Giving back to the community is something that for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations can do. It’s a great opportunity to teach people how to better contribute to the community through volunteering. Today, many organizations are encouraging youth to improve the community while also learning things they can use for their personal and professional ventures.
Youth can learn various skills, including problem solving and collaboration. These are useful in academics and their personal lives, and the workplace. Who knows, your business organization could be fostering the next generation of responsible community members and successful entrepreneurs. Continue reading to discover more about how youth volunteerism works and how to attract more volunteers.
1. Make things highly accessible
Business organizations often forget the importance of accessibility when creating volunteer programs. If you want to create real change in the community and your industry in general, open your doors to volunteers with disabilities. Make it convenient for them to support your cause. You can invest in assistive technologies to help them be more productive, active, and valuable to your group.
Software for deaf and hard of hearing, for instance, can help your volunteers with hearing problems to communicate with the entire team or even your sponsors. With such software, you’re making them efficient volunteers and making them feel that they are valued and can make an impact.
2. Host fun and interesting events
You can’t possibly attract a lot of teens into volunteering or participating if your fundraising events don’t involve fun and interesting activities. Give your volunteers breaks or free admission tickets in exchange for their time and effort in helping you organize the events. Look out for the types of fundraising events that appeal to young adults. These include active events such as 5k races or music festivals. Make sure they also enjoy the activities and invite their friends and family.
Or, if your organization has the resources, you can incentivize the volunteer program. You can offer several benefits, such as membership to honorary societies or the opportunity to get a scholarship. You can have your youth volunteers create timesheets, which you can use as a reference when giving additional benefits. If you’re a for-profit business that owns stores, you can provide your loyal volunteers with physical gifts, discounts, and rewards.
3. Share how they can make an impact
More than 70% of volunteers say that they are more likely to participate if they have a deep understanding of the impact they’re making. Your volunteers should know the mission behind your fundraising program or events, and most importantly, they should know what impact they’re making if they participate. Use social and communication channels to share your impact story. You can even create a content strategy to ensure the story is told thoroughly and effectively. Highlight your volunteers’ ability to make a difference and your organization’s mission. Young generations are compassionate people, so provide them with the right cause.
4. Create a junior executive committee
Speaking of being a compassionate bunch, young volunteers today don’t want to share posts on social media pages or donate money. They want to be completely involved with the mission. Give them a position at the table and allow them to make real and valued decisions for your fundraising programs. Give them a chance to voice their opinions and make a bigger change.
You can form a group dedicated to the youth volunteers like a junior board of directors. Doing so provides them with their own space for meetings, collaborations, and other fundraising-related tasks. At the same time, giving them the autonomy to make decisions can strengthen their future support and boost their loyalty to your fundraising program.
5. Ask directly
Many businesses and organizations use quirky tricks to catch the eye of young adults and get them to inquire about fundraising events. While this may be innovative and fun, there’s no easier way to invite young generations to volunteer than by asking them directly. Use your communication channels. Put a section on your website for potential participants, highlight your program activities and fundraising activities on your social media pages, or ask the help of the media for an announcement. If your targets are the young adults in your local community, ask them face-to-face.
Whether you’re a for-profit business or a nonprofit organization, having a volunteer program gives you opportunities to give back to the community. Volunteerism allows you to encourage young people to be socially active and responsible. Plus, you also get to support their personal and professional success. Who knows, your volunteers could be the next leaders of your community.