Is Make a Difference Day on your association’s radar? It should be!
It’s a day when people across the U.S. volunteer or provide some kind of service for their community or those in need. This unofficial holiday is celebrated the fourth Saturday of October (this year it’s October 23).
Not sure what your association can do?
Here’s an idea: Plan a virtual service event for members of your association. Even for small associations, this is a great way to engage members and even prospective members with each other and with your association – all while doing good.
These five steps will help get you started:
Step 1: Brainstorm.
Start simple. Set up a brainstorming meeting with others from your organization to evaluate your association’s volunteer program. Also, consider inviting a few members to join the team – it’s a great way to get members even more involved in volunteering with your organization. In the meeting:
- Decide how you want to serve. Support your association’s specific industry.
- Consider a virtual volunteer opportunity like a local school you might help kids with homework or tutoring.
- Virtual run or beach you might help clean up.
- Thank you calls to your donors or translation for content.
- Virtual resume reviews for a local college or university.
- Virtual mentoring by sharing your business-related skills by signing up to be a mentor for small business near or far.
- Consider various levels of participation. Think about a service opportunity that might allow volunteers with even just a little time to participate.
- Determine who’s doing what. Outline tasks, owners, and deadline dates.
Step 2: Line up the details.
Determine the specifics of your volunteer/service opportunity. For example, if you’re volunteering for another organization, contact that group to schedule your service time. Gather the specifics about how you’ll be helping out so you can share them with your members. Consider things like:
- How many member volunteers do you need to gather (minimum/maximum)?
- Where and when do they need to meet on Make a Difference Day?
- How long should they plan to volunteer?
- What will they be doing?
- Are there any special requirements? Such as computer requirements, items they need to bring with them, or any special clothing requirements?
- Can friends and family join?
Step 3: Create a registration page for your service event.
Build a registration page that includes the details of your service opportunity. Be sure your registration page makes it easy for participants to understand and sign up for your various volunteer levels. And don’t forget to set up confirmation, reminder, and thank you emails.
TECH TIP: Using YourMembership’s event management functionality, you can easily set up and manage events. You can schedule automated confirmation, reminder, and thank you emails. You can also save time by printing name badges directly from YourMembership.
Step 4: Get the word out.
Let your members know about your volunteer opportunity. Post about it in your online community. Include it in your next member email. Post about it on social media. You can even call your most involved members. And, make sure your board of directors are involved and help get the word out too.
Be sure to personalize your communications for greater impact. According to Digital Evolution Study by Community Brands, members view “targeted, valuable content” as important.
Step 5: Follow up!
Thank the members who participated in your Make a Difference Day activities. Share a recap of your service with members via your online community, email, social media, and other communications. Include information about the impact your work had on the community, organization, and people that you served.
Make a Difference Day is a great opportunity to engage with your members to do good. Once you have your Make a Difference Day plans in place, take it one step further. Include @YourMembership in your social Tweets, and YourMembership will re-tweet your activity to help you get the word out!
Looking for more tips to engage with your members in each stage of the volunteer journey? Download the Small Association’s Guide to Developing a High Performing Volunteer Program.