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Volunteer Power!
Volunteer Power News - Number 115
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter

© 2013 Advantage Point Systems Publishing

A warm welcome to all volunteer managers-those of you who recruit, motivate and mobilize volunteer workers.

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In This Issue
  1. Featured Article: Eight Ways to Make Some Noise-Get Everyone Talking (and Tweeting) About Your Volunteers
  2. 2. Volunteer Power Resources:
    • The New, New Breed - Second Edition (special price)
    • A New Breed Workshop
Featured Article: Eight Ways to Make Some Noise-Get Everyone Talking
Thomas McKee

One goal I have for 2013 is to be a noisemaker. I want the people in our community to be talking, tweeting, posting pictures on Instagram, and uploading videos on YouTube about what our organization is doing. I want people saying, "Did you hear what those volunteers did last week?"

When you plan your next convention, fundraising event, or community project, think of ways that you can get people talking.

Here are eight quick tips get your creative juices going.

  1. Find a juicy story. There is always a personal story happening around you at the event. Get some photos of that story and put them on your Facebook page, Instagram or Tumbir (if you are targeting Millennials- Tumbir is now the number one social network of Millennials). As I wrote in my journal on January 1st reflecting on the past year and dreaming about 2013, I thought about my experience as a volunteer in Uganda last February. I started telling my stories to others to get involved. Last year I was part of a team of 18 that went to Africa, but this year I will be serving on one of three teams of over 40 people-that's over 100% growth. The stories we told were contagious and more people wanted to volunteer. Almost 65 million people volunteered in the U.S. last year, and many of those volunteers have dynamic stories. Make some noise-tell the stories.

  2. Invite high profile people. Last summer I spoke at a volunteer recognition luncheon for a hospital. The wise planning committee invited the CEO of the hospital to give a short welcome. While people were gathering for the luncheon, he moved from table to table to visit with the volunteers, and he could feel their passion and enthusiasm as he heard their stories-volunteers talk (and talk and talk). But don't be limited to just the person of power in your organization. Use the connections of your volunteers to invite a celebrity such as the mayor of your city, or the governor, or a senator. If you get them excited about what you are doing, they will talk. I attended a volunteer recognition event recently where the anchor of the local news was the M.C. The next night that person told a story about the event in the evening news. How cool is it when high profile people use one of your stories in their speech. Make some noise-through movers and shakers. (Note: After I wrote this I watched The People's Choice Awards and was cheering during Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech for the Humanitarian Award. She was honored for all the work she's done to rebuild New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina I was jumping up and down as she praised the volunteers. She said, "That little clip that you saw doesn't even begin to scrape the surface of the amazing volunteers and humanitarians that I've come to love in New Orleans. And I'm not at all being modest when I say I don't do anything compared to what they do on a daily basis. I am simply blessed to be able to do what I do because of what you allow me to do, and that is write a check and be a really good cheerleader and that's it." Then Sandra held up her trophy and said she was going to give it to the volunteers at New Orleans because they deserved it.

  3. Make your own paparazzi. I stole this idea from Nancy Lublin of Do Something. She says that at most events, we tell everyone to turn their cell phones off. Instead tell them to turn them on and take photos, tweet, upload clips, and update their Facebook statuses. A key to maximizing the multimedia maelstrom, says Attention PR's Naomi Hirabayashi, is to "ask those people to use the same keywords in titles. It will make it easier for you to search for those items later." Make some noise-through pictures.

  4. Reward fans through fame. This is pretty far out, but think of how you could incorporate the idea in your organization. YPulse reported last week:

    In today's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube obsessed culture, brands don't just want to interact with consumers on social media, they want to create meaningful relationships with them [something that we are always working on-creating meaningful relationships]. One way of doing this, which is quickly becoming the norm, is by leveraging fans to fame. Consumers are rewarded for their interactions and relationships with a brand by being placed on billboards, buses, in TV spots, and even by appearing in campaigns alongside celebrities!

    Ben & Jerry's for example recently took this approach in its "Capture Euphoria" campaign, where fans were challenged to Instagram pictures that embody euphoric moments. . . . Dunkin' Donuts recently made its fans famous on a much larger scale through its "Top of the WorlDD" photo and video contest. . . . Skittles has long been a leader in this area, calling on fans to submit wacky pictures which reflect the Skittles brand or the company's motto to taste the rainbow. Skittles rewards fans through fame each week with its "Greatest Fan in the World" feature on Facebook, a strategy that Dunkin' Donuts also uses. . . . Pepsi announced that it's crowdsourcing the introduction to Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show. Fans are encouraged to upload pictures in specific poses, which will be used in a video to welcome Beyonce on stage. 50 fans will even be invited to be dancers during the show! This tactic is effective since it's not just crowdsourcing, but rather, a way to give consumers an awesome experience that they wouldn't have ordinarily and a memory they'll associate with your brand.

    Make some noise-Reward your fans.

  5. Don't go it alone. Invite bloggers to your event. Be sure to go to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Recruit them to blog and share their stories and pictures. If you count all of the friends of your volunteers, you could be reaching hundreds of thousands of people. Make some noise-through bloggers.

  6. Give them something different to talk about. Do you remember talking about your first visit to Starbucks and how you talked to others about your reaction (not always positive) to their drink sizes and the weird language Starbucks baristas used to call out your drink order? A "tall" is really a small, and a "venti" is an extra large. And you talked about it. But before long you were quickly ordering a "grande non-fat extra hot, two-pump vanilla, one-pump hazelnut, no-foam latte." Don't be afraid to do things in a way that gets people talking and when it catches on, you were the trendsetter. Make some noise that just might catch on.

  7. Keep the buzz alive. After a convention post several short videos from presentations. After a fundraising event or community project, keep the pictures, tweets and articles coming. If you meet regularly, such as church meetings or a regular association meeting, create a short video showing the people who participated with some of their stories. Keep the noise simmering.

  8. Noise Strategize... immediately. Right after the event strategize your "noise making methods" for your next event. Too many times we focus our evaluation sessions on what went wrong. So to be positive we ask, "What were our greatest successes? What went right? What had the greatest impact?" These are effective strategy questions. But we often fail to ask the "noise questions" such as: "What are people talking and tweeting about? How can we make more noise?" Make some noise part of your strategy.
One last word about making some noise. You can't micro-massage (I just made up that word). We are so afraid of negative publicity that we want to approve every word that goes out. That is so 20th century. People are going to tweet, and we can't control what they tweet. My goal is to make sure the event is so exciting that the negative tweets will be very minimal. My vision for 2012 is to embrace the power of retweeting, forwarding, and using every other tech tool out there to spread the word.

Copy this article and brainstorm about what you can or what you ought to be doing to make some noise about what your volunteers are doing. What a great way to start 2013!

Volunteer Power Resources
Resource #1 - The book all directors of volunteers must have in their libraries

The New Breed
The New Breed
We are offering a special on the second
edition of the New Breed-20% off

Recruiting, Training,
and Occasionally Even Firing
Today's Volunteers

OUR PRICE: ONLY $13.59 (20% OFF)

The book that Zig Ziglar calls,
"Eye Opening and thought Provoking!"

The perfect resource to help you mobilize
the team of people you've always wanted!"

I want to buy

"The New Breed" Just Got Better!

We just sharpened the tool that has been helping volunteer
recruiters and managers survive the last 5 years!

Resource #2 -- A volunteer involvement workshop

Recruiting and leading the 21st Century volunteers who want to do it their way

Workshop Content

The 21st century volunteer culture is very different because of tectonic shifts that have changed volunteer leadership. These shifts have impacted the volunteer organization; therefore, how we recruit and lead the New Breed of volunteer is a whole new game. The tectonic shifts include the following:
  • Twitch Speed - The core characteristic of Lady Gaga is speed. She is doing in 10 minutes what it took Madonna ten years to achieve. How nimble is your organization in responding to today's volunteers?
  • Generations - Gen Y and retiring boomers-the new frontier of volunteers
  • Technology - The addition of social networks as a leadership tool
  • Empowerment - The knowledge worker demands to be led- not managed
  • Slacktivism - Getting involved with the click of a mouse
  • Episodic Volunteering - Sign up for only short-term projects or only when unemployed
A LEADER OF VOLUNTEERS STRATEGY: In this workshop you will learn ...
  • How to manage change: How to interpret a changing culture
  • How to empower the volunteer without dropping the ball
  • How to coach your volunteers instead of manage them: The four stages of coaching
  • How to frame your recruiting message in order to transition slactivists and episodic volunteers into valuable non-paid staff.
Contact us to book a workshop, key-note presentation.

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