Stories From the Field: When Rose Blooms

I received the following letter and story from Megan Kadrmas, a volunteer with the God’s Child Project in Antiqua Guatemala this morning.  I’m sharing it with you for three reasons.   First, Low Hanging Fruit is a community for nonprofit practitioners.  Hearing from each other is essential to building a community bond.  Second, Megan tells a compelling story that should be heard–both as an example of good storytelling, and because of its intrinsic value.  Finally, I have an especially soft spot in my heart for little girls, so if I am able to help even one little Rose by letting Megan tell her story, I’ve had a good day. –Maureen

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Help your Community Help You

photo credit: ajdecandis

If your nonprofit organization is anything like the ones I’ve worked for, you pride yourself on making the most of every resource.  No one makes money go farther than you.  You shake the toner cartridge until printouts are no longer legible.  You are using the same file folders your predecessor bought in 1994.  You buy nothing you could possibly have donated.

And yet, as careful as you are with  financial resources, you may be overlooking another kind of resource that is just as important to the future success of your organization–social capital.

Do you care for your organization’s relationships as well as you care for her money?  Do you  engage the people who support your work in ways that strengthen the relationship rather than diminish it? Do you create meaningful opportunities for volunteers to get involved, and then give them the support they need to be successful?

Most organizations do not–and this oversight is costing them much more than they imagine.

One place to start using volunteers more effectively is in your marketing efforts.  Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful way to build an organization’s support base,  social media just makes the method stronger.  As a staff person you can only do so much to take advantage of this marketing method–but volunteers can help a lot.

You don’t have to do it alone

If you like the idea of integrating your volunteers and donors into your marketing mechanisms, but aren’t sure how to begin, I can help.

Amplify your message is a free, seven(ish)-week e-course all about recruiting your organization’s volunteers and donors as mini-megaphones to spread the word about your great work.

In our time together we’ll cover:

  • Overcoming objections (from you and your volunteers)
  • Giving volunteers the information, training and support they need to be successful
  • How to say thank-you early and often
  • What to do when things go off course
  • Bonus Q&A messages based on specific questions from you and your fellow course members

Sounds good, Sign me up!

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