Trust. It is the foundation that enables you to gain more volunteers and secure donors as if they were your own friends and family. Have you established this foundation within your organization? Here are five things you must do if you want to build the kind of trust that lasts with your supporters.1. Know Your Mission
A mission statement holds your organization accountable for what it says it’s going to do. Many organizations experience “mission drift,” which erodes the trust of your supporters. This happens because most mission statements are actually “philosophy” statements. A mission statement is a clearly articulated purpose statement that points to definable, measurable and achievable results. When your organization knows its mission and remains focused on fulfilling it, people discover that your worthy cause can be trusted.
2. Be Transparent
As an organization and a leader, you must be transparent to gain and sustain trust. Your “word” isn’t going to be enough. One of the simplest ways to show the world you can be trusted is to voluntarily (and regularly) submit your organization to third-party auditors and then release those findings. Your potential donors or volunteers will find it easier to commit to an organization that is above reproach financially. But don’t stop there! Decide to treat your potential supporters with the same respect and transparency as you would a friend or a confidant. The easiest way to do this is through open two-way communication. Don’t be afraid of questions (even tough ones). It’s a great opportunity to dig deep and build a real relationship. (Ex: the IHUBApp allows organizations to post stories daily to keep their fans and followers engaged and aware!)
3. Embrace Mobile
Just because you’ve obtained trust once, that doesn’t mean it’s permanent - you must sustain it with regular engagement. The most effective way to engage people is through their mobile devices. People now spend more time than ever on their smartphones. By using mobile app technology (like the IHUBApp), your supporters can easily engage with you and each other anytime, anywhere.
4. Invest in Training
Volunteers for your worthy cause have good intentions, but may not be experts in the field. When you invest in their training, it enables them to do better work, creating a more positive experience for all parties. More importantly, it shows them that you appreciate their time and are willing to provide them with all the resources and training needed to make the most of it. A good rule of thumb is one hour of training for every six hours of execution.
5. Be a Good Listener!
Listen, and really listen, when your volunteers or supporters are speaking with you. Everyone has a different set of values based on their experiences. Your supporters will trust your values more when you take time to listen to their values and experiences. Remember, volunteers don’t want to feel like a face in a crowd or like their words fall on deaf ears. They want to be treated like good friends. If your audience is engaging via mobile technology, the listening becomes much easier for you to do. For instance, in the IHUBApp you can view reports to see where people are spending their time, which users are more effective spokespersons, and what content is most interesting to your audience. You can also do real-time polls, host a group discussion in your messenger, or have a one-on-one dialogue with a specific person. The engagement opportunities to listen are all there - be sure to take advantage!