Guest post by Nisha Kotecha
You spend time attracting great volunteers for your nonprofit. And they do a great job! But are you missing an opportunity by not encouraging your volunteers to share your nonprofit’s story, and share it well?
Nonprofit organizations do not have endless amounts of time and money to spend on marketing and PR, so it can be difficult to get your story heard in a busy world. Your volunteers sharing your stories is a low-cost, easy way to raise awareness of your work.
These 4 tips will ensure your volunteers are your number one advocates:
1. Make sure your volunteers know key facts and figures about your organization.
It’s important that your volunteers understand the problem your non-profit is solving, how long you have been doing so, how many members of staff and volunteers you have, your annual income / turnover, and how much of an impact you are having. Your volunteers might get asked any of these questions by their friends and family – potential donors and supporters of your organization – so it’s important they know the answers.
2. Have happy volunteers.
Your volunteers should be your number one advocates, not your number one critics. The last thing you want is for your volunteers to be going home ranting about their day with your nonprofit organization. A happy work environment, good training and support, and good communication will lead to happy volunteers, and happy volunteers will lead to people hearing only good things about you and your work.
3. Encourage your volunteers.
Your volunteers all have personal networks who might be interested in the work you do. By asking and encouraging your volunteers to share their volunteering story via their social media accounts you will be able to reach a large number of people with very little effort. Plus, because the story is coming from someone they know, people are more likely to pay close attention to what they are saying. Your volunteers might not know that you would like them to share their story, so it is important you ask and encourage them to do so.
4. Give them the recognition they deserve.
Your volunteers are not supporting your organization to get something back, but they will be thrilled if they do. Winning an award, or even being nominated for one, can show your appreciation. Letting your volunteers know that you appreciate their support and dedication on a regular basis will lead to happy volunteers (point #2).
Are your volunteers your number one advocates? How do you make sure they share your story well? Let us know in the comment below.
Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of non-profit organizations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.