National Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS)
Hopewell Township Fire
Recruitment and retention efforts with help from a local public relations firm
Throughout the year
Hopewell, New Jersey
Concerned about volunteer recruitment and retention, Hopewell Township Fire District Commissioners launched a proactive program to increase community awareness in the need for volunteers and further recognize the contributions of current members. After realizing that department members may not have the expertise or time to take on the effort alone, Hopewell Township hired The Communication Solutions Group, a public relations firm with extensive experience working with regional non-profits. After working out a discounted rate with The Communication Solutions Group, Hopewell Township Fire secured marketing materials and a full-fledged campaign that was professionally developed to showcase members of different ages, genders, and backgrounds serving many volunteer functions.
Simple Facebook, Twitter, and website posts do not always capture the message or demographic that your department is looking for in volunteers. By contacting a local public relations or media firm, you increase your chances of developing a clear, concise message that has the potential to reach volunteers you would not normally be in contact with. Think high schools, local businesses, city or county employees, military members or veterans, and residents of the community you serve. Make the message compelling and do not focus solely on operational positions. Do you need help with finances, membership, marketing, or a junior program? Try and reach out to residents that work at offices in your district that can volunteer their time to help with this, too.
While costs of a professionally developed campaign can be higher than you’d initially like, it is beneficial to see if an organization will work with your budget on a reduced basis, depending on what you are looking for. If the costs for a full-fledged campaign are still too high, focus on smaller marketing items, such as posters, training opportunity events, and networking events with local businesses or schools. Try to build a relationship with these organizations, as they may be more willing to give you marketing materials or advice at a discounted rate if they understand your problems and end-goals.
For more information or to submit a story from your own department, please contact Rhiannon Bogozi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vol. 1, Issue 2