JILLYN: Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? In 2021, National Volunteer Week is April 18th through the 26th. It is the perfect time to recognize your volunteers and capture their stories about why they volunteer for your organization.
Hi, I’m Jillyn, Founder and Executive Director of Technology Aloha, and I’m here today with our Content Manager, Kelli to talk about Ways to Use Volunteer Stories to Promote Volunteerism for Your Nonprofit. Our podcast today will be broken into two sections —
- Why, How, and Where to Gather Volunteer Stories
- The Many Ways Your Nonprofit can Repackage Volunteer Stories
Let’s get started.
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Gather Volunteer Stories
KELLI: Thanks for the introduction, Jillyn. I thought we could start today’s podcast with a short answer to the question, “Why should a Nonprofit Gather Volunteer Stories?”
JILLYN: Well Kelli, most Nonprofits depend on their volunteers, and volunteers generally have a passion for the work they do. After all, they wouldn’t volunteer if they weren’t invested in the mission of the nonprofit. So gathering your nonprofit’s volunteers’ stories is a great way to recruit new volunteers and share that passion for your cause. It’s also a great way to recognize and thank your very best volunteers.
KELLI: I completely agree with your answer, Jillyn. Plus, your nonprofit can develop a lot of fun ways to gather those great stories. You can do a video interview, a voice interview, ask for user-generated content on social media, or even just written via email.
You can start with just a few questions like: “Why are you volunteering with this organization?” “What’s your favorite thing about volunteering with this nonprofit?” or even “Tell us about the best volunteer experience you had with our organization.” It’s good to leave your questions open-ended so volunteers can give you an answer in their own words instead of Yes-or-No answers that don’t sound genuine.
JILLYN: Exactly Kelli, open-ended questions are the best kind to ask your volunteers. It’s also a good idea to have a selection of questions for your volunteers to choose from and ask follow-up questions! It’s always better to have too much information than not enough. The more material you get from your volunteers, the more opportunities you’ll have to repackage and use their stories in original ways. So Kelli, where can a nonprofit use volunteer stories?
KELLI: Everywhere! That’s what’s so great about nonprofit volunteer stories. They’re great to use on your website, in email campaigns, recruitment and recognition materials, and of course on social media.
Building a marketing campaign around volunteer stories lets you show off the real people behind the work your nonprofit does. Plus your nonprofit gets to create a deeper connection with your volunteers. They’ll feel noticed, and will want to come back when they see themselves and the difference they’re making.
The Many Ways Your Nonprofit can Repackage Volunteer Stories
JILLYN: Great points, Kelli! And how you use the volunteer stories will change depending on what platform you share them on. You’ll be surprised by how much you can do with just a few stories.
KELLI: And Jillyn means a lot. What we list are great jumping-off points, but there’s so much you can do this list will be far from comprehensive. Here are 3 ways you can use volunteer stories with video marketing:
- Create videos and use audio of your volunteers talking about the cause
- Make a “Thank You” video with pictures and short clips of your volunteers hard at work
- Feature several volunteers answering the question, “Why do you volunteer with this organization?” to create a recruitment video
JILLYN: And you don’t have to focus only on video marketing. You can use still photos as well. Use quotes and statements made by your volunteers and put them in places like:
- Your website
- On the home page or on the sign-up page for an event
- Instagram and other Social MediaFeature your volunteers in a recognition campaign
KELLI: And of course volunteer interviews make for great newsletter spotlights, blog posts, or podcast episodes. Or use snippets of interviews for all three.
It really is worth the effort to gather first-person volunteer stories from your volunteers.
JILLYN: Yes it is! It’s worth keeping in mind that any way you capture your volunteer stories is great! However, if you can capture video, that will give you the most opportunities for reuse.
Bonus Blog Post Tip: The Australian Salvation Army’s YouTube is a great example of video marketing and reusing material. See how they use and reuse video as audio, quotes, and snippets in other videos.
You’ll have video, audio, still images, and plenty of verbiage for quotes and written content. The video conferencing tools that have become so mainstream during COVID-19 make capturing video interviews easier than ever before! If your nonprofit doesn’t already have a video conferencing tool, there are quite a few free options available. We’ll include links to a few of our favorites in the description.
KELLI: Well it looks like that’s all the time we have for today. We’ve included links in the description to several of our blog posts that cover the topic we discussed today. I’m Kelli—
JILLYN: —and I’m Jillyn. If you have questions about promoting your nonprofit with volunteer stories or have other topics you want to hear on our podcast, please reach out on social media or contact us at TechnologyAloha.com.
KELLI: Thank you for listening to Into the Inbound with Technology Aloha. We hope we’ve added a little Aloha to your day.
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Into the Inbound with Technology Aloha