What’s the sure fire way to make certain your constituents continue to volunteer for your cause – ensure they are emotionally invested to the organization. Allowing your volunteers to be able to find other volunteers through your online directory, post messages about their upcoming events, blog about their experiences, and share pictures within your community site, empowers them to be more committed to the cause and yields higher fundraising for your foundation!
- Establishing a Discussion Group – When your volunteers can post and reply to messages to events they have an interest in, it facilitates a type of community in which volunteers feel more connected with their peers and committed to the cause. Through Discussion Groups they can coordinate logistics, share creative ideas, discuss marketing and communication strategies to increase attendance and involvement, share their stories, and receive feedback from their peers leading up to, and after the event. Higher engagement of volunteers yields a more significant commitment to the cause and subsequently higher fundraising dollars for the organization.
- Creating a Blog within your Community – Why send the traffic back to Word Press and Blogger? You want your volunteers to be able to share their stories of volunteering at a homeless shelter, building homes for their neighbors, and running marathons for great causes within your community. Bring the traffic back to your private online community site that is branded for your organization. This also enhances SEO by allowing new members to search for keywords and having your volunteer’s blogs appear in the search results within your community site. The easier it is for volunteers to be able to share their experiences from the events or their personal story with the organizations, the more likely they are to be engaged and invested in the organizations. Higher emotional investment indubitably yields higher contributions.
- Enhanced Volunteer Directory – Volunteers want to network with those whom they will be working with. They want to see their profile pictures, learn more about their bio, job history, volunteer history, and see if went to the same Alma Mater. What better way to do that than to have them search for other volunteers in the communities and events they are involved with, add them as a friend and send them direct messages in advance of the event? This pre-event relationship building, instantly builds stronger connections for the volunteer members and helps foster the sense of community which the organization is trying to instill.
- Sharing within a Resource Library – Your Volunteer Champions can upload pertinent documents within the community for the volunteering events which can be easily referenced at any time from the volunteers smartphones and community site. This also builds a knowledge repository and archives of the agenda, project management, logistical, and budgetary plans. The easier it is for volunteers to be able to see the relevant documents pertaining to the events, the more likely they are to be engaged and invested to the organizations.
Angelika Lipkin is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships for Higher Logic, a social media and mobile software company for associations and nonprofits. Angelika specializes in fostering relationship development, developing social media engagement strategies, and consulting organizations on launching private social networks.