Donations and Volunteer Opportunities

While asking the public, through donation drives and volunteerism, to support the agency and the 

children, youth and families served may not always be viewed as within the purview of 

Communications, such efforts do serve to increase knowledge and ‘buy in’ from the community, a key 

goal of agency communications. Community members thus engaged are more apt to be invested in the 

work of the agency and sensitive to the struggles and needs of those the agency serves.

 

Altruistic opportunities provided to the general public and targeted audiences (corporations, youth 

organizations, schools, etc.,) accomplish three major goals:

  • Meeting the immediate need for financial and/or in-kind support and/or volunteer labor so as to extend the capacity of the agency;
  • Raising the awareness level in the community about the needs of less fortunate neighbors; and 
  • Connecting the community through the giving-receiving process.

By tying donation drives to specific needs rather than engaging in year-round, general-donations 

drives, the public is more effectively educated about the specific needs of families and youth. 

This approach also serves to educate the public about the limits of government funding and is more 

likely to result in media attention. Donors also seem to appreciate responding to a particular 

need; it engages people on a personal level and helps to make them feel more invested in outcomes 

of children, youth and families served by the agency. Drives that gather gifts around the winter 

holidays, formal attire in time for high school proms, school supplies for the beginning of the 

school year and books for reading programs are just a few examples.

 

Volunteer opportunities may be in support of a donation drive or related to other services such as 

mentoring or job shadowing. Again, specificity is important: more involvement is often generated by 

choosing to support a particular group of individuals or a specific event. Volunteers will often 

need to complete a confidentiality statement to ensure the privacy of any children and families 

they may come in contact with. In addition, volunteers who deal directly with children may need to 

submit to a criminal background check to help ensure the safety of the children.

 

Volunteers will appreciate recognition of their s rvice. Such recognition can range from a thank 

you letter written by the Director or public official to an annual volunteer luncheon.

 






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