WES For Youth Online- Approach to ‘Volunteer Involvement and Engagement’

lauragirdler    October 3, 2016

For small town non-profit, WES For Youth Online, social media plays a large role in volunteer involvement. As a small organization, WES For Youth Online currently has less than a hand full of staff members on pay role. To wear as many hats, and play as many roles as these individuals do on a regular basis takes real passion. Therefore, their issue doesn’t lie in keeping employees engaged and connected; the question is, how do they keep their volunteers involved? The answer… social media.

“WES For Youth online is and online counselling service for youth aged 13-24. The organization was started after a young man Wes died by suicide. It was after his death that his parents (and founders of the organization) Jamie and Yolanda realized many of his friends and acquaintances were messaging Wes through his Facebook messenger. Fully knowing they would not receive a response. In the coming months they decided to search for a way for youth to reach out or ask for help! Through much research they found an online counselling program and had it revised to better work with youth and how they are use to communicating. We often talk about meeting kids where they are at and this is through social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become a pinnacle form of marketing and outreach for the organization. It allows us to reach our target audience in a quick and effective manner.”

– Jennifer Mulcaster (Executive Director, WES For Youth Online)

With over 3,000 followers on Facebook, 2000 on Twitter, and 400 on Instagram WES For Youth Online has created a large social media presence since being founded in 2012 in a town with an approximate population of 5000 people. Facebook Events are created and shared to allow volunteers to stay up to date on upcoming opportunities, exciting announcements are shared with followers, event photos are uploaded, and many thanks to the wonderful people helping are posted.

Lessons for Others

By twisting the idea of employee engagement, WES For Youth Online has created a unique way to ensure their volunteers are involved and updated about everything happening within the organization. Not only has WES For Youth Online invented a way to provide free online counselling to youth, they have also developed their own way to keep their volunteers as involved and motivated as their employees.

Organization: WES For Youth Online
Industry: Online Counselling
Name of Organization Contact: Jennifer Mulcaster, ED

Authored by: Laura Girdler

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Wes For Youth Online Helping Youth Deal With Everyday Life Issues- http://www.wesforyouthonline.ca/