An online community can have various objectives and goals in mind when it commences. To be successful, it needs an internet presence and continuous engagement from its members. Such a virtual community can take maximum advantage of connecting members from all over the world and make real changes in society. NGOs can form an online community that can solve their various issues and lead to the achievement of objectives.
Did you know that volunteer management is the most common issue an NGO faces?
While various companies and brands are trying to build a network with its members online, non-profit organizations can also join the bandwagon and create a digital presence. Since their main objective is to provide humanitarian services, an online community can help them reach a maximum number of people online. The more following an NGO has, the more it can work and benefit its society.
Volunteers are an important part of any non-government organization. With everything being on the internet nowadays, it is much easier to find volunteers online. But all of this is highly unorganized and volunteers are spread across the globe. Therefore, having an online community is hugely important. A central place for an NGO to manage all its activities and projects would surely aid the NGO in managing its affairs better. Geographical and man-made borders can be transcended with the help of an online community.
‘Volunteer management’ in an online community means creating systems online in such a way that it helps in administration and coordination between its members.
With an online community, NGOs can network efficiently, build awareness, reduce costs, spread information and raise funds!
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Here are some ways how an NGO can work with volunteers with the help of the internet:
1. Invite and Collaborate:
An NGO can put up the need for volunteers on their online community and spread the word. In today’s world, volunteers can contribute to the NGOs cause online too! People from across the world can come together and help an NGO achieve its objectives by showcasing their skills.
All an NGO has to do is to briefly explain their requirements. Volunteering can be offline or online. Volunteers can be required to write newsletters, create strategies, spread awareness, organize drives and raise funds for the betterment of the society. A proper requirement can be laid down wherein people can participate and express their intention to be a part of the NGO. This way, an online community of an NGO can be the central place for people to apply and work online.
2. Formulate strategies:
NGOs can appropriate projects on the basis of the skills of volunteers. They can be related to content writing, marketing, fundraising, social media management, IT, audio and video editing and other professional requirements. It can give people an opportunity to change the world.
With the help of an online community, NGOs can invite people to suggest various ideas that may help society. A team can be formed of members that help formulate strategies to have maximum impact. This team can put their targets on the front page of the community with step-by-step explanations and pointers. With the internet, brainstorming ideas and finalizing objectives become much easier. Further, all this can be done with people from different backgrounds all over the world. Doing so will ensure that the NGOs receive valuable input from people of various cultures and traditions.
3. Manage volunteers:
An NGO can have many volunteers that are working for different objectives as stated above. Often, it becomes difficult to manage and document progress actually made. In such cases, an online community can have managers that lead each project whilst ensuring that the work is actually done.
Depending on different profiles and different goals, members that are volunteers can provide the community with new ideas, weekly progress and ways to better manage the overall community. When it comes to raising funds and hosting charities, such work can be done with the help of the entire community. It becomes extremely important to build a group of people that can be trusted with important responsibilities.
An online community can help its members formulate bonds and hence, working together becomes smoother.
4. Efficient communication:
Every member has a voice in an online community. That leads to better communication. Better communication leads to better understanding between the members and helps achieve the desired result. Communication is the prime force that brings members together. This can lead to retention of volunteers, more engagement and active participation in the NGOs projects.
When volunteers know what to do, when to do it and how to do a task, it becomes easier for them to provide the NGO with efficient outputs. Knowing that they are making an impact facilitates retention. Connecting with volunteers is important.
An online community helps volunteers think that they are an important part of the organization. It helps make it easier for them to come forward and discuss issues and provide suggestions. All this can be improved with discussions between members. Together, members can come up with solutions and strategies that can be implemented without any hassle.
5. Maximum engagement:
If volunteers don’t engage in the online community, work will not get done. Letting volunteers know that their work matters leads to reduced turnover and helps achieve goals. One way to do this is by rewarding them when they fulfill a target. Thanking them for their work encourages them.
Volunteering should also be made fun. Various group activities can be organized that helps to develop a culture of the online community. Weekly or monthly contests can be held encouraging volunteers to participate. Volunteers should also be provided with many opportunities that help them showcase their skills. Doing only one kind of work might become monotonous. Hence, based on their recruitment profile, they can be provided with all kinds of work and trained on a regular basis for their benefit and the benefit of the community.
The way an NGO manages its volunteers makes a huge impact on the accomplishment of its objectives. Managing volunteers needs to be a flexible system. The goals and the means to achieve them should be changed from time to time.
If you want to bring a change in society but are afraid to do it alone, an online community is the place for you! Join one today or create one and help make the world around you a little better! Collaborate with other people to bring actual change. Make the most of the internet and technology!