When it comes to running a nonprofit organization, your members are your main engine. Without their help, volunteer work, and dedication to your cause, you wouldn’t be able to get very far.
Of course, there are those members who are more actively engaged than others. This is why you need a strategy to boost members’ engagement and increase your retention rate.
So, do you have a strategy to engage your nonprofit members more? If not, we strongly suggest you start working on one. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of eight surefire ways to boost members’ engagement and skyrocket your nonprofit.
1. Smooth Onboarding
First impressions matter.
When your nonprofit recruits a new member, it’s very important to have them engaged from day one. On the other hand, you can’t overwhelm them with millions of tasks, events, and opportunities at once.
To keep your new members engaged you need to develop a smooth onboarding strategy that includes:
- a warm welcome
- nonprofit goals and cause information so they truly understand your mission and can represent you well
- low-key, local events (or in the current pandemic, virtual events)
It’s important that you give them a chance to get involved from day one, but not to make put too much pressure on them. If you do the onboarding and the first 6-12 months right, you’ll be able to further increase their engagement without any problems.
2. Provide Training
Think about the main reasons your members decided to join the nonprofit and invest their time or money in supporting it. Apart from supporting your cause, your members want to grow both personally and professionally.
This is why you need to foster education & training.
Learning opportunities will keep your members:
They’ll be ready to share ideas, invest themselves more, and bring something new to the table. Therefore, organize different types of:
- seminars and webinars
- education opportunities
- Q&A session with experts
Your members will appreciate your support and will be more ready to return the favor and increase their engagement.
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3. Build a Community
People want to feel like they belong. They love being a part of a group and share the same viewpoints or ideas as others.
Your nonprofit needs to nurture and provide a sense of belonging to a community of people who feel and think the same.
Offering your members and volunteers a digital community like Givitas can help foster a sense of belonging and connection. Givitas connects members and volunteers to ask for and offer help to one another, while linking them closely to your vision and mission.
This way, they’ll feel a stronger bond with the nonprofit and all the other members.
The sense of belonging will inspire them to be more active, engaged, and dedicated to your cause.
4. Consider Mentorship Programs
So many people decide to join a nonprofit in order to socialize more and learn from those who are more experienced.
It’s a good thing to work on recruiting new members. However, you should also work on making those new members valuable.
Mentorship programs are great because they offer numerous benefits for all sides involved:
- older members and new members are brought together
- it’s a learning and a teaching opportunity
- the nonprofit advances faster with more experienced members
- the sense of a community is stronger
With the new members placed in the experienced hands of old members, they’ll be more prepared to actively engage in the nonprofit’s events, causes, and projects.
Mentorship programs will boost engagement and build stronger bonds within the nonprofit. You can also use Givitas to connect mentors and mentees.
5. Create Job Opportunities
Another major reason why your members become a part of your nonprofit is to network and learn more about the industry. As a result, some may be hoping to find a job someday, and build a solid career.
This is exactly why creating job opportunities is another brilliant way to engage nonprofit members.
The job opportunities can be:
- within your nonprofit
- within other nonprofits, you collaborate with
- within companies or organizations that support you
What you have to do is always create new networking opportunities, and give people the credit for what they did.
Once your members realize there’s a chance for them to advance from a volunteer to an employee, they’ll work harder to prove their values and how much they’re worth.
6. Always Celebrate Wins
Every nonprofit has minor and major goals that they’re working on during the year. Since the sense of accomplishment is super-important to people, celebrating wins is another way to boost members’ engagement.
There are hundreds of ways for you and your members to celebrate every win that you make, including:
- report victories on social media
- give thank you notes to everyone
- throw a mini-celebration at the office
- give praise on morning meetings
Make sure that every milestone is awarded a kind word, if not something more than that. Appreciate everyone’s contribution and find a way to thank each person individually.
This type of appreciation will give them a reason to keep working hard and stay actively engaged.
7. Allow Remote Work and Volunteering Whenever Possible
Remote work is long-pass its emergence phase and has officially become a widely-accepted form of doing any type of work.
Your nonprofit needs to improve and introduce innovation, which is why it’s very important that it allows remote volunteering opportunities to its members, especially in the current pandemic environment.
By allowing remote participation in your nonprofit’s causes, you are:
- widening the pool of opportunity
- allowing more people to join you
- creating personalized experiences for your members
- allowing them to be engaged under their own terms
- ensuring the safety of members and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If your members can decide how to participate, where from, and how much, rest assured they’ll be more actively engaged than ever.
Include remote volunteering and remote work into your nonprofit’s functioning and your members will know how to appreciate it.
8. Use Storytelling
Storytelling is a technique used by marketers all over the world but is also a great way for nonprofits to boost their members’ engagement.
All your members must stay updated and reminded about the things you’re doing within your nonprofit. Storytelling can help you achieve this.
You need to share stories about:
- your local and remote members
- their ventures within the nonprofit
- their achievements
- their failures and lessons learned
- their ideas and courage
By showing your less active members what some of the most active ones are doing and accomplishing, you’ll be able to motivate and inspire them to get moving.
Use social media, podcasts, and your blog to share the amazing experiences your nonprofit has created for the members who’ve truly invested themselves in your cause.
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Your nonprofit is nothing without an army of loyal, active members and volunteers who gather around the same cause and join forces to accomplish goals. But, it’s your job to create an atmosphere in which your members are willing to work hard and stay united.
Use the advice listed above to get your nonprofit members more active and engaged as soon as possible.
If you’d like to join a free Givitas community for nonprofit leaders, we have one just for you!Join Givitas for NPO Leaders
About the Author
Daniela McVicker is a business communication coach, helping future job applicants to write business emails to help them achieve success on their career paths. You can check her last review of Trustmypaper. This thesis writing company can help you write training course materials like a true professional.