Rules of Engagement: Call to Action

How a small-staff association amplifies its campaigns for volunteers.

In an association with four full-time employees, volunteer relations is everyone’s job, including the CEO’s.

“It’s a high priority for us [because] we need volunteers who can lend a hand,” says Allison Ferch, executive director at the Globalization and Localization Association. “If you aren’t pulling out all the stops and making a lot of noise, then you’re likely missing out on some members.”

Ferch says GALA uses three key tactics in its annual campaign to recruit new volunteers:

1. Dedicated message. Ferch starts by writing a message, delivered to all members by e-newsletter and mail, asking them to volunteer for a variety of roles, including board service. “We like to have a representation of our membership,” she says. “This year’s message was focused on diversity and inclusion as shared values.”

2. Social referrals. GALA disseminates its message far and wide using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. “Members and nonmembers help to promote it,” Ferch says. “And it becomes this incredible opportunity to also promote GALA, its values, and member benefits to a public audience.”

3. Online form. In addition to Ferch’s letter, GALA uses an online form to collect potential candidates for the board. “We see value in promoting this opportunity as broadly as possible,” she says.

(artisteer/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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