national volunteering conference Archives - Syneka Marketing

Complimentary Consultations to help the not-for-profit sector re-define marketing

By Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations No Comments

We offered complimentary marketing consultations during the conference and it was great to see the overwhelming response, with our sessions being oversubscribed. While each organisation has its own unique challenges, common areas of focus included:

  • The need to segment stakeholders and to understand their outcomes. Many not-for-profit organisations view their end-clients as a target market, but omit the need to reach prospective volunteers, board members, government, funding organisations and others.
  • Consideration of intermediaries and partner organisations. Many not-for-profit organisations have limited budgets, meaning broadcast communications are often beyond their reach. Instead, there is a need to form partnerships and explore intermediary organisations to reach relevant stakeholders.
  • Marketing metrics are not defined, leading to lack of measurability and confusion over inputs, outputs and outcomes. Website visitations, or attendance at information sessions are inputs, donation enquiries are an output and the actual donation is the outcome. Organisations need to understand the decision making journey (customer journey) and the sequence that is required to generate action.
  • Lack of marketing governance. Roles between board, management, staff and external parties are ill-defined, hampering the ability to measure performance and establish strategic direction.

These challenges are shared by both businesses and not-for-profit organisations, demonstrating the ongoing need to re-define marketing so it returns to its core of being led by strategic insights and not by execution.

Thank you to the participants of these sessions and for the fantastic feedback we received. We hope that the attendees at the National Volunteering Conference are able to build their marketing capacity and demonstrate the value they provide.

The 2011 National Volunteering Strategy was launched at the National Volunteering Conference on the Gold Coast

The National Volunteering Strategy

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News No Comments
The 2011 National Volunteering Strategy was launched at the National Volunteering Conference on the Gold Coast

The 2011 National Volunteering Strategy was launched at the National Volunteering Conference on the Gold Coast

The National Conference on Volunteering included the launch of the National Volunteering Strategy by Tanya Plibersek MP, the Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion. The Strategy has six key priorities including:

  1. Responding to trends in volunteering;
  2. Harnessing technology;
  3. Better regulation and risk management;
  4. Strengthening management and training;
  5. Strengthening relationships and advocacy;
  6. Recognising and valuing volunteering;

One of the workshops included further discussion on these priorities, providing an opportunity for participants to discuss key issues facing these areas and actions to assist in implementation.

Like any new initiatives there are opportunities and challenges in the implementation of the six focus areas. The Commonwealth Government has made it clear that additional funding will not necessarily be forthcoming, requiring volunteer based organisations and particularly volunteer resource centres to consider their approach to the priority areas.

Encouragingly, the Commonwealth Government has recognised the need for the sector to embrace technology in the recruitment and matching of volunteers including the usage of social media. This will assist in broadening the ability to attract volunteers and establishing new methods of highlighting volunteer roles. The Commonwealth Government has also recognised the need for training to deliver new skills for the sector to assist in implementing the volunteer priorities.

Innovative approaches, such as the Eastern Volunteers agreement with Swinburne should assist in delivering new training programs for volunteers and staff within community organisations. This will not only provide new skills to the sector but also create career pathways for volunteers, broadening experiences and creating further reasons to volunteer within the community.

The Commonwealth Government also stated the need for clear representation within the sector, particularly in regard to the role of peak bodies. Currently the role of the peak bodies differs across the states, leading to varying degrees of effectiveness and advocacy. The sector needs to clearly articulate the roles and expectations of these organisations to ensure a strong advocacy role in representing the interests of volunteer based organisations.

The National Volunteering Strategy should assist in highlighting Government priorities for volunteer based organisations and it is essential that the sector considers how it can strengthen the implementation and delivery of these six priority areas.

View the Commonwealth Government’s National Volunteering Strategy

Alex will be presenting at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Volunteering Australia – the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations 4 Comments

Volunteering Australia is the peak body representing Volunteer Resource Centres and volunteer dependent organisations across Australia. The National Conference on Volunteering was a three day conference located at the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The Conference themes were; establish, develop and analyse, covering the establishment of volunteer programs, ongoing innovation and the use of analysis to influence policy and strategic dialogue.

Sessions covered topics relevant to the volunteer sector, including insurance, social media, volunteer recruitment and corporate volunteering. Interspersed between the presentations and workshops were plenary sessions, which included the Foundation for Young Australians and overseas volunteer experiences.

Networking was encouraged throughout the conference, with lunch sessions themed around meeting other individuals and organisations. On Tuesday I assisted in the meet your sector theme by introducing other organisations involved in education and training. The session included community organisations and Universities which were able to share in their experiences and knowledge in training staff and volunteers.

I delivered my presentation on Tuesday afternoon discussing how community organisation can develop marketing strategies and partnerships around their strengths. On Wednesday the Minister for Social Inclusion, Tanya Plibersek MP, launched the National Volunteering Strategy highlighting the Commonwealth Government’s priorities for the volunteer sector.

The Volunteering Australia National Conference on Volunteering succeeded in delivering knowledge and skills to delegates while fostering stronger networks and connections.

Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Presentation: The value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships

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Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

I was one of the presenters at the National Conference on Volunteering, speaking at a session during the afternoon on Tuesday. My presentation, the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships, utilised Eastern Volunteers as a case study in guiding the development of marketing messages and the formation of partnerships.

I began the presentation by discussing the services and structure of Eastern Volunteers. This helped provide context for the presentation and introduced the organisational areas of transport, volunteer recruitment and marketing, which form the core services delivered by Eastern Volunteers.

After providing this context I was able to discuss the steps required for utilising marketing in creating partnerships.

Firstly, there is a need to identify the strengths of the organisation. Strengths can be identified through a traditional SWOT analysis, which should highlight the areas of high performance within an organisation. These strengths can often be delivered as potential value when forming partnerships.

Once strengths have been identified, there is a need to determine the target market that the organisation wishes to reach. The identified target market should respond favourably to the identified strengths. For example, businesses identified as potential partners for Eastern Volunteers are those that have regional autonomy and an active customer base in the areas serviced by Eastern Volunteers.

It is imperative that value can be demonstrated to potential partners and where possible this should be quantified to demonstrate tangible benefits. While many organisations cite the readership of their newsletters, it is often useful to identify the demographics of your readers and their relationship to your organisation. Likewise, it is useful to include statistics from your organisation’s social media presence and website to further demonstrate reach. Website statistics can demonstrate how long someone spends on your website and how they engage with this content. This can be useful information to highlight how people connect with your organisation.

In the instance of Eastern Volunteers, the organisation reaches approximately 400 community organisations who are listed for volunteer vacancies and over 1000 volunteers who are interviewed on an annual basis.

One form of partnerships is a traditional sponsorship approach to supporting community organisations. Sponsorship is often used to support events and it is beneficial to clearly define sponsorship categories so that sponsors are clearly aware of the benefits and expectations.

Depending on the event there are often opportunities to create multiple categories of sponsorship, such as primary and secondary sponsors. It is imperative that there is tangible value to distinguish each sponsorship category and to make the additional cost difference beneficial to the sponsor. Try to make sure that there are opportunities for sponsors to participate in the event, as this increases the likelihood of future sponsorship and provides opportunities to upgrade the level of support.

Eastern Volunteers has been able to form ongoing partnerships utilising the approach of identifying strengths. In regard to Eastern Volunteers, the longevity, stability and networking ability of the organisation are definite strengths. This means that a partner can reach other community organisations and businesses through Eastern Volunteers knowing that the organisation is trusted and reputable.

This approach assisted Eastern Volunteers in forming an ongoing partnership with the Bendigo Community Bank Branches of Heathmont, Mooroolbark, Mt Evelyn and Ringwood East to provide an ongoing series of Business Breakfasts for the local community. The breakfasts assist Eastern Volunteers in networking with businesses and community organisations and assist the participating branches in meeting prospective clients.

Likewise, a similar partnership was formed with the Maroondah Leader providing a monthly feature on volunteering by profiling volunteers in the community. Eastern Volunteers utilises its networks in finding potential volunteers and articles for the Leader, while the newspaper demonstrates its interest in the community by including volunteer opportunities and editorial from Eastern Volunteers.

These partnerships were formed through an understanding of the organisational strengths of Eastern Volunteers and how they offered value to potential partners. While strengths differ between organisations, there is an opportunity to utilise these strengths to create mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses.
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