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How to Market Volunteer Opportunities to Your Association’s Members

Marketing Audra Hopkins

Want to make your association’s volunteer opportunities sound enticing to members? It’s all about the way you market them.

Volunteer opportunities can pave the way to amazing experiences for members. They’re a way to give back to the community, get to know more about your association’s purpose, and even network with other like minded individuals. So, why are they so hard to market?

Getting members to volunteer is all about showing them the benefits to their actions. Of course, members are going to want to give back to the causes they care about, but they also want to know their time and energy is spent also giving back something to themselves. And luckily enough, your volunteer opportunities do just that- and you can showcase this through your marketing efforts.

Marketing volunteer positions and events at your organization is easy if you touch on the key points that members actually resonate with. So, let’s talk about a few ways you can tweak the way you invite members to volunteer at your organization.

Community building, both inside and out

Volunteering means bettering your outside community, but you should also market your volunteer opportunities as an inside job as well.

Volunteering for an organization of your choice can actually do a lot for your self esteem and mental health, and it all boils down to community building. According to NCVO’s National Survey on the Volunteer Experience, two-thirds of survey respondents reported that volunteering helped them feel less isolated within their own environment. In addition, a 2018 study reported that after volunteering for two or more hours per week, a group of widowed adults felt less lonely than previously surveyed before volunteering.

Volunteering can really give members a place to build a community of their own while helping others. It allows you to connect with your members and give them an environment to connect with other members under the shared interest of helping and your organization’s industry.

Marketing the chance to make connections with others may give members the inkling to come on board as a volunteer and build a community of like minded individuals of their own.

Interviewing volunteers

Members aren’t going to know how truly valuable it is to volunteer with your organization without the help of those that already do.

Talking to your association’s volunteers and using those conversations within your marketing campaigns can show members the truth about volunteering. It allows your volunteers to speak out about their experiences, who they’ve helped, what their work has impacted, and anything else they find important. At the end of the day, you’re bridging the gap in perspective that could gain you more volunteers.

Put together a list of questions you want to ask your volunteers and see if a few would like to sit down and talk to your association’s marketing staff. You can either record the interview and use it to inspire marketing campaigns, or you can make a marketing video with the actual interview itself. This would be a great way to put a real face to the response for interested members.

Meeting with the volunteers that already donate their time will give you a better perspective of what to market to members.

Take opportunities to tell a story

Your volunteer opportunities obviously help a great cause. But do members really know about that cause?

No matter the opportunity you have to volunteer and make the community better, you should bring that cause to light by telling its story in your marketing materials. Telling a great story about the work you’re doing in tandem with a great cause can hit home in terms of marketing.

In order to do this, you’ll want to know all you can about the cause you’re supporting. For example, let’s take your local community. Who is your association helping with its volunteer events? Are you helping local schools and children, a specific group of individuals? What story can you focus in on that really shows your impact?

If your marketing campaign can show who exactly it is you’re helping in terms of volunteer opportunities, you’ll have a solid reason for members to get on board with future opportunities.

Live coverage of volunteer events

And finally, if you’re an association that likes to market things on the go, you can put out coverage of your volunteer events as they happen to intrigue members to attend more in the future.

Social media is a great tool for this. It allows you to post content in so many different forms, from Tweets to photos and even livestreams. You can take photos of your volunteers hard at work, livestream the event if it’s appropriate, create a hashtag to use on Twitter when tweeting about your event, and more.

This will take your volunteer opportunity and turn it into something that’s interactive and fun- which is something every marketing campaign should achieve.

Marketing your volunteer events and opportunities in a new light can bring in new volunteers and get the ball rolling. Consider trying out a new style of marketing and see how you benefit from it.

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