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Attracting & retaining volunteers

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Attracting & retaining volunteers

We all lead busy lives and it can often be a challenge to attract volunteers, especially younger volunteers. Once on board, retaining volunteers can also be an issue, which can also lead to burn out amongst key members.

Below are some tips from a range of resources on simple things you can do to attract a crowd to an event, make the best use of social media and improve your marketing.

Marketing and Media

The Marketing, Media & Post Centre has been established by Our Community and Australia Post to provide community groups with the resources and tools to develop and spread their message to the wider community, and to build greater public awareness and support.

These skills are often an important way for groups to develop ongoing interest in their work. Knowing how to advertise an event, draft a media strategy, pitch a story to the media, prepare newsletters, develop writing skills, delve into the word of social media and build an online presence are all important skills and help your membership and the broader community to stay engaged.

Our Community Australia and Australia Post have developed a wide range of resources for community groups in an easy to understand format. Information is provided on:

  • Photo Bank
  • Image Generators
  • Layouts / Templates
  • Marketing and your Community Group
  • Marketing by Mail
  • 50 Effective Letters. How-to Letters
  • Mailing & Database Management
  • Marketing & the Web
  • Media Contacts
  • Media – Preparing Campaigns
  • Postcode Search
  • Going Green Environmental Mail
  • Tools & Research
  • Charity Mail
  • Research
  • Marketing Guru

Alternatively, you can also order the Complete Marketing & Media Handbook for Community Organisations.

The Australian Institute of Community Practice and Governance also provide a range of media and marketing training opportunities, covering many of the topics mentioned above. Visit the Our Community website for more information or email them at service@ourcommunity.com.au to find out what training is being conducted or could be conducted to meet your specific needs.

A number of help sheets are also available to guide through the do’s and don’ts of marketing and media.

Help Sheets

Make sure you plan ahead

Planning is an important step in recruiting volunteers and can help you match skills with what your group is trying to achieve.

Most groups baulk at the idea of actually sitting down and writing a plan. They argue that the time they would have to spend developing and writing a plan would be better spent actually recruiting. In nearly all cases a planned recruitment drive will achieve greater results than an unplanned, unsystematic effort.

Planning actually saves time in the long run. It helps to focus on creative and practical ways to achieve the ultimate goal of recruiting new members and increases the chances of accomplishing whatever goals we set for ourselves.Committing yourself to writing things down is very important. You don't want to waste time going over issues and making decisions that you have already previously agreed on.

Source: Information taken from Our Community.

Information to guide you through the planning process can be accessed on the Our Community website.

A number of help sheets are also available on strategic planning, including identifying your stakeholders, undertaking a SWOT analysis, using performance indicators and tips for developing and using policies. Click here for more information.

Following some simple steps to run a successful community group

Following some simple steps can help make your community group more effective and efficient. Demonstrating good management can help attract new volunteers and keep your current volunteer base happy and motivated.

More information can be found at the “Finding the Simple Secrets of Successful Community Groups”.

Making the most of IT

Want to get onboard with online technology, but not sure where to start? Check out Community Australia’s help sheets, which provide good introductory information on what you need to know about using the internet, and the best way of using online tools to attract new volunteers or deliver your message. Click here for more information.

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