Meals on Wheels rarely seeks recognition, but the good work of these selfless people is its own form of charity PR. Imagine you are homebound or disabled. You are hungry and cannot leave your home for food. Then, suddenly, as if manna from heaven, there is a hot meal right there for you at your door. This is exactly the great sort of good work the people at Meals on Wheels do every day all across this nation just like 5WPR does for its clients. For these volunteers, many people of faith, part of practicing their religion means doing for the less fortunate. For others, it’s just about being neighborly.
Recently, Meals on Wheels representatives in Tampa, FL, recognized several of their volunteers for outstanding service. One was named volunteer of the year. Others were lauded in various additional ways. Then all of this was released to the press by the local Meals on Wheels non-profit PR firm. It became breaking news on every local paper website. Huge accolades and comment after positive comment. People, who moments before had no idea there was a local Meals on Wheels program, were now publicly praising the organization.
Stories like this benefit the charity organization in at least three distinct ways:
Can you imagine getting a call or e-mail from a friend, “Hey, I saw you in the paper. Great job!” That would feel pretty great, right? Well, that’s exactly how all these volunteers felt. Humbled, but also very proud.
Attracts new volunteers
Ronn Torossian notes that one of the key issues every charity faces is finding, recruiting and keeping volunteers. Some find their calling and stay forever. Others come and go. But, no matter what sort of charity you are trying to do, operations work best when you have a certain number of volunteers you can count on. This often requires a steady stream of new names and faces. Seeing an organization in the paper, particularly one that goes out of its way to publicly honor volunteers is a great incentive to roll up your sleeves and help out.
While this may not have been the primary purpose of the release, it is one of the definite benefits says 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian. More people than ever learn about your organization. Some are learning specifics when they used to only have a general idea who you are and what you do. Others are hearing about you for the first time.
It bears repeating that we know charities are not in it for the acclaim. But you can’t do the most good if no one knows about you. Honoring volunteers is a great way to get the word out.