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Communications and volunteering | Midlands Networking Group | 14 June 2017

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Stephen Hardy, communications manager at the Canal & River Trust

Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk

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Communications and volunteering | Midlands Networking Group | 14 June 2017

  1. 1. Communications and volunteering
  2. 2. Who we are • The Canal & River Trust is the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England & Wales • We were born in 2012 and took over responsibility from British Waterways • Our vision is to create living waterways that transform places and enrich lives
  3. 3. Fast facts • Over 12m visitors to our waterways each year • Third largest owner of listed structures in the UK (behind the Church of England and National Trust) • Half the population lives within 5 miles of one of our waterways • More boats on the water than at the height of the industrial revolution • Our waterways deliver £500m of public benefit each year
  4. 4. 4 What we do
  5. 5. What we do
  6. 6. What we do
  7. 7. What we do
  8. 8. So we need a little help
  9. 9. And they do amazing things
  10. 10. We have volunteering ‘offers’ to suit people’s differing needs: • Towpath Taskforces – unskilled, drop-in, taster events • Volunteer lock keepers – regular, hands on, public-focussed • Canal adoptions – groups that want to help on their local stretch Other specific roles include: • Education volunteers • Volunteer otter/seal spotters • Press officers • Customer service roles Volunteers are also a key part of our governance – Trustees, Council, local waterway partnerships and specialist advisory groups are all made up of volunteers Volunteer roles
  11. 11. Recruitment
  12. 12. Recruitment Key things to remember: • Targeting is key – PR may not necessarily be the answer • See things from the volunteers’ point of view - Are processes in place to welcome and induct new volunteers ? - Is your promotion proportionate? Don’t promote a role without checking these
  13. 13. Retention • 94% volunteer satisfaction • 95% propensity to recommend volunteering with the Trust Support Recognition Rewarding experiences
  14. 14. Volunteers and PR Volunteers enhance our PR work, adding: • Colour • Human interest • Strong local interest – our ‘local heroes’ They also help to demonstrate our vision
  15. 15. Media stars
  16. 16. Potential challenges • To media train or not media train? • DIY PR – some groups or individuals want to promote their own work • Beware of bumping • Remembering and recognising paid staff • Perceptions of volunteering • Standing out from the crowd
  17. 17. Volunteer press officers
  18. 18. Volunteer press officers Key things we’ve learned: • The individual is key • Have a clear idea of what you want a volunteer to do and the skills you’re looking for • Flexibility is important • Make the role rewarding
  19. 19. In summary • Embrace volunteers • Get to know them and their story • Don’t forget that they’re volunteers • Don’t promote roles without processes in place • Be clear on what you’re looking for • Give recognition and make it rewarding
  20. 20. Questions? www.canalrivertrust.org.uk @CanalRiverTrust
  21. 21. Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk
  22. 22. Midlands Networking Group 14 June 2017 Birmingham #ccmidlands Communications and volunteering

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