Trade associations must recruit corporate volunteers, not just individuals.
Keep reading for tips on how to attract more trade-based organizations to volunteer for your association.
When you have a small staff, your association’s volunteer program is essential. It helps you to engage members and get more done.
But when you’re running a trade association, you must think about ways to recruit corporate volunteers, and not just individual volunteers. And you need the right trade association software to support your volunteer program.
Let’s look at some basics about corporate volunteerism and how to recruit more trade-based organizations to volunteer for your trade association.
What is corporate volunteerism?
Before jumping into ways to recruit companies to volunteer for your trade association, it’s important to consider the nature of corporate volunteerism. Corporate volunteerism is a workplace initiative that offers encouragement, resources, and support to employees who want to volunteer in their industry or community.
Companies see multiple benefits from creating a corporate volunteer program, including:
- Supporting corporate values by making a positive impact on their industry and/or community
- Attracting civic-minded talent, providing opportunities for employees to gain personal and professional development, improving employee job satisfaction, and ultimately reducing staff turnover
- Improving the public image of the company
There are multiple types of corporate volunteering models, too. For example:
- Group volunteering – In this model, corporate groups can help your trade association to complete one-time or complex projects more quickly.
- Direct volunteering – With this model, the company can coordinate volunteer opportunities with your trade association in which individual employees volunteer for ongoing projects that directly impact your members.
- Skills-based volunteering – In this model, a company’s employees could offer their specific skills to help your trade association. For example, one employee might help your association prepare taxes. Another might help by doing an IT assessment.
TIP: YourMembership association management software (AMS) by Community Brands is built for small-to-mid-size associations like yours. It offers a single platform with everything you need to easily manage your members and volunteers while taking your trade association to the next level.
Four steps for recruiting more corporate volunteers for your trade association
To successfully recruit corporate volunteers, it’s important to have a thoughtful approach and the right association software to support your efforts. Here are four steps and some tech tips to help you attract more organizations to volunteer for your trade association:
1. Develop corporate volunteer opportunities’
Build clearly defined and attractive corporate volunteer opportunities. For example, develop a variety of ways to volunteer that address multiple corporate volunteering models. Also, offer various levels of engagement – from low to high engagement – to allow companies to choose opportunities that align with their corporate volunteer program.
TIP: With YourMembership AMS you can easily build and send surveys to learn more about what volunteer opportunities will interest your corporate members most.
2. Reach out to trade-based organizations.
Get the word out about your volunteer opportunities through multiple channels. For example, send out a call for volunteers that highlights the benefits of volunteering with your trade association. Also, use your online member community to spotlight corporate volunteer opportunities and create discussion groups around specific opportunities.
TIP: Using YourMembership AMS, you can easily recruit volunteers through your website, emails, SMS text messaging, online member community, and more.
3. Offer support.
Provide individual volunteers with the knowledge and resources they need to be successful, and let companies know you offer this support for their volunteering employees. For example, offer volunteer orientation, training, ongoing guidance, tools, and feedback.
TIP: With YourMembership AMS, you can track who’s volunteered for which opportunities through easy-to-use reports.
4. Show gratitude.
Just as you would thank individual volunteers, be sure to let corporate volunteers know they’re appreciated. In addition to thanking individual volunteers, thank your primary contact at each company through email, handwritten note, or even a phone call. Take gratitude a step further by thanking each company through social media and your email newsletter, at events, and in your online member community.
As your trade association grows, it’s important to have the right association management software in place to support your volunteer program, membership management, and more. An all-in-one AMS like YourMembership offers an affordable solution that can help you reach your association’s goals while easing the workload on your staff.
Learn more about why thousands of associations choose YourMembership to manage their membership: Explore YourMembership AMS.
By Kyela Bishop, YourMembership Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands