Long before I became an employee of my church, I volunteered there. The mission was so compelling that I would do anything to be part of what was happening. I set up and cleaned giant coffee pots before and after the service – with a hose in the planter because we met in a middle school. I stacked chairs and put children’s ministry equipment away into Conex shipping boxes each week. I even stepped way outside of my comfort zone and led a small group in my home. And since my wife and I were new to the area during those early years, we invited everyone we met to join us at our church. I’m telling you, we couldn’t say enough good things about our church. We were not only volunteers getting things done, but we were also free advertisement; we were champions for the church.
Over the years of working in a church, I’ve learned quite a bit about the value of volunteers who give their time, talent, and financial resources because they are passionate about the causes they support and often become the best ambassadors that non-profits can have. They are the ones who spread the word about the organization’s mission and work, both online and offline. Through social media, word of mouth, and other means, volunteers help raise awareness about the issues the non-profit is working to address.
As times change, so do the methods of sharing about how much we love something. Social media increased our span of influence far beyond the number of people I was able to reach twenty years ago by word of mouth. To help today’s volunteers promote their favorite non-profit – yours, they need tools. Most organizations have a document defining essential branding guidelines that cover everything from proper logo use to the common language used when communicating. Imagine the power of volunteers spreading your organization’s message using familiar words and phrases. Non-profits excited to tap into this marketing and promotional power should consider creating a marketing kit with examples for those who want to share why they love your organization with their friends on social media.
Here are a few ideas of what to include:
Mission & Vision: Organizations should constantly tie their actions to their mission and vision. The mission is an organization’s reason and purpose, while the vision shows the inspiration to accomplish the mission. Ensure the volunteers clearly understand how their role forwards the mission and watch them champion the message.
Common Language: Organizations often use catchphrases or common language to support the brand. You can usually identify an organization by its slogan without mentioning its name, like “melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” Admittedly, most non-profits and churches do not have memorable lines identifying them without mentioning their names. But, using common language helps keep the message on brand. Providing volunteers with a document with the organization’s phrases commonly used helps build the brand and includes the volunteer as a deeper part of the team.
Image: Properly using logos and other images is essential when maintaining the brand. Provide volunteers with guidelines on the correct use of logos and other images. For example, volunteers should always keep the color and shape of the organization’s logo the same. If unique or seasonal logos are required, the volunteer should obtain them from the organization.
Utilizing volunteers falls into the unique category of a win-win situation for both the non-profit organization and the volunteer. Non-profits benefit from volunteers’ hard work and dedication, while volunteers gain valuable experience, make new connections, and feel good about positively impacting society. Because volunteers are passionate advocates who help raise awareness, funds, and support for the causes they believe in, they can’t help but want to talk about their positive experiences. These positive experiences and some basic marketing tools allow the non-profit to benefit from a marketing and promotion plan they could never afford.short url: