Working for a National Society has been quite insightful for me. I recently involved myself with volunteer recruitment and I must say getting volunteers to help has been quite inspiring.  I have come to realize that people are seeking or are willing to aid those affected by disasters, be it natural or man made. Humanity always prevails in the event of a disaster. Volunteerism is the use or involvement of volunteer labor, especially in community services. Providing opportunities to people who are willing to volunteer and help is very important when it comes to addressing disasters that are faced by a community.

In order to ensure your contributions as an organization are impactful and able to reach those who truly need your aid, you can get volunteers to work on the following roles;

  • Writer
  • Social Engagement
  • Media Relations
  • Visual Storyteller

Volunteer Role in Writing can be engaged through;

  • Research, perform interviews, write, edit and post stories for blogs and chapter websites.
  • Organize stories and photos so they can be stored, categorized, referenced and retrieved.
  • Proactively seek out story ideas and share with members of the community.
  • Develop other written materials such as press releases, presentations, editorials, messaging, speeches, blog posts and newsletters.
  • During disasters, write daily stories focused on how the organization is helping people.

Volunteer Role in Social Engagement could be through;

  • Creating and posting relevant and timely content that supports the organizations’ programs, campaigns, events and initiatives.
  • Showcase the organizations’ services and programs through photos, videos, live tweeting and links to blog.
  • Train and coach others to use their personal social accounts to talk about  humanitarian work
  • Respond to mentions and direct messages; join existing conversations by validating information, sharing information, correcting misinformation, and recognizing partners.
  • Track social traffic by # and respond to organization mentions.

Volunteer Role in Media Relations could be through;

  • Vetting and responding to media inquiries during on-call shifts.
  • Serve as a spokesperson.
  • Maintain a list of subject matter experts able to serve as spokespersons; prepare spokespersons for media interviews.
  • Monitor local media coverage and maintain a media log of queries, interviews and news stories.
  • Showcase organization’s services and programs by working with leadership to write and distribute press releases or pitch local stories to local media.
  • Identify potential for reputational issues and work with leadership to strategize response tactics.

Volunteer Role in Visual Storyteller

  • Create visual content (i.e., photos and videos) to showcase the organizational services and support campaigns, initiatives and events.
  • Work as a team to develop, storyboard, film and edit well-produced videos of 1-3 minutes in length.
  • During disasters, create videos that tell a full, brief story in 1 minute with minimal need for production/editing.

In conclusion, it is important to engage volunteers to have more impact in the society. Most of the time people think that volunteering is only done on the site of the disaster stricken area. There are other ways to volunteer and organization can look at the roles above on how to involve more volunteers.