Nonprofits and Social Media: Utilizing Volunteers & Interns

By: Melissa Noyes, MSW

My blog last week focused on social media as a learning process.  As we move through the maze of social media outlets and learn new skills, some of us may find ourselves less than thrilled by the social media world.  We understand why it’s important for our organization to utilize social media as part of our marketing/PR plan, but we don’t really want to be the one that has to deal with social media on a daily basis. 

For those who can relate, here’s a creative option: utilize volunteers and/or interns to help carry out your daily social media tasks (and even to help create and first implement your social media plan).  Leaving space for volunteers and interns to help with social media is a great way to tap into your younger volunteer/intern base.  Young people have grown up with social media and it inherently makes sense to them.  So why not tap into this knowledge base?  It saves you time and effort and allows your organization to reach out to a demographic that likes to be creative and make a meaningful impact.

A few things to keep in mind as you think about using volunteers/interns for your social media implementation.  First, make sure that you have a social media plan in place.  It is much easier to keep tabs on things if there is a plan in place.  It is also easier for your volunteers to work effectively if they have a plan.  Second, communication is crucial.  It is imperative that you talk with your social media volunteers about expectations and plans and that they keep you updated on what they are working on.  This will keep you connected to your organization’s social media plan.  Third, allow your volunteers/interns to be creative and make sure there is room for new ideas.  You’ll get a lot better response from your younger volunteers if they feel heard and they can use some of their own ideas.

How could your organization benefit from utilizing volunteers or interns to help with social media?  Does your organization already use volunteers/interns for social media?  If so, what are the pros and cons?  We’d love to hear your feedback.  Please feel free to comment below.

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About catalystxchange

Catalyst X-Change, Inc. is a 501c3 serving the greater Indianapolis area. Catalyst was founded by two Millennials (Kristin Clements-Effner and Melissa Noyes) with a passion and a vision for world change. We believe that significant and positive change can happen when individuals come together and match their passions with tangible actions. Our mission is to advance community through meaningful action.
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