What Will You Resolve To Do In 2021?
As we approach 2021, it is time for nonprofits to make their resolves to accomplish something new, different, and successful in the coming year. We suggest one resolve – looking inward and identifying ways in which volunteer labor could benefit your organization.
Where Do We Begin?
To begin a marketing campaign to volunteers, nonprofits must first select the strategy that works best for them. Over the course of our career, most strategies we have observed to market to volunteers have been quasi-formal. This discussion will review the strategies we have observed, highlighting any incentives offered as well as the degree to which they were targeted.
Can You Tell Me More?
One of the most prominent examples is the formal recruitment campaign used to recruit Green Thumb volunteers. The Green Thumb program, run by the U.S. Department of Labor in the 1990s, has since been revamped. However, the core mission remains the same: to recruit senior citizens to provide volunteer labor for small stipends and/or local tax breaks. One of my former employers was particularly interested in recruiting volunteers through this program. The volunteers were recruited using a position description drafted by the employer and provided to the U.S. Department of Labor. The labor department would in turn do the rest of the recruitment, screening applicants, conducting background checks, interviewing, and matching the volunteer to our agency. So, most of the legwork was done by the department of labor, which saved the employer considerable time and inconvenience. However, the time-savings realized meant that the employer relinquished control of the placement itself. The incentives offered to the Green Thumb volunteers included the stipends, local tax breaks, as well as professional development skills. These volunteers were very much targeted by the campaign.
In a similar fashion, we have recently been involved in the grant-writing required to solicit and place a VISTA volunteer, who is younger in age, by one of our nonprofit clients. The VISTA program targets young adults, particularly those who are either in college or who have recently graduated from college. This program is also administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Akin to the once Green Thumb program, the VISTA program conducts the recruitment, screening, and placement of the volunteer at the agency. In this recent capacity, we were responsible for drafting the position description and the grant application that would fund the position. The department of labor provides a stipend to be used to offset living expenses and/or college tuition. Additional incentives provided by the employer included an additional college tuition stipend, transportation reimbursement, and professional development opportunities and training. These volunteer campaigns are also targeted towards young adults who have not yet settled into careers and who may need additional supports, both economic and professional.
In conclusion, the volunteer campaign experiences we have had over time reflect historical change as well as a focus on both ends of the age spectrum. Again, most of our volunteer campaign experiences have been largely formal in nature.
And if we can help you market to volunteers, please contact us today.
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