There’s no question that the holiday season ushers in a spirit of giving that inspires more volunteer work than any other time of the year. This trend is much-needed these last few weeks of the year, when countless families feel the strain of the holidays – a burden also felt by the nonprofit organizations dedicated to giving back to their communities. Now more than ever, each individual who chooses to contribute to a local cause is more than welcome. It is crucial that nonprofits dedicate themselves to bolstering community engagement. This responsibility can spread many of these organizations, for whom the holidays are the busiest season of the year, extremely thin. For this reason, we’ve compiled a quick list for local nonprofits to follow in their efforts to attract and keep volunteers. We hope these tips will help to incentivize engagement with your organization both throughout the holiday season and the rest of the year.
In order for there to be engagement with your holiday efforts, the members of your community must be aware of them in the first place. Though advertising can be both pricey and time-consuming, there is an array of cost-effective (and effective-effective) options available to any nonprofit. The first is to investigate Google Ad Grants. Put simply, these are credits granted to nonprofits by Google for $10,000 worth of advertising space. By taking advantage of these, you’ll place your nonprofit at the top of Google’s search results for certain keywords. In addition to these grants, never underestimate the power of a grassroots approach: send emails to past volunteers outlining opportunities to get involved, place flyers at local town centers and parks, and post regularly on your organization’s blog.
Craft Your Message
Visibility is only half the battle; the bulk of your volunteers will be inspired to engage with your organization by the messages used to attract them. Generally speaking, two elements play a huge part in incentivizing people to get involved with a cause: community and impact. Emphasize your organization’s events as an opportunity for volunteers to meet others with similar interests and to engage directly with their community. We’re inherently social beings, and framing your efforts through this lens appeals to your viewers’ sense of belonging. Even more importantly, be sure to demonstrate the impact your organization has had on real people. Share testimonials, statistics, and images on your website to highlight how fulfilling and important your efforts have been for the community. By seeing first-hand the ways in which your organization has made a positive impact, people will be highly motivated to become a part of that change.
Unfortunately, except on a couple of key days, the holiday season does not magically clear everyone’s calendar. For this reason, it is crucial that your organization offer members of the community multiple chances to get involved. Host events as well as donation drives over multiple days. This way, those interested in volunteering will see an array of options to contribute to your cause – and be all the more likely to do so.
The Most Impactful Time of the Year
The holiday season ushers in a time of distinct need for local families and nonprofits alike. By remaining streamlined, purposeful, and strategic in its efforts to attract volunteers and benefactors, your organization will be able to dedicate as much time, energy, and manpower as possible to what matters most: making a difference.
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Imagine having $10,000 worth of “In-Kind” Adwords from Google each month. What might that mean for your organization? Even if you’re going to try and tackle this on your own, know that you have a team of professionals at your disposal if you ever run into any problems.