Archive for November, 2012

Nonprofit Managers: Don’t Neglect Your Blog!

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

backgound check, credit check, volunteer background checkWhen was the last time you updated your nonprofit’s blog? You may have started blogging a few years ago, diligently writing posts on a regular basis. But at some point, you just stopped. Is it too late to revive the blog? And is it necessary?

Blogs are still a valuable marketing tool. In fact, with all of the social media options available today: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler, Flickr, and more—your blog can become the hub of your social marketing efforts.

In addition, a blog helps you reach new supporters and donors, who may only find you through an Internet search. Fresh content is the best way to keep your website ranking high in search engine results. And blogging is the easiest way of keeping your content fresh.

Blogs, along with additional social media marketing, can raise awareness and position your organization as an expert in your field. Inspire trust by publishing articles, educating your audience and answering their questions.

So, maybe it’s time to reinvigorate your blog. Sharpen your pencil, dust off your keyboard; do whatever it takes to motivate yourself to start writing again. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. The Internet is jammed with ideas for blog posts (of course, keep your content original) and a little time spent looking around could result in several weeks’ worth of blog post ideas.

And remember, if you simply don’t have the time to keep your blog updated, you can always ask a volunteer or staffer to handle it for you. There are also agencies and marketing freelancers who can help with writing, editing and marketing your blog.

Don’t forget to publicize your blog’s content through social media. Tweets, likes, repins and shares are very important in the marketing mix of today’s nonprofit organization.

Handling Difficult Volunteers

Friday, November 9th, 2012

volunteer screening, volunteer background checkNot all volunteers are easy to work with and manage. Some require more time, more attention or training. Others have negative attitudes or just seem disgruntled for some reason.

The problem with difficult volunteers? You can’t fire them. And, you may feel guilty about reprimanding them, especially when they give significantly to your organization. But they could be doing more harm than good. When the result is providing bad service to clients or contributing to a negative or stressful working environment, difficult volunteers should not be allowed to continue on the same path.

Fortunately, there are effective methods for managing disgruntled volunteers. If you’re dealing with this situation, here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Take away their power. By allowing negative behavior, you are giving those volunteers power over you—and everyone else. It’s not fair to anyone. Address the problem head on, and keep everyone else on task, so the person in question will realize that their negativity is ineffective.
  • Document your efforts. Keep track of incidents or situations that needed addressing, and how you handled it. You never know when you’ll need to refer to your notes.
  • Criticize kindly. If you do need to confront a volunteer, do so with kindness and in private. Public confrontations have a way of getting out of control; plus, they make everyone feel uncomfortable.
  • Keep things professional. Remember that your relationship with volunteer s is a professional one. Even if they are big donors of time or money, if you’re a volunteer manager, you’re in charge. Avoid losing your composure and your temper. Don’t stoop to the negative person’s level, even if he or she becomes defensive or starts yelling.
  • Nip it in the bud. When it comes to managing difficult volunteers, the sooner you deal with it, the better! Your entire organization will be better for your efforts.
Can you trust every person who volunteers for your agency? Conduct background checks on all volunteers. Rely on for your volunteer screening services. Protect your staff, clients, and your community with volunteer background checks.

More Details About Teens and Volunteering

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

volunteer screeningWhen it comes to volunteering, young people have definite motivations and favorite causes. A recent study by offers some great insight into the way teens and young adults think.

For example, we talked about how having friends who volunteer is a big influence over teen volunteer rates. But they’re self-motivated, as well. For young people, making a difference on an issue they care about is their #1 stated reason for volunteering. For girls, they say that volunteering is its own reward, as well, while boys were more likely to state that getting into college or landing a good job are also important reasons.

The top five issues that young people are most interested in volunteering for are:

  1. Animal welfare
  2. Hunger
  3. Homelessness
  4. The environment
  5. The economy

In reality, young people tend not to volunteer with groups dedicated to animal issues. They are, however involved in fundraising. Nearly 39% of young people who volunteer have fundraised for charity. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, you may not have considered recruiting teens to help with all-important fundraising. Maybe you should!

Guys tend to volunteer in physical ways, such as environmental cleanup or working with kids in sports or recreational programs. Girls tend to do more fundraising and working with marginalized populations. Girls also volunteer more frequently, with 51% volunteering once per month or more, compared to 45% of guys volunteering once per month or more.

Anyone who volunteers know how rewarding it can be. With youth, it’s just as true as with adults. Young people who volunteer score about 24% higher on a life satisfaction. The following activities offer the most satisfaction, according to the survey:

  • Working with young kids in a sports program    71% Happiness Scale
  • Helping at a library or cultural or historical group 69% Happiness Scale
  • Fundraising 68% Happiness Scale
  • Working with sick or old people 63% Happiness Scale
  • Working on a political campaign 60% Happiness Scale
  • Do not volunteer at all 51% Happiness Scale