Written by: Frank Hamilton, a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.
Students can be a powerful driving force behind the efforts to achieve various goals of your nonprofit organization. They can contribute to your cause in many different ways. Students are a bountiful source of spare time, unused energy, open minds, breakthrough ideas, and a positive attitude. Getting them on board could make a tremendous difference to the promotion of your cause.
To realize the full potential of student volunteers you have to:
Inform relevant student body
Effective information dissemination is a key component of the successful engagement of student volunteers. Nonprofits should inform interested students about their main cause, previous achievements, organized events, ongoing activities, and opportunities for contribution. They should also give valid reasons for students to contribute personally.
Information can be distributed through different media channels. Nonprofits could use information boards on campus, internet websites, social networks, campus events, and student ambassadors to carry information messages to the student body. An excellent example of a website oriented towards student needs is 'Top Writing Reviews'. It publishes and updates ratings and reviews of the best online writing service free of charge.
Use social networks
47% of Americans discover or learn more about causes they care about via social media. With 95% of teens having access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online 'almost constantly', Social media plays an important role in every student's life. It is often easier and more convenient to access information, provide information and communicate via social media. Naturally, this is a great place for nonprofits to reach students.
Have your ambassadors among students
Nonprofit ambassadors among students are simply indispensable. They can serve as a reliable source of word of mouth, which is an efficient way to get students interested and involved in nonprofit activities. Ambassadors can reinforce nonprofit information messages by providing detailed information on the nonprofit activities. They can also go out, identify potential student volunteers, and engage them. By wearing nonprofit branded clothes and using branded things, they can serve as an additional media channel for nonprofit advertising, but the best advantage of student ambassadors is that they have reach to new audiences that you would have a hard time accessing yourself.
Opportunities for learning
Students come to educational institutions for learning. Helping student volunteers achieve their learning and career goals can increase their active engagement in nonprofit activities. Students should see the opportunities for learning and developing their successful careers while contributing to your nonprofit cause. Thus, all information materials and activities must contain easily observable possibilities to learn something new and develop career-relevant skills.
Make participation interesting and fun
Interested students are more willing to spend their free time on nonprofit activities. They perform their tasks better, faster, and with more output. Fun makes work pleasant and easy. Іnterest and fun together significantly increase the intensity of student engagement.
Make your activities collaborative efforts
Personal interaction and close cooperation of volunteers create a sense of togetherness among them. This sense makes students a part of something bigger and something important to the world around them. When contributing to the same cause together, students support and motivate each other, which strengthens their engagement with your nonprofit. For instance, the website Rated By Students uses collective effort to produce and publish an essay writing service feedback.
Motivate intensive participation
A reasonably competitive work environment could be very beneficial for boosting the performance of student volunteers. To intensify participation and stimulate productive competition among students, nonprofit may provide rewards for outstanding individual and group performance. These rewards may be in the form of The Volunteer of The Month award, some valuable presents, or recognition of achievements. Such recognitions are typically published in a nonprofit newsletter, local newspaper, local television program, or social media.
Students demonstrating acceptable performance may also receive small presents like branded T-shirts, baseball caps, or stationary. The rewards could also add to the overall level of student satisfaction.
Provide participants with a sense of accomplishment
A sense of accomplishment is an absolute must for a successful long-lasting engagement. After any productive activity, students expect to come home with something valuable. For nonprofits, it usually means something intangible like the appreciation of students’ contributions. There is an infinite number of ways to show your appreciation for a completed assignment or work done. Students also need to understand what exactly their contribution is and how they help to promote your cause.
The above strategies will help your nonprofit to use students’ spare time, up-to-date knowledge, diverse skills, and desire to do something meaningful with their lives to its advantage. Implementing these strategies will allow you to unleash the full potential of this enormous pool of smart, energetic, and determined young volunteers.
Remember you are not alone! Join GivingWay’s community of nonprofit organizations to share your insights and questions with organizations similar to yours.