The Most Effective Ways to Grow Your Organization in the New Year | Track It Forward

The Most Effective Ways to Grow Your Organization in the New Year

Written by James McBryan

This season is the perfect time to raise awareness for your organization. Following the holidays, people begin making their New Year resolutions and one of the most common resolutions is to give back in some way through volunteering.

If you’re looking to grow your organization in the New Year, this is the perfect time to capitalize on people’s New Year’s resolutions to volunteer more.

But it’s also stressful trying to grow your organization while continuing to recruit new volunteers. So how exactly do you prepare to grow your organization?

How can you effectively capitalize on someone’s interest in volunteering? Where do you begin?

Never Underestimate the Power of Marketing

Many nonprofits assume that people want to help with an organization because the cause is important to them. And while that’s probably true, to rope in volunteers you need to put your marketing hat on and sell your organization. You wouldn’t buy something if you never saw it or heard about it, you buy it because you’ve seen targeted and segmented marketing campaigns that tell you what the product is and why you need it. echos this sentiment, stating “Your marketing strategy needs to be well thought out so you accurately portray your organization’s brand, morals, and values. If the public doesn’t know what your nonprofit organization stands for, why would they ever support your fundraising efforts?”. How are you communicating with potential volunteers currently? Are you active on social media? Do you have a website? Are you on VolunteerMatch? Linking your social media accounts and updating your website that highlights your message are quick and easy ways to get your organization's name out there. VolunteerMatch is where a majority of potential volunteers go to look for organizations to get involved with. If you aren’t utilizing VolunteerMatch, you’re potentially missing out on quality volunteers. Marketing 101 is that people need to see a message over and over again until it finally sinks in. Making sure that your marketing campaigns are continually running ensures you’ll reach a larger audience.

Tailor Your Messaging

Be more specific in asking for volunteers. Instead of sending out blanket “volunteer” opportunities, ask for help with specific jobs. For example, if you’re a high school looking for volunteers, phrasing your volunteer opportunities as, “9th Grade English Tutor; M, W, F at 4 pm”, will give you higher quality volunteers. If people go in knowing what their tasks are ahead of time, you will only get volunteers who are genuinely interested in tutoring freshmen on specific days at specific times.

Detail How Volunteering Helps Them

There are so many benefits to volunteering. It increases happiness, provides a sense of purpose and grows your social network. In your recruitment for volunteers, instead of describing why you need help, highlight what potential volunteers can get out of volunteering at your organization. Describing the difference they can make in the community is a great way to grow your volunteer roster. Increasing volunteer engagement doesn’t need to be stressful. If you put yourself out there by working on marketing your organization, packaging roles that are specific and showcase the benefits to the volunteers, you’ll be able to successfully grow your organization.