If your company, church or organization has been inspired to step up your volunteer efforts, you may be thinking about instituting a formal volunteer program. You’ll probably have higher participation and more successful outcomes than if you simply encourage employees or members to volunteer on their own.
When you’re ready to start a volunteer program, you’ll need to know how to manage it. Volunteer management software can help you track hours, paperwork, communication and activities. Here are some more quick and easy tips for starting a corporate volunteer program.
- Focus on what you do best. If you’re a business networking group, then you may want decide to put together a volunteer mentoring team. You might help kids through tutoring, or help teens with job training. You could focus on helping unemployed adults put together resumes or polish interviewing skills. Think about the knowledge and talents that exist in your group, and how to best capitalize on them.
- Develop a plan. Just as with any major project, you’ll need to manage your volunteer program’s launch. Organize the details, from when it will launch to how people sign up. Delegate by assigning roles to staffers who can best handle questions and assignments.
- Spread the word. Use all of your standard communication channels, such as company email, newsletters, and announcement boards, along with social media. Set up a Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest account and invite participation. The more people know about your cause, the more potential you have for volunteers and donations.
- Share your success. After you’ve had a couple of successful projects, it will be easier to mobilize volunteers and the community around your cause. So, make sure everyone knows by posting updates on blogs and social media pages. Take lots of photos, make videos and highlight real-life stories from the people your organization has impacted.
- Proceed with caution. Use common sense to prevent any legal issues. Don’t publicize on the Web any photos or videos of children or other vulnerable people who cannot understand their implications. Conduct volunteer screening to prevent criminals, sex offenders or others who are unsuitable to come into contact with children or vulnerable populations.
Once you create a solid volunteer program, it will be easy for your organization to give back to your community and build on its success.