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  • Mon. May 16th, 2022

Pro Roundup for Volunteer Coordinators: Digital Marketing for Nonprofit Success   Digital Marketing for Nonprofit Success 

Feb 28, 2022
Pro Roundup for Volunteer Coordinators: Digital Marketing for Nonprofit Success   Digital Marketing for Nonprofit Success 

Pro Roundup for Volunteer Coordinators:
Digital Marketing for Nonprofit Success
 

No doubt, you’ve felt the line blurring between your job and that of digital marketing for nonprofit organizations. It’s really become part of anyone’s job who communicates regularly with others. 

Through advancements in digital technology, marketers are better able to identify, target and communicate with prospects. In turn, people have come to expect messaging that is tailored to their interests and delivered on the platforms they frequent.  

In case you hadn’t already recognized the crossover between your role in the organization and the marketing or communications department, – if they ever were separate – know that successful volunteer management includes a cadre of digital marketing skill these days.   

It’s most noticeable with the switch to virtual volunteering. But, more and more, “Volunteer Coordinator is becoming synonymous with Digital Marketer.  

To recruit and manage volunteers, it’s important to leverage technology in finding, onboarding, and retaining your ideal candidates. 

So, in this month’s roundup, we talk about how developing digital marketing skills relates to success in volunteer recruitment and management. 

Take a Breath … You May Have the Tools Already  

To improve your use of digital marketing, you may not need to learn any new technology. Yep, that’s right. 

Chances are, you already have the basics well in hand. Don’t be intimidated by the notion of taking on a whole new skillset. Digital marketing is really only communication with your audience via any online platform. 

So, rest easy. You can start from where you are.  

If you already help update the website with job descriptions, use that same website to tell a story about the achievements of your volunteers.  

No need to recreate the wheel.  

Include a touching story in your organization’s e-newsletter. If your organization is already reaching out to stakeholders, you can use that platform to improve relationships with volunteers, too.   

We’ve already prompted your use of digital marketing in this blog post that offers guidance on engaging with volunteers with a dedicated website or page for volunteers.  

Whether you have a site dedicated to volunteers or a “landing page” that serves as your volunteer recruitment page, a key takeaway is that the “… landing page is the most important online marketing tool at your disposal”. 

If your organization has any of the following, you already have the tools for digital marketing for your nonprofit:  

Start with a Plan 

In a past Roundup, we gave you a rundown on How to Develop a Digital Marketing Volunteer Recruitment Plan for Your Nonprofit. In that post, there are useful definitions of the basic strategies used to communicate and helpful guidance in establishing a systematic approach. Once you have that plan in place, you’ll see areas of opportunity opening up for more interactive communication.   

Speaking of which, this article has a handy segment called ‘Active Communication Tactics” that offers quick tips on email streams, also called drip campaigns, as well as thoughts on dedicated e-newsletters.  

Digital marketing doesn’t have to mean high-tech. It’s relatively easy to develop a series of emails that steer prospects to your desired action.  

Your aim should be to get people into active correspondence, even if that just means ‘liking’ your social media posts in the beginning. We’ll talk more about how ‘likes’ can lead to feelings of belonging later in this post. 

Past the Planning 

More terminology that will come in handy when digital marketing for your nonprofit organization includes: Segmentation.  

Segmentation refers to categorizing recipients of your messaging by characteristics such as location, area of interest, or experience level.  Segmenting is beneficial whether you’re communicating with volunteers, donors, or customers. It helps ensure each recipient receives the information they need at the appropriate time for them to take action 

This article from VolunteerHub discusses segmentation as well as reaching out to those who already are involved with your organization.  

In digital marketing, this is called Retargeting (another digital term, don’t let it intimidate you) 

This concept is based on the idea that past customers make fantastic prospects for future sales, as they’ve already bought in on some level. You are probably familiar with a similar situation, knowing that volunteers often become donors and vice versa.  

Content is Key 

A huge buzzword in marketing is content. It’s not some magical stuff crafted only by a crew of creatives. Content can be the words and pictures in a social media post. It is your messaging, whether that’s in writing, pictures, or multi-media.  

The rate at which people are consuming content is rising all of the time. According to this write-up of marketing trends for nonprofits, 92% of nonprofit marketers are using at least some form of content marketing.  

With all of that content out there it’s important that yours be recognizably compelling to your audience. They’re going to want to hear about what you have going on and how they benefit from involvement.  

Trends suggest that video be included as an integral part of your marketing mix. You’ll definitely want to consider video, as the ability to produce this content is as close as your mobile phone.  

This is a great instance of beginning where you are. The next time you think “if only people could see this, they’d want to be a part of it,, it’s time to start recording video.

Meet Them Where They Are 

That same post on marketing trends tells us that 75% of consumers are comfortable receiving texts from brands. You’re a brand!  

Text messages are efficient tools for onboarding new volunteers and can be very helpful in managing events. Not to mention, they feel personal because they arrive to an individual in the same way they communicate with friends.  

There are relatively inexpensive ways to message lists of people all at once. So, in addition to the applications mentioned above, an SMS automation platform could be used as part of a recruitment strategy.  

Building Community

Digital marketing is about more than creating a brand or selling; it’s about creating community around an idea.  

The goals of digital marketing for nonprofit organizations are to inform, attract and engage stakeholders. To do so, you want to draw them into your circle.  

An excellent way to do that is with the use of peer-to-peer text, as described in this CallHub piece. Here, in addition to other recruitment and retention techniques, they discuss the value of personalized communication through text.  

There’s no question that the personalization of a message increases its value. Imagine the sense of belonging that comes with being singled out and invited by a member of the community. This is how community is built!  

Acceptance of Tech 

For anyone who really enjoys geeking out on what makes people want to volunteer, you’ll want to dive into this study from Frontiers in Psychology.  

It’s rather an academic read, but tells us that based on the level of acceptance of technology, there is room for improvement in strategies for getting people engaged toward a cause.  

Of special interest is how the use of two-way channels has empowered organizations to “convey positive feelings” about themselves and in support of social movements.  

They also discuss how the use of social media channels makes organizations more easily identifiable, which helps increase the number of supporters for their cause.  

Through various social media platforms, contact between the nonprofit and potential supporters is increased, as is the pace at which relationships are developed. Basically, the strategic use of digital marketing gives volunteers the feeling that they belong. 

This brings us back to the idea of engagement beginning as simply as someone ‘liking’ a social media post. This study supports the notion that consistent, strategic digital marketing efforts can develop a committed volunteer from a follower on social media who started by clicking on “Like”. 

We’re All in It Together 

We could go on and on about the parallels and intersections between volunteer coordination and digital marketing for nonprofit organizations – and probably will on several occasions in the future!  

There is so much that can be done to create efficiencies in your work that will free up time for you.  

But remember to start with one simple tactic and build from there.  You don’t need to become a multi-media mogul to communicate more effectively with your volunteers and nonprofit supporters (not just yet anyway!). 

We hope that by sharing these tips and tactics, it supports your organization’s efforts to integrate digital marketing into streamlining volunteer recruitment and management and your digital marketing for nonprofits. 

Ready to Step Up Your Game?

Sign up today for this free online course – delivered straight to your inbox – that will enhance your recruitment skills.

You will learn how you can attract the right people for the right jobs. You’ll get practical strategies that you can put to use right away. You’ll finish more ready than ever that to find qualified volunteers who truly want to make a difference.

This content was originally published here.