5 Ways To Incorporate Mobile Tech Into Your Volunteer Program

Image courtesy of The Cause Project. Image courtesy of The Cause Project.

Today's volunteers are tech-savvy, and very busy. In fact, most Americans have a cell phone, smart phone, or tablet that they use to keep their schedule straight and stay in touch with their large and diverse networks of colleagues, friends, family, and acquaintances. So why not engage volunteers where they spend most of their time--on their mobile phone.

Check out these 5 tips from VolunteerMatch.com, on engaging volunteers and supporters via a mobile device:

  1. Text Reminders

    Once you have accumulated volunteers--either past, present, or future--keep them in the loop via text message updates, reminders, and volunteer opportunities.

    SMS is one of the best ways to keep in contact with volunteers of all ages, because it will reach them no matter where they are and no matter what they are doing at the time!

    Most constituent relationship management systems, such as Salesforce allow you to track volunteers, send texts to them directly from the CRM, connect with them through multiple methods (i.e., email, phone, and social), and identify your nonprofit's top volunteers.

  2. Check-In at Events

    Encourage your volunteers to 'check-in' at an event or the nonprofit's organization via Facebook, Instagram, FourSquare, and other social sites and apps that help spread awareness to new networks your charity might not be reaching. Offer a prize for a random volunteer or event attendee who checked in.

    Event services also make it easy to check in volunteers and guests as they arrive from a mobile device. Eventbrite has a mobile app that allows you to do just that!

  3. Live Tweet

    You may be hearing the buzz phrase "live tweeting" quite a bit. It's a growing trend, especially at conferences and big events with interesting lineups, presenters, or activities.

    Put your volunteers to work where they are most comfortable--tweeting from their phones about what is going on in real-time, with their real opinions. Encourage event guests to live tweet by designating a #hastag for your event and provide Tweeters with a list of other common #hashtags associated with your cause or nonprofits in general.

    The more people who Tweet about the event or your organization, the more FREE exposure your nonprofit receives. Particularly if you emphasize specific #hashtags, you can guide live Tweeters to target your primary audience or break ground with a new network.

  4. Share Multimedia

    Encourage your volunteers to create videos and photos to post to either their social networks or your nonprofit's social sites. Use social multimedia tools such as Vine, Instagram, Tumblr, and other mobile apps to create and share the real-time action at your organization.

    Donors love to see what your doing to reach your nonprofit's mission and how donor dollars are being spent to achieve those goals. Why not show them!?

  5. Personal Thank You Call

    Volunteers are just as important as donors, they bring man-power to your charity and work in the field at no cost to help your organization make the world a better place. Show them how much you appreciate the donation of their time and energy by thanking them personally with a phone call.

    Something personal might be the difference between a 1x volunteer and a returning enthusiast.

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