Written by: Zena Maziak
Charity Volunteering Benefits
Definition of volunteering.
Volunteering is working for free for a good cause. It is a voluntary act by an individual or group freely giving their own time and labour for community service. Some volunteers use their own skills to integrate their services, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster or fundraising.
Volunteering can be rewarding, you are helping people and spreading brand awareness.
Volunteering helps to promote physical and mental health and well-being; it gives the volunteer more confidence. By volunteering, you may learn new skills and get valuable work experience. Volunteering brings people together and gives the volunteer a sense of connection to others in the community.
Volunteering brings in new opportunities and is rewarding because you as an individual are giving something back to the community. Not only this you are learning new skills, whilst making new friends.
Volunteering can be therapeutic.
If you are feeling lonely or are going through grief and you do not want to be alone, you may find volunteering a welcoming distraction.
Mental and physical health and wellbeing
Around 80 percent of volunteers admit that volunteering has helped to improve their mental health and overall physical well-being. By volunteering you have a sense of purpose not just for yourself but for everyone else you are helping.
Giving something back
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ or to give something back if you feel you have been blessed. Volunteering gives a sense of empowerment and encourages others to volunteer with you whilst being grateful for what they have in their own lives.
Improving your confidence
Volunteering gives you a chance to improve your confidence, where perhaps you felt uneasy interacting with people, volunteering can boost your confidence.
Reason For Volunteering
People have their own personal reasons for volunteering. It could be work placement or it could be a willingness to help people in general. It may be if God can see you helping, he may in return bless you and your family. It does not have to be for religious reasons, not everyone is religious it may just be for personal gain and to improve the lifestyle of the individual. It could be you genuinely want to be a caregiver and want to help vulnerable people. There’s no right way or wrong way for volunteering, it’s all about exploring the opportunities on offer and finding the one that suits you best whilst fundamentally making it worthwhile, satisfying, and feeling happy.
When volunteering especially if your set goal is to work with social media, the important key is to grow followers and use the platforms to spread brand awareness.
Volunteer management techniques should include:
- Volunteer Engagement (Working in Teams)
- Volunteer Recruitment (Encourage People to Volunteer)
- Donor Recruitment (Have Volunteers Donate and Get Others to Donate)
- Community Awareness (Wear Branded Clothing & use social media)
- Connect With Influencers
- Grow Your Network of Followers and Connections
- Post Engaging Content Regularly
- Use Hashtags (not just on Twitter but on all social media platforms)
- Create an SEO Link Wheel and Connect All Social Media Platforms Together
- Use Visual Marketing from Videos to Photos
- Add Backlinks
- Write blog posts and post them on social media
- Guest Post on places like Quora, Reddit, Disqus, Medium, etc
- Make It Personal, Show Your Personality.
- Ask businesses to sponsor you.
- Build an Email List
- Get people to subscribe
- Send out newsletters
- Offer free advertising on your website in exchange for free advertising on someone else’s.
- Have Bake-offs #fundraisercakes #fundraiderbakeoff #fundraisercupcakes and donate the proceeds to the charity
- Invite budding photographers and motivational story writers to submit a photo and their best work which will be printed in a photo book or nonfiction book that you sell whilst giving free credits to the photographer/poet/writer. (Free Publicity), you then mention all the photographers in your posts, whom no doubt will share with their network.
- Be creative, get volunteers to make things, and donate them for sale. You are only limited by your imagination.
- Offer free backlinks in exchange for backlinks (some internet marketers charge £30 per backlink). This could be a backlink to an article on someone’s blog.
- Set up a farmer’s market stall and have volunteers stop passers-by.
- Have a charity fashion show.
- Organise an auction.
- Do a competition, and get people to buy tickets to win a prize.
- Give out brochures and leaflets on busy high-streets
- Collaborate with a photographer and for every photoshoot, he/she does a percentage that goes to charity. Booking gets done through you so you can track sales. You then give the photographer some advertising space, free of charge.
- Collaborate with content writers and you post their content on your blog with a credit to the source.
Ideas For Volunteer Programs Can Use social media
To make your posts get seen you need to follow people and participate in their feeds. You should grow your network and post consistently valuable content. Social media optimisation involves posting on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, if you are looking for donations you should use LinkedIn as this is where businesses hang out and may want to make donations, especially towards the end of the tax year. Social media is a useful tool for updates, announcements, or even just fun posts to get interactions from the community!
Volunteering Through social media
As with all businesses, you should keep your private accounts separate from your business ones including non-profits, unless you are an influencer of course where you may want to do shout-outs.
For social media engagement to work effectively, you will need to join forces with everyone in your organisation and get your volunteers to follow and share posts.
Some social media post ideas:
- Run a Competition – Get your volunteers to post a photo of them doing work and ask them to submit it. You can make this as detailed or as basic as you would like. This can be weekly or monthly and the best submissions get a reward for the most likes and shares.
- Volunteer Event Poll – Market research helps organisations to gather insight and information on their volunteers and target audience.
- Volunteer Shoutout – Celebrate milestones and special events, do a Volunteer Shoutout on social media in your volunteer organization. This could be birthdays, or when volunteers reach their goal such as how many hours they have volunteered.
- Connect With People – Write their story
Volunteering takes time and energy and can be difficult to find recruits.
By offering incentives in exchange for spare time, a volunteer could do something that could prove beneficial for their own personal improvement whilst helping people to what the organisation is designed. A volunteer may only be able to spare an hour a day, so be mindful of this and use your resources wisely.
Incentives could mean free advertising and publicity for people who want to make a name for themselves, from book writers, artists, and photographers, it could also be a company that is willing to advertise your organisation in return for advertising theirs.
Another way a volunteer could be encouraged to sign up is if they run workshops and get organisations to donate equipment or office space.
Volunteers may also not be interactive but could donate a portion of their profits to charity, especially if the charity resonates with them, specifically if they have written a book or sold some artwork etc.
Recruiting volunteers could help the volunteer make a name for themselves if say they are a photographer who offers his/her work for free in the name of the charity he/she is volunteering for. Mainstream media always like stories that warm people’s hearts.
Encourage volunteers to share their stories and a photo they would like to be posted on the organization’s social media.
Utilizing Your Website & social media Pages & Groups
Engage with groups that are part of your organisation is about. If your organisation is mental health start interacting but do, consider their rules. Try to share stories rather than simply advertise. Like, follow, and share.
Map out your SEO Link Wheel and connect your social media platforms, pages, groups, blogs, and websites together. Your aim is to drive traffic from multiple directions to your organisation.
Update your volunteers and your audience on all the coming events, through your website, blog, and social media pages.
Use a free tool like Canva to create fun graphics for announcements like this.
Donors may wish to see where their money is being spent so it is always a good idea to announce what you have done and what you are aiming to achieve.
You could encourage donors to donate money or equipment in exchange for free advertising. Social media is a great fundraising tool for your organization.
Goal Chart – keep your audience well informed of the money you are trying to raise and what you have raised. Post a couple of times a month to let followers know that you are working towards a goal.
Hashtags are not just for Twitter; they are highlighted keywords or phrases such as #FundraisingFriday You can make up hashtags (#) that will resonate with your community to get the attention of potential donors, volunteers, and fundraisers. These posts can be anecdotes about a fundraising event or updates on your upcoming fundraisers!
Start An Online Fundraiser
Start an online fundraiser and get your connection to get involved. You can share this with your organisation but also with your friends, family, and the public. Ask them to share the fundraiser for a good cause. This is an excellent way to get the word out about your organization and to collect donations digitally.
If you recruit a volunteer they will, on average, provide more than £2,000 in equivalent social value for your organization. Two-thirds of volunteers also give money to organizations, but they also give an average of ten times as much money as non-volunteers. Not all volunteers are active on social media and may not want to share their interests, therefore connecting with like-minded people in groups and pages will inspire others to get involved.
If you write engaging content, people are more likely to like, follow, share and subscribe.
- Make sure your Web pages are SEO optimized. Your website is the mothership and is the heart of your digital strategy.
- Make sure you have a volunteer page and a donations page. Make sure volunteering is present in your navigation menu.
- Listen to what people say. Be engaged in your community and with what supporters and prospective supporters feel passionate about.
- Have a chat plugin or widget on your site so you can interact with every visitor.
- Established calls to action.
- Utilise infographics and keywords.
- Leverage stories. People love to read true stories. Storytelling is the best way to engage with people by tapping their emotions.
- Optimize your presence. Build a large network of followers, you can adapt this to any social media platform by using keywords that match the organization/niche you are promoting.
- Create valuable engaging shareable content. People love videos and pictures. Create content that people will want to share with their friends and family.
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Zena is studying BA Hons Marketing Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Zena may look normal to an untrained eye even though she has an invisible disability. Thanks to a great support network she is able to fit into society and can get additional help, whenever she needs it.
Zena aspires to be a role model for young people with Multiple Sclerosis.
Zena is also 'The Assistant Editor' of Disability UK Disabled Entrepreneur Journal, and Cymru Marketing Journal. She works remotely which does not put a strain on her health.