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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Stock photos are just so……..stock

Stock pictures are the visual equivalent of “volunteers give from the heart,” or “volunteers are priceless.”

Or my all time favorite, “volunteers are the sprinkles atop our caring cupcake.” MMMMMM, I feel so warm and squishy inside.

Photos of real volunteers in action on your website do double duty. They show potential volunteers their peers at work and the types of jobs available. But think about a potential volunteer’s questions when navigating your site. “Who is the first person I will meet? Who will train me, direct me, encourage me, coach me, teach me what I need to know to succeed? Who will be there for me when I have an issue?”

Hint: It’s not this guy.

Stock photos or worse, no photos on your site lacks the personal touch. But again, the potential volunteer is wondering, “who will lead me?” A personal welcome from you is inviting and eases the potential volunteer’s crucial first step: Walking through the front door, not knowing what to expect.

I’ve observed that entering the building for the first time was the hardest part of a new volunteer’s journey. Let’s make that less intimidating. Go further and film a short video in which you personally welcome a potential volunteer, and dispel some of their fears.

Kapow! you’ve just saved time.

Bam! In that short video, you’ve gifted yourself all the time you’d have to spend soothing potential volunteers. You know what I’m talking about. A new volunteer nervously arrives into those awkward minutes when they size you up and down, wondering what you’ll say, what you’re like, whether you’re warm or cold, authoritarian or encouraging. Now multiply those awkward minutes by each potential volunteer and thank yourself for making that welcome video.

After watching your welcome video, a new volunteer arrives to meet someone they’re already comfortable with. Be authentic, and be yourself. You can write a script that gives you the opportunity to say all the things you want potential volunteers to know without having to remember and repeat each time someone contacts you.

Look, we are all on zoom now and all used to regular folks on camera so now is the opportune time to film that video. Make it fun. Make it warm. Make it you.

I made a sample video here:

Ok, maybe that sample video wasn’t perfect, but don’t let that stop you.

It’s about putting a face to volunteering at your organization. Your picture, your quotes about volunteering, your experiences and assurances all serve to quell the trepidation volunteers feel when mulling over whether they should take that first step.

We want volunteers to feel welcomed. We want volunteers to know that we’ll walk with them on this journey. We want volunteers to know we’ve got their backs.

Let’s show them in that first moment when they click on our websites.