Volunteers donate time because they want to make new friends or feel a greater sense of community. They feel connected to the community and its mission. Sometimes, these volunteers have an indirect contribution to the community, but it is still nice to appreciate how they are helping. This can be done by providing them with some online community incentives.
The best way to incentivize a volunteer is to show them how much impact they are making on the community. A great community builder stays in touch with the volunteers and motivates them constantly.
In today’s blog, we will talk about:
And much more So let's get reading!
But before we dive deeper, if you are into community building and looking to build a volunteer program, then check out LikeMinds right now! Our platform offers great inbuilt features that will make it super easy for you to scale your community.
As Raj has been telling us throughout, there is zero money involved at AJVC, whether they receive anything or give anything. Their entire distribution channel spends zero on marketing. So, that essentially means that for the volunteers who come in, there is absolutely no expectation of any monetary gains happening.
However, what they do end up offering are two huge things that a lot of people would love to have but then they struggle a lot.
It's massive, the amount of impact at scale that you can create. And that's something which you offer to every new fellow that comes onboard. But at the end of the day, it all depends on how much effort the volunteers are putting in because there is no freelance.
It's been about 14 years, and with volunteers, Headstart has never dealt with money. Because you really can't evaluate a person's contribution with money. What happens is that at the end of the day, money is what you get valued by in your professional life. Hence, if you bring the same degree or same value of recognition into the volunteering world as well, there is a subconscious degree of comparison that all human beings end upbringing. Headstart consciously tries avoiding that.
However, they have tried different things. They failed and they learned, that's how Headstart builds its communities. You keep experimenting, you shouldn't hesitate to experiment and all experiments are one volunteer saying, "I'm sure this will work", and three others who haven't thought it through, but say "Yes, let's do it!" That's how most of the experiments run.
Because most of us are in the volunteering space, we are usually very fast. You give us an event to pull off in 24 hours and we'll do it. You give us an event to pull off in 24 weeks, we won't. So, too fast or too slow ends up being kicked out or it leads to the volunteer being burnt out.
They have had volunteers who are 16 years old and they have had volunteers who are 60 years old. And they have also had volunteers who are even today who are volunteering from Helsinki, Berlin, Sikkim, or Bangkok. And they've got a good ratio of men and women. They also have a good ratio of tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
They have completely moved away from money to providing visibility to some of our lesser-known startup brands.
From the volunteer's perspective, the T-shirt has been a big incentive at Headstart. You may have seen Headstart volunteers wear a black t-shirt, that says 'Time to startup is now.' They have been sticking to the t-shirt for a decade.
So, that's something they have done, and some volunteers come in and ask, "Hey I will now enter into my fourth month, when will I get my t-shirt." That's the first thing that they ask.
Suhas' personal ethos about volunteer-driven communities and incentives is very much in line with what Gautham and Raj shared. That being said, over the last 2 years, his thought process regarding this has changed and has only accelerated with web3 coming in. He believes that the entire structure perfectly aligns with volunteer-driven communities.
The Product Folks is tending towards that and they are going to be launching a roadmap soon. So, that is what they are moving to, in 2022. In his words, "It's something that might be at its peak and might die down because there are tons of doubts coming up. Someone is contributing their time and social capital is a big incentive that they get. They grow in the community, they meet a lot of folks, but everyone complained that exposure is not everything."
He further adds, "In volunteer-driven organizations, you are not coming with expectations, so that's where things align. But what if you could align things even better. You're creating tons of value, so what if some percentage, like 10% of this value could go back to volunteers. Do you think they will be more aligned towards it?"
Hence, Suhas seems super interested and TPF plans to explore web3 wherein they intend to raise sponsorship, create a treasury and give the volunteers tokens. That's a very crude way of putting it.
But for now, here are some fun incentives TPF provides its volunteers:
On that note, we run a community called 'CommunityHood', which is an independent community with 450+ community members already a part of it! If you want to learn from the experience of leading community builders themselves or feel you can help other community builders in upskilling themselves, then join 'CommunityHood' now.
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