteers, supported by consistent messages and a cohesive marketing approach. Marketing encompasses more than promotional tools, such as brochures or flyers, but every form of interaction that someone has with an organisation.