100,000+ NONPROFITS COUNT ON US.
GENEROSITY UNLEASHED: $830 MILLION IN DONATIONS
At VolunteerMatch we learn so much from other experts in the field of volunteer engagement and management, and we want to help you stay up to date on the latest news and trends. Check back every month for snapshots of what experts in the field are talking about.
This month we are focusing on…the Super Bowl!Newsjacking for Fundraising
The experts at Event 360 know a little something about how to get participation and buzz going for your fundraising events and campaigns. As the Super Bowl approaches, Jono Smith reminds us all how useful it can be to tie our campaigns into a current event or holiday. Check out his article for some great practical tips.Get Inspired by the Souper Bowl
The Souper Bowl of Caring is an organization that uses the energy of the Super Bowl to mobilize youth tocare for people in their local communities who are hungry and those in need. Not only is this a great example of the newsjacking we mentioned above, but it’s very well aligned with our own focus on hunger from December. Read about Souper Bowl efforts all over the country and get inspired to get your community involved.A QB Metaphor for Email Marketing
At iContact, they see email marketing lessons in the darndest places – like this week’s Super Bowl match up between Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick. Which quarterback’s main method will you choose for your own email marketing style?A Mayoral Bet for Good
The mayors of San Francisco and Baltimore, as is tradition, have made a friendly bet over the outcome of this Sunday’s game – and this year, they’ve added a social good twist. The losing mayor will spend a special day of service volunteering in the winning city. We think in this case, everyone comes out a winner!Bonus: The Parallels are Amazing
Back at the beginning of this NFL season, I published this post about the ways professional football is like volunteer engagement. These will not only inspire you to get into the game a bit more when it comes to involving volunteers in your work, they provide guidance for how to be as successful as possible.
Do you have any Super Bowl-related lessons to share?
Guest post by Wendy Kirwan, Kars4Kids
Like many nonprofits, volunteers are our most valuable asset here at Kars4Kids. With each of our paid employees leveraging dozens, if not hundreds, of volunteers, we run on volunteer power.
For any organization that relies on volunteers to accomplish their mission, recruitment of volunteers is only the first step. The big question is how to keep the volunteers you’ve recruited active, engaged and totally committed to the cause.
In this post, we’ll share with you five of the most important things you can do to keep your volunteers engaged:1. Make your volunteers feel needed and appreciated.
No matter how idealistic your volunteers are and how dedicated to the cause, everyone needs a healthy dose of external appreciation to keep them going. It sounds like a no-brainer, but never forget to tell your volunteers – as often and in as many ways as possible – that your organization could never accomplish all it does without their help.2. Ask volunteers to help in specific, actionable ways.
If you really want people to help you, avoid the general “join our cause” and “help us change the world” kind of calls to action. Be specific in giving practical ways that people can volunteer for you and make it easy for them to follow up.3. Inspire your volunteers with the cause, not the organization.
Don’t ask your volunteers to help your organization, but the cause. Inspire them with stories of real people they will be helping and real challenges that their work will be addressing.4. Stay connected, and make sure your communication channels go both ways.
Keep in touch with your volunteers on a regular basis. With the proliferation of social media, email, texting and the like, communication is easier than ever. You can offer training and tips to help their volunteer work and relevant and timely information including updates on what’s new at your organization.
Be readily accessible to listen to what your volunteers have to say, too. As the people on the front lines, they often have a lot of valuable information to share and important questions and concerns that you need to address.5. Develop a community of volunteers.
Build a sense of community among your volunteers. They should feel connected to each other and not just to the organization. Online forums can be helpful in this regard, but there’s no substitute for good, old fashioned interaction – in person. Hold a conference, or even better, throw a party to celebrate the dedication of your volunteers.6. Show your volunteers how they made a difference.
Highlight your volunteers’ successes to show them how their hard work helped the cause. Whether it’s the smile on a hungry child’s face when they receive the food package a volunteer packed, or the first book a learning disabled child reads after months of tutoring, let your volunteers see the results of their efforts. There’s no motivation as powerful as knowing that you made a difference in the world.
Wendy Kirwan is the director of media relations at Kars4Kids, a car donation charity which specializes in education for youth. Wendy has a BA in business journalism from CUNY’s Baruch College.