Increasing volunteer awareness of your nonprofit’s opportunities is one of the biggest steps your organization can take to be successful. According to The National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are an estimated 2.3 million nonprofits registered in the United States alone. This statistic reinforces the need to promote awareness to potential volunteers who have plenty of options for which to spend their time.
Implementing a successful volunteer awareness strategy can be challenging, and many nonprofits do not know where to start. The good news is there are several strategic methods that your nonprofit can put into place in order to increase volunteer awareness. Here are a few strategies your organization can implement today:
Focus Messaging Around Key Differentiators
If an organization wants to be successful in increasing volunteer awareness they need to start by analyzing their nonprofits messaging. As I stated earlier, there are plenty of opportunities for potential volunteers to potentially choose vs investing their time in your organization. To stand out from other nonprofits you need to focus some time on developing messaging around your key differentiators, and how to effectively communicate them to your target audience. Here are a few tips when thinking about what makes your organization unique:
- Keep your nonprofit’s mission, and long-term goals at the heart of your messaging
- Identify and capitalize on your organization’s strengths
- Personalize your messaging as much as you can
- Show the humanistic side of your organization
Once you are able to identify and take advantage of what makes your nonprofit unique, you will be able to create better messaging that appeals to the volunteers that you hope to recruit.
Strategically Identify and Utilize the Right Online Advertising Avenues
There are a ton of places that your nonprofit can be delivering your message in an effort to increase volunteer awareness. The question that you need to ask yourself is where strategically should you be. In order to effectively answer this question, you need to fully understand the volunteers that you are targeting, and where they spend their time online. A great way to better understand your target audience is to create volunteer personas that can be the foundation of your nonprofit’s online advertising program.
Your nonprofit should also be utilizing the data that you already have about your ideal volunteer to identify the best places online to capture new ones. Your organization can learn a lot of valuable insights, and optimize your marketing efforts by becoming a data-driven nonprofit organization. If your organization is not using data analytics tools a quick and easy place to start is with Google Analytics. Google Analytics can provide your nonprofit with free insights on where your website traffic is coming from and what terms they are searching for to get there.
Being successful online, and increasing the awareness of your volunteer opportunities does not mean that you are everywhere online. Take the time to understand who your ideal volunteers are and their habits, and you can optimize your presence in the right places. Quality is always better than quantity.
Deliver Exceptional Experiences to Current Volunteers
One of the best ways to increase the awareness of your nonprofit’s volunteer opportunities is to create brand ambassadors from your current volunteer list. In order to get your current volunteers excited enough about your organization’s mission to drive in new recruits your nonprofit needs to deliver unforgettable experiences. Delivering an unforgettable experience is much easier than you think. Take the time to acknowledge volunteers for their time commitment, thank them for their efforts, and let them see the big picture that their contributions are working towards. If you are able to show a volunteer that their efforts have made a huge impact in the community you will earn your nonprofit a new brand ambassador who will tell everyone they know about their experience.
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Utilize Volunteer Management Tools
Another effective way to boost volunteer opportunity awareness is to utilize volunteer management tools, such as VolunteerHub. Volunteer management software can assist your nonprofit by simplifying the process of creating opportunity pages that can be shared online. Volunteer management software also streamlines the process so volunteers can sign up for opportunities quickly and efficiently, be reminded of upcoming opportunities, and be thanked for their efforts.
If your nonprofit organization takes the time to understand your target audience, develops messaging the speaks towards the differentiators of your organization, puts your messaging in the right places, and selects the right tools to assist in reaching your goals there is no reason why you will not see an increase in volunteer awareness.
Eric Burger is the Marketing Communications Manager for VolunteerHub, an organization that provides volunteer management solutions for nonprofits across the globe. Eric has worked in the B2B software industry for the past 2 years, and has over 5 years of experience in digital marketing.