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Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~January 2014~

Tips To Engage Volunteers Using Mobile Devices

woman at computer


Check out these 5 tip on engaging volunteers and supporters via a mobile device.


CRM—Customer Relation System

Customer relationships management is a system used by for profit companies.  It is a method of staying in touch with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize such things as marketing, customer service, and support for volunteers.

All nonprofits depend in good measure on volunteers and donors. They help make your services possible and they are the most likely supporters of your cause. People who volunteer and have a happy experience tend to be donors.
What do those volunteers want? Thanks for work done, fresh information on the organization and its clientele, opportunities to donate or help out, friendship, and attention.

Not following-up with a volunteer is disappointing for the person who donated or served in good faith to the organization. It seems likely to sour the person on donating or volunteering in the future.  And he/she will tell their friends.  Spreading the word that you take volunteers and donors for granted or worse. Word of mouth is still the best method for recruiting volunteers and donors.

A CRM plan is not limited to mobile devices.  Next month Volunteer Today will provide some advice on “how to” create a CRM plan.

Text Reminders
Keep volunteers in the loop via text messages--- send updates, reminders of meetings or events, and list new volunteer opportunities. Keep in mind that the volunteer must have a smart phone to receive these. (iPhone or Android, etc.)
Live Tweet

This is a growing trend, especially at conferences and events with speakers or compelling activities, like a live auction.

Volunteers who are working the event can send “up-to-the-minute” messages from his/her cell phone about what is going on in real-time, and with real opinions. If it is an event with guests, encourage them to live tweet by designating a #hashtag for your event and provide Tweeters with a list of other common #hashtags associated with your cause or nonprofit.

Tweeting during an event is FREE exposure for your organization and its mission.  Learn to use #hashtags for your volunteers and primary audience.  (More about #hashtags next month.)

Share Multimedia
Share Multimedia
The Internet is awash with places to post videos and photos.  It is tempting to encourage volunteers to post their pictures.  However, there is a confidentiality issue here.  A photo release statement should be part of an application for long term volunteers.  Episodic volunteers should also sign a photo release form at sign-in.  This is a risk management issue.  The safe policy is to have volunteers send videos and photos to the organization to be vetted before posting.  Consider a policy for volunteers that prohibits them from posting pictures on personal sites without permission from the organization. Donors love to see what is happening to reach your nonprofit’s mission and how donor dollars are being spent to achieve those goals. Why not show them!?
Personal Thank You Call
Back in the day the telephone was the first form of social media.  Call people for parties, call people to “chat,” call people to say thanks, or call people to tell them their car windows were down and it was raining.  The cell phone is great for texts and the like, but a real person calling another real person to say thank you is an anomaly in this digital age.  Therefore, it stands out and is remembered.  Recruit “at home” volunteers, train them using the Internet, and designate them as “thank you” volunteers.  Donors are called with a personal thank you or follow with a volunteer about an application.   Volunteers are just as important as donors, they bring people-power to your organization. Show them how much you appreciate the donation of their time and energy by thanking them personally with a phone call.
Something personal might be the difference between a one time volunteer and a returning enthusiast, be it volunteer or donor.

many cell phones

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