Why drumming up interest from new members shouldn’t start with a big ask but a more modest one. Also: how volunteers can help even if they can’t devote all their time to you.
You may have big, audacious goals for your organization. Here’s the thing, though: You can’t lay out those goals for your members all at once, because if you give them too much to absorb right at the outset, you may scare off people who would otherwise be interested in your organization’s work.
More thoughts on membership in today’s Social Media Roundup:
Community Building Starts Small
— MediaEdge (@AssocContent) September 29, 2014
“It’s hard for individuals working alone to achieve much.”
A few years back, writer John-Paul Flintoff got a piece of advice from David Fleming, who helped build broad networks of people who encouraged one another to save energy. Fleming suggested that to create change, people should join local choirs. His point? It’s more important to create a group that people want to join, becoming part of a community, than to beat people over the head with a message.
Flintoff goes back to to that advice in a recent piece for The Guardian, in which he discusses the things that discourage people from joining local community groups. Many are unsure if they want to join or whether they have anything of value to offer to the group. Still others worry about the time commitment, the unfamiliar faces, or—worse—the faces of people they don’t particularly like.
The secret for organizations looking to draw in new voices is to keep the commitment small and manageable, he reveals.
“By talking about something small, and achievable, you are more likely to talk about it with confidence, and to pull your friends and family into the campaign with you,” Flintoff writes. (ht @AssocContent)
Volunteerism’s Changing Nature
— Votenet Solutions (@votenet) September 29, 2014
Volunteer leaders give organizations a strong foundation, and the ways—and the places—they can help are quickly expanding.
Earlier this month, YourMembership’s Rick Rutherford joined forces with Mariner Management & Marketing’s Peggy M. Hoffman, CAE, to discuss the changing ways in which volunteers can get involved with organizations. Two things are changing: Volunteers can help out virtually, and they don’t need to be devoted to a single role constantly, instead assisting in piecemeal fashion.
“While the roles a volunteer fills may, on the surface, look the same, the venue where the work is performed has changed,” Rutherford writes in a blog post. “No longer tied to an office or physical event, the virtual world we live and work in offers new ways for people to connect and get involved.”