Service Sector Snapshot: News and Tips for Nonprofits (November 2014)
Posted Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by Verified Volunteers Staff
November is an important month for nonprofit organizations. Besides being the lead up month to the busiest time of the year for charities, it’s also home to Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving – both of which inspire citizens to spend more time volunteering. As volunteer hours increase and we continue our march towards the new year, it’s a good time for nonprofit groups to formalize efforts to attract new volunteers, to deliver a terrific volunteer experience, and to focus on remaining engaged with volunteers in order to increase retention rates.
In a previous post, we revealed strategies to follow to ensure a great volunteer experience during peak volunteer seasons. In this post, we’ll discuss effective marketing techniques for attracting volunteers any time of the year.
Tips and Tools for Nonprofits
Optimize Your Website for SEO
Perhaps you’ve just spent the past six months working with your team to develop a truly engaging website. You have created excellent content and plenty of images. The problem is that the internet is a vast place! You need people to find you online. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of ensuring online search engines have read and indexed your website. Do it right and visitors will be guided in your direction. Check out some tips for optimizing your website content here.
Using YouTube for your Nonprofit
If you’re not utilizing YouTube to help market your organization , you’re missing a huge opportunity! Many nonprofits are not aware that YouTube makes certain features available – for free – to qualifying organizations. These include:
• Call To Action overlays link to your website directly from the video
• Donation buttons
• Grants for nonprofit groups for Google Ad budgets
Blogging and written content is vital to the success of your nonprofit. But you need to have a plan for how, when and where you’re going to share content with your readers, then ensure that you follow through on these efforts. Unfortunately, creating great content isn’t easy. What do your readers care about? What’s the right length? How often should you post? There’s a lot to think about. Many nonprofits have experienced difficulties when it comes to consistent blogging…and many have overcome those difficulties by crowdsourcing their blog topics. They are utilizing guest writers for blog topics, posting questions or topics on social media outlets to allow feedback from the community, or even asking readers for topics that they would like to see covered on their blog. Is crowdsourcing for you?
Build an Effective Social Network
It’s no real surprise that building your organization’s social network is key to connecting with potential volunteers. But have you thought about building an internal social network? Business 2 Community shares some fantastic reasons to build an internal network, including the benefits of sharing resources to centralizing training programs. Take a look to see where your nonprofit group might benefit!
News in the Service Sector
• See how nonprofit groups are teaching valuable lessons to businesses.
• Corporate Social Responsibility in the nonprofit sector: Where does it stand?
• Need to hire a consultant for your nonprofit? Here are some tips.
• Writing your Annual Report? Check this out.
• What does it cost to deliver your nonprofit’s mission?
Making a Difference
Just days before Veterans Day, Chicago Tribune reporter Lisa Black shared a story about Honor Flight, an inspiring nonprofit group that organizes trips for war veterans to see the nation’s memorials in Washington, D.C.
The Honor Flight Network, with more than 130 regional branches across the country, was first conceptualized in 2005 by retired Air Force Captain and physician assistant Earl Morse. After taking care of veterans for more than 27 years, Earl could tell that most had given up hope of ever visiting the memorials that were created specifically to honor their service. The idea for Honor Flight was born.
Since its inception, the Chicago branch of Honor Flight has organized more than 61 flights for 5,300 Veterans. And on November 8th, 2014, another 92 veterans’ services were honored. We’d like to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to our veterans for their service to our country.
To find out more about Honor Flight and how you can get involved with a local chapter, check out their website.