10 Healthy Habits of a Volunteer Community | Part I
If volunteer management is one of your resolutions this New Year, it is time to reflect on what is working and not working for your group, and actively pursue the resources to make a change for the better! We all know the old adage, "No man is an island"; the same notion applies to your volunteer group - little can be done alone, but together, a group of committed individuals can change the world.
Check out the first 5 of our 10 healthy habits of a volunteer community:
1. Define your mission: Think "Be the change you wish to see in the world," with the emphasis on "be." While we always need volunteers to "do" the important work, you cannot grow a loyal volunteer community unless those willing individuals are aligned with your mission. HandsOn Network has 4 tips for connecting volunteers with your mission, from avoiding distractions to active team-building techniques.
2. Break old habits: To pursue new healthy habits in your volunteer community, sometimes you have to break old ones. If your volunteer recruitment strategies reveal the same mediocre results time and time again, throw them out! Recruit volunteers in new and interesting ways - think incentives, online sign ups, community networking and more. Check out 10 ideas for volunteer recruitment.
3. Streamline Sign Ups: Streamline your volunteer sign up and coordination processes with free online sign up sheets. Forget the clipboard papers, reply-all emails and phone chains of 'yore, and encourage participation by making it more convenient to get involved. Online sign ups are accessible 24/7 from computer or smartphone and automatic reminders help everyone keep their commitment!
4. Go Social: Have you dipped your toe in the social media pool? Mak this the year to dive in and reach your volunteer community where they are already hanging out, social networks. Set up a facebook page for your volunteer group and initiate twitter, pinterest or instagram accounts that help your organization connect, like, and share with your volunteers. Don't miss 5 tips for getting your volunteers active in your online communities!
5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Is sustainability on your organization's "to do" list? There is no better way to reduce your carbon footprint than invoking sustainable practices among your volunteers' many activities. Think about reducing paper and styrafoam use at social functions, moving volunteer tracking and outreach to online platforms, and creating carpool groups for destination volunteer events - sustainability is a tangible goal and inevitably amplifies your group's mission.