Guest post by John Killoran
Your volunteers are constantly on the move. When they’re not volunteering their time with your organization, they’re out and about:
- Working 9-5.
- Taking care of their kids.
- Making meals.
- Saving the world.
Wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, though, they have their mobile phones with them.
Over 90% of American adults have smartphones, and most carry them wherever they venture.
Use this fact to your advantage with these 5 ways to connect with your volunteers on the go!
#1. Reach Out at Your Next Live Event
The next time you’re hosting a live event, whether it’s a fundraising event or a volunteer day of service, make sure you find the time to mention your mobile efforts.
You can let your volunteers know all about your:
- Text-to-give campaign to raise awareness and donations.
- Email newsletter that loads well on mobile devices.
- Mobile-responsive website with all the latest volunteer opportunities.
In addition to letting your volunteers know all about these mobile-giving and volunteering opportunities, you’ll also want to gather their information.
You can pass around a sign-up sheet for your newsletter. Or you can have them text your organization to give a small amount. The information you get from that transaction can be seamlessly integrated into your CRM.
Reaching out to them in person first is sure to keep your organization on the top of your volunteers’ minds. Make an impression and follow up with them later to solidify the contact.
If you want to learn more about mobile fundraising and how it can take your organization to the next level, check out @Pay’s Text-to-Give: The Essential Guide.
#2. Use Social Media Wisely
You probably already know that Facebook is a great tool for engaging with your volunteers. But there are countless other social media sites that your nonprofit could be taking advantage of (if you’re not already).
To connect with your volunteers where they are, you’ll want to consider:
Whichever site (or sites) you choose to connect with your volunteers on, make sure you keep your message clear and consistent.
#3. Get to Know Your Volunteers Better
When you first meet someone, you don’t instantly know everything about them. As your friendship deepens, so does your understanding of what they like and dislike.
The same is true of your volunteers.
One of the best ways to connect with volunteers who are constantly on the move is to get to know them a little better.
How do you get to know them if they’re always on the go?
It’s actually pretty easy if you follow these best practices:
By collecting data, you can learn almost everything you’d ever want to know about your volunteers’ habits.
By crafting emails that attract more volunteers, you’ll have a greater chance of getting to know them organically, in person.
By investing in a charitable giving database, you can figure out what else your volunteers are interested in donating their time and money to.
#4. Let Volunteers Know About Grants
Did you know that there are companies out there that will donate money to your organization for every hour that your volunteers give of their time?
Pretty incredible, right?
Here’s a list of top companies that provide this kind of grant (and how much they’ll give.
How does this help you connect with your volunteers on the go?
Letting your volunteers know about grants is a great way to encourage them to keep volunteering with your organization. You can shoot them a quick email to inform them of the possible opportunities that exist for them.
When they feel that their time is valued, they’re more likely to spend it with the people that reminded them how valuable it really is.
#5. Thank Your Volunteers via Mobile
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to engage with your volunteers is to thank them. It seems basic, but it’s the simple things that tend to make the most difference.
But wait, how do you thank a volunteer who’s bouncing around from job to social obligation to family responsibility and beyond?
It may seem counterintuitive, but thank-you letters are still the top way to let volunteers and donors alike know that they’re appreciated.
And even though your volunteers won’t get your letters while they’re out and about, they will be pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful gesture when they finally settle down at the end of the day.
In addition to sending out letters, your nonprofit can:
- Send out a short “Thank you” text message.
- Highlight specific volunteers on social media to thank them.
- Shoot them a personal “Thank you” email.
- Feature volunteers that you’re thankful for on your website.
- And more!
All of these options are great for all your volunteers who don’t have time to hit pause on life — but do have time to hit “Like” on Facebook!
There are a million ways to thank volunteers. They do so much for your organization. Show them some love (on the go) today!
For tips on crafting the most effective thank you letters (and more), take a look at @Pay’s guide.
Hopefully this post has shined a light on at least one new way to reach your volunteers.
With mobile technologies, you can go further than ever before. You can engage with volunteers wherever they are and whenever is convenient for them.
To sum it all up, you can:
- Reach out to volunteers at your next live event.
- Use social media to go the extra mile.
- Get to know your volunteers better through mobile.
- Give your volunteers the heads-up about grants.
- Say thanks!
What are you waiting for? Get out there and start connecting with volunteers on the go!
About the author:
John Killoran is CEO of @Pay, an exciting new fundraising technology that makes it easy for people to donate in two clicks from text, email, web and social media sites. John pioneered SMTP payments and has been a major innovator in the mobile payments space for the past 5 years. When he is not running a company, he is cooking food for his family and telling his dogs to stop barking.