Keeping people engaged in your program requires building a culture around your mission and their role in it. Every volunteer invites people to be involved in your program. They spread the word naturally and it is “word of mouth marketing.”
Consider the outline below for communicating with your volunteers. This is a way to maintain consistency among your group as you continue to grow. It helps to build a culture when you bring new people on board.
If you haven’t seen the previous articles leading up to this you can catch up so you’re not feeling confused. This is article three in a series and the others talk more about building the advocate (volunteer) program.
Weekly email with First-line Advocates – These are the people YOU have invited to join you with your organization’s fundraising mission. There are going to be times when someone you invited has invited someone else and then these people become your second-line advocate.
A weekly email is when you do something fun! It’s meant to make people smile, remember your mission, and also be informative.
- Begin a round robin email where people can add their new advocate’s names as it gets passed around. This can also be done within a group on Facebook if you have set one up. The reason for this communication is to share about new advocates. This eliminates people being asked more than once to be involved.
- Consider a themed email. There was a time when the Tuesday Pickle was the title of an email and it was sent every Tuesday with clean pickle jokes. Of course, updates on the organization’s program were included but they were secondary. The Tuesday Pickle was popular and people liked it.
Monthly Meeting of the Minds with First-line Advocates (1 hour) – Again, these are those people you invited to be involved. You are getting to know them. Getting together to discuss specific topics related to growing their mission will also encourage them to help you grow yours. The purpose of this meeting is to bring people together to mix n’ mingle. The whole format of SOAR with Network Fundraising is about growing networks – groups of people. When people get together and talk they begin to know, like and trust each other.
- Schedule coffee on a regular day each month (For example – the second Tuesday each month at 8:00 a.m). You can meet at a local coffee shop or move it around to different venues
- Make the meeting location convenient – easy in and out, good parking, and centrally located
- Solicit locations associated with people who are advocates
Quarterly Hosted Event (2 hours) – This is when the advocates in your first line invite their first line and so on. This is when the big group gets together to mix n’ mingle. The quarterly hosted event is networking at a location on a regularly scheduled day each quarter (For example – the third Thursday at 6:00 p.m. each February, May, June, and December).
- Change locations in order to cultivate new relationships with businesses
- Consider being outside in the summer for a BBQ
- The event in December can be the annual Christmas party
- Charge a small fee for people to attend ($5) to cover the cost of refreshments or have people purchase their own food
- Recognize people who are really excelling at advocacy
This is a time when people can mix n’ mingle and promote their businesses. If you are hosting this event in a public place and your advocates wear their name tags other people in the venue will take notice and ask questions.
The techniques you are learning about help to grow market share for any kind of business. Communication is always first priority to growing your program. The second is making sure it is consistent. The next area we’ll cover is follow up and follow through. Watch for the next article by following this blog.
Migration is THE Fundraiser, which implements networking as the system. You can learn about this through an online Webinar. Self-study courses are found through this link.