One resource most non profits can never have enough of is volunteers. While, in a for-profit business, you can look at people as “human resources” who are compensated for their activities on your behalf, with a charity your work force is entirely dependent on their own enthusiasm and goodwill. If you don’t keep them happy and feeling fulfilled in their good work, you will be much less productive.
Not that this is in any way news to most people. But did you know that you can use effective public relations to recruit new volunteers, and give current volunteers more reasons to be proud of the work you are doing together?
Ronn Torossian, president of 5WPR and the Ronn Torossian Foundation, has three tips to help you use public relations to keep your current volunteers engaged and to help you recruit new ones.
#1 – Keep your message out there
People need to hear the message if they are going to catch the message. By making sure you keep your message out there in the public eye, you will give potential volunteers something to grab onto. This may sound like a simple idea, but you might be surprised how many groups are not doing this on any regular basis.
#2 – Reward your volunteers publicly
Appreciate your volunteers as often as possible. Now, some may not want the spotlight, but you should still offer them at least group praise. And, if you get a sense that there are leaders among your team who don’t mind the spotlight, make sure to offer them public praise for their good works. You are nothing without your volunteers because you can’t accomplish alone what all of you do together. Make sure they understand that.
#3 – Plan to help them stay connected
Going out, and doing stuff together is not enough to keep your volunteers connected. You must stay with them, keep them connected by keeping the conversation going. The core of public relations is in communicating with people. To do that well, you must never stop doing so.
While following these tips offer no guarantees – people are people, after all – if you employ these ideas, you will certainly put yourself in a better position to strengthen your volunteer team.