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Alex will be presenting at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Presenting at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

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

I will be presenting a paper entitled the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering on Tuesday the 29th of November from 4pm.

Alex will be presenting at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Alex will be presenting at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

The paper is supported by case studies involving Eastern Volunteers and will undertake the following:

This paper will explore the use of strategic marketing to extend the influence and reach of your organisation. The paper will guide organisations through an assessment of their marketing activities, the identification of unique strengths and the development of key marketing messages and activities.

Developing key marketing and communication messages enables organisations to leverage their strengths and deliver a consistent approach that enhances the value of their marketing activities. This provides a number of benefits including increased recognition within the community, influence within government and the ability to derive stronger value from sponsorship.

The development of a consistent marketing approach will strengthen your organisation’s profile and recognition within the community, including within government and the formation of key business partnerships.

The 2011 National Conference on Volunteering will be held on the 28th to 30th of November at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. For further details please visit the Volunteering Australia website.

Presentation to the Rotary Club of Ringwood

Presenting Eastern Volunteers to the Rotary Club of Ringwood

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources One Comment

The Rotary Club of Ringwood, as a service club, works with community organisations to assist in the delivery of services. This evening I delivered a presentation on Eastern Volunteering, discussing the role of the organisation and potential opportunities for a partnership.

Presentation to the Rotary Club of Ringwood

Presentation to the Rotary Club of Ringwood

Eastern Volunteers has three divisions:

  • Transport Services, which provides volunteer assisted transport for the frail aged and people with disabilities
  • Volunteer Services, which recruits volunteers for over 400 community organisations
  • Marketing Services, which delivers public events and partnerships for Eastern Volunteers

Transport Services

Eastern Volunteers is an accredited Home and Community Care Provider (HACC), which provides transport assistance to the frail aged and people with disabilities. During 2009/2010 financial year, volunteer drivers travelled 284,000 kilometres with volunteers providing over 14,000 hours. Demand for transport services is continuing to grow and Eastern Volunteers is in need of more transport drivers.

Eastern Volunteers is also responsible for the Eastern Transport Register, which is an online booking system that registers and coordinates vehicles across eastern Melbourne, as well as Yarra Ranges Community Access and Transport Your Resource in the East (TYRE), which supports transport needs in the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Volunteer Services

Volunteer Services volunteer recruitment and training for people interested in volunteering. This functions similarly to a job recruitment agency but works to place volunteers in over 400 community organisations. These community organisations list volunteer opportunities with Eastern Volunteers, which interviews over 900 volunteers per annum to find suitable placements.

Importantly, volunteering is often being seen as an opportunity to develop employability skills, with many people utilising volunteers to seek employment or to consider career changes. Volunteer Services also provides services for corporate volunteering, whereby businesses offer opportunities for their employees to volunteer within the community.

Marketing Services

Marketing Services, aims to establish EV as a regional peak body and is responsible for developing sponsorship packages, marketing and communications and delivering community events. This also includes the management of the Eastern Volunteers website and social media, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as media releases and campaigns.

Eastern Volunteers holds two community events per year. This includes the Annual Fun Run, which is held in March each year at Lillydale Lake and the Multicultural Spring Festival, which will be held on the 9th of October at Ringwood Lake. In addition, Marketing Services also manages the quarterly businesses booster breakfasts, which connects businesses with community organisations. The next Business Booster Breakfast will held on the 16th of November and features Simon McKeon, the 2011 Australian of the Year.

Details are available at www.easternvolunteers.org.au.

Building Fund

One of the current major campaigns is the Eastern Volunteers Building Fund, which seeks to relocate the organisation to the ground floor of a building it recently purchased. Eastern Volunteers is located on the first floor of 1/36 New Street, which has accessibility implications due to stairs. Eastern Volunteers seeks to raise $60,000 to meet  costs associated with the relocation, including partitions, office furniture, telephone cabling and computer requirements.  The Rotary Club of Ringwood recently donated $500 to the Building Fund campaign and will receive a jigsaw piece of the building for this support.

Eastern Volunteers has raised over $12,000 and is hoping to relocate to the ground floor by early 2012.

Friends of EV

Friends of EV is a supporters club for Eastern Volunteers. Membership is available for individuals, not-for-profit organisations and businesses, each of which receive exclusive membership benefits, including discounts to the business booster breakfasts and other events. Further information on Friends of EV is available at www.easternvolunteers.org.au/friends

Community Partnerships

Organisations must be able to work together to strengthen the delivery of services to the community.  There is the possibility of a solid partnership between the Rotary Club of Ringwood and Eastern Volunteers and it is great to see the two organisations beginning these discussions.
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Speaking to Volunteering Geelong

By Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations 2 Comments

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.

Recognising the efforts of volunteers

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

Volunteers form the lifeblood of many communities and it is important to recognize their efforts. Volunteering can be ongoing or provided for a project of a specified duration and in either case it is important to demonstrate that these efforts were appreciated.

This afternoon Eastern Volunteers held a recognition afternoon for the volunteers that assisted in gift wrapping over Christmas. The project, which was a partnership with Eastland Shopping Centre, involved volunteers wrapping gifts in exchange for a donation.

Eastern Volunteers recruited volunteers who were able to provide the service over a two-week period. These efforts raised over $5000 with Eastland receiving extremely positive feedback from the partnership.

The recognition function provided the opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of these volunteers, as well as the involvement of Eastland Shopping Centre in providing this initiative.

Projects like the Christmas gift wrapping highlight the partnerships that can be formed between volunteers, community organisations and businesses, as well as how volunteers can make a difference within their community.

In working with volunteers it is always important to remember recognizing their efforts. The Eastern Volunteers gift wrapping afternoon tea is an example of how this recognition can be achieved.

February meeting of the Ringwood Chamber of Commerce

By Advice for Businesses, News No Comments

The Ringwood Chamber of Commerce and Industry is Ringwood’s main trader group, representing its members on matters relating to commerce in Ringwood.

Tonight’s meeting included an update on development projects within Ringwood, including the long awaited redevelopment of Eastland. While some commercial development is taking place, the catalyst for Ringwood’s transformation will occur with the next stage of the Eastland redevelopment and the transformation of Ringwood Station into an accessible, integrated and safe transport interchange.

The Ringwood Chamber of Commerce is one of Maroondah’s longest running trader groups and provides a networking opportunity for its members. This evening Terry Macdonald, the Chairperson of Eastern Volunteers, spoke about the organisation and its emphasis on business partnerships.

Constructive partnerships can be formed between businesses and community groups, but it is imperative that the focus is on delivering mutual value. While corporate social responsibility, can form part of this business case, there is a need to demonstrate tangible value that creates a beneficial partnership for both the community organisation and business.

Eastern Volunteers is actively discussing partnerships with businesses to ensure mutual value and benefits.

2010 Eastern Volunteers Annual General Meeting

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

Eastern Volunteers is a not-for-profit community organisation that provides volunteer recruitment and community transport services across Maroondah, Whitehorse and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Eastern Volunteers has a voluntary board of management which establishes the strategic direction of the organisation, which has 14 staff and over 100 volunteers. I accepted the position of Manager of Marketing Services in late September and as a result did not seek re-nomination to the Eastern Volunteers Board of Management.

As part of the Annual General Meeting, myself and Eugene Wong, the Manager of Business Development, discussed Friends of EV, a new program developed by Eastern Volunteers to encourage community and business partnerships.

Friends of EV provides ongoing benefits to businesses, through consulting services, corporate volunteering and training, as well as providing an ongoing link to the community sector. Further details on Friends of EV is available at www.easternvolunteers.org.au.