Help your volunteer force jump on the technology bandwagon!
2012 is swinging around the corner and still many volunteer coordinators experience push-back when it comes to getting volunteers to adopt new technologies.
Hesitation about changing “the way things have always been done” is natural, as is varying degrees of comfort with using new technology and sharing personal information online. Tech-timid volunteers may need extra reassurance when it’s time to use online sign ups or join a virtual volunteer community.
Helping Tech-Timid Volunteers Build Social Media Confidence in 5 Steps
- Share reasons why a virtual community actually helps build the physical one. Engaging in online conversation builds awareness and moves volunteers to action for your organization. Plus, it can be fun!
- Hold a coffee/happy hour and help volunteers get started. Yes the caffeine and sugar is sure to please, but making the introduction to online social communities with an actual social event is in itself a great way to kick it off!
- Share and build up your group! Active photos, stories, and videos from your events recognizing individual and group successes can be shared online or via email newsletters. This emphasis creates a stronger community and encourages people to get online. Bonus idea: Enroll volunteers in a raffle which takes place online.
- As a volunteer leader, recognize a group or team member who is an early-adopter or testament to online conversion, and highlight their success! First person narrative from a volunteer who gave the online community a go and found it both cool and useful will be just what others need to get involved. Buddy these success stories with others!
- Be patient. Change is challenging for many, and especially for the tech-timid, time-strapped volunteer. Volunteers and parents are likely being hit with multiple requests to participate in various online communities. Let them know you are interested in helping them achieve their goals AND be more effective and efficient.
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3 Steps to Getting Tech-Timid Volunteers Excited About VolunteerSpot
Sign up volunteers online! VolunteerSpot was designed with tech-timid volunteers in mind. As we say, if you can shop online, you can use VolunteerSpot! That said, some people need a little more encouragement
- Let ‘em know it’s coming! Let volunteers know a new method for coordinating volunteers is coming and let them know WHY you’re moving to a technical solution. Volunteers will be more willing to dive in when they understand that moving from paper signups, excel spreadsheets and reply-all emails to an online signup sytem will free up time and energy for leaders (and volunteers). With VolunteerSpot’s online sign up sheets, volunteers can see available needs and sign up from their computers or smartphones.
- Show volunteers a demo video and walk them through the simple sign up process. Long or short, VolunteerSpot has a video tour for you and your group!
- Invite volunteers to sign up online! Customizable welcome messages let you address each volunteer and invite them in your own personal way to begin volunteering their time by signing up online. If they are still reluctant, offer to sign them up manually the first few times around so they get automated reminders, but don’t need to access the system.
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