What We’re Reading This July 📚: Our Favorite Volunteer Engagement Blogs & More

In the ever-changing landscape of doing good, volunteer administrators must remain flexible to continue serving the needs of their clients, community and volunteers. That’s why this month’s round-up addresses some of the most significant changes to the social impact sector and highlights innovative techniques leaders of volunteers are using to remain agile and relevant. 

Read on for inspiration and advice to help you keep your volunteer program from growing stagnant.

Are We Thinking About Volunteering All Wrong?
Ebony Gaylor for Pro Bono Australia

In an era of rapid social and technological change, the way individuals mobilize has become more and more decentralized. Volunteers no longer depend on organizations to provide them with opportunities to take action. The author of this article argues that, in order to remain relevant, it’s imperative that nonprofits adapt to the changing landscape of volunteerism and identifies three critical opportunities for advancement.

When Recognition Hurts Recruitment (And What We Might Do About It)
Rob Jackson for Rob Jackson Consulting

Volunteers are engaging with organizations in more ways than ever, from virtual volunteering to project-based opportunities and single days of service. The problem is, volunteer recognition strategies haven’t caught up yet to these trends. This post from nonprofit consultant Rob Jackson lays out what’s wrong with traditional, longevity-based recognition strategies and shares suggestions for what to do instead.

webinar iconLearn how to refresh your volunteer recognition strategies with the help of our free training on the topic!

Volunteer Reviews: Our Overlooked BFF
Meridian Swift for Engaging Volunteers

Volunteer recruitment remains one of the top challenges leaders of volunteers face. Although there’s no shortage of individuals who want to help, convincing them to sign up for your organization can be hard. That’s where volunteer reviews come in. If they’re not already part of your volunteer recruitment toolbox, you may want to reconsider! Volunteer engagement expert Meridian Swift explains why.

The Innovative Program Making Retirees Eager to Volunteer
Chris Farrell for Forbes

More than ever, volunteers (of all ages) are looking for meaningful ways to give back. Here’s a wonderful, in-depth look into how one volunteer program attracts retirees by matching them with volunteer opportunities that are perfectly suited to their skills, interests and passions. Read their story and get inspired.

How to Use Stories to Bring ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ Together
Annie Neimand & Samantha Wright for Stanford Social Innovation Review

Solving society’s biggest issues demands collaboration and unity. But in an increasingly polarized era, how can organizations working to solve these problems bridge gaps between groups who don’t agree? The answer lies in the stories you tell. Learn how you can develop stories that appeal to and engage diverse groups and drum up more support for your work in this excellent thinkpiece.

The Power of Influencer Marketing for Nonprofits
Leeann Alameda for Nonprofit Hub

Influencer marketing has become big business in recent years. Scroll through Instagram, and you’re bound to see tons of sponsored posts, ads and branded content brought to you by professional social media influencers. In fact, research suggests 87% of shoppers these days make purchasing decisions inspired by influencers. Is it time for nonprofits to adopt this tactic to attract and engage supporters? 

 Social media is a powerful tool. Find more tips on how to engage volunteers and activists on social media here.

AI Can Be the Social Impact Tool All Charities and Nonprofits Need
Jake Croman for Thrive Global

Does your communication strategy include artificial intelligence (AI)? While it may sound like the stuff of the future, AI and machine learning are becoming more readily available. In fact, you may find that tools like chatbots, virtual assistants and predictive analytics are just what you need to engage supporters, spread your message and amplify your work without using up valuable human resources. Learn more about the vast potential of AI in the third sector.

 Take the first step by learning how to implement a smart Facebook Messenger chatbot.

What have you been reading lately? Share your favorite volunteer engagement news, articles and blogs in the comments section below!