You have two options, in terms of how you can run a community radio station. The first option is that of using paid employees, to keep the community radio station running. And the second option is that of using volunteers. In today’s article, we will be exploring the second option: of using volunteers to keep a community radio station running.
If you don’t have enough money to hire people to run the community radio station, then you may have no other option, but to use volunteers. But we also have cases where, in spite of having enough money, you may nonetheless opt to run the community radio station using volunteers. That is, for instance, if the community that is meant to be served by the radio station has many qualified people, who are more than ready to volunteer at the station. In that case, it wouldn’t make sense to hire people (essentially ‘outsiders’) to run the station. A better idea would be to use the volunteers, who are likely to be driven by passion – for as we all know, passion tends to be a better motivator than money.
All in all, having opted to go the route of using volunteers to run a community radio station, you need to:
- Identify suitable volunteers: you can put out adverts, inviting people who are interested in volunteering at the radio station to do so. You can alternatively opt to visit individual members of the community whom you feel are well qualified to run the radio station, and try to sell to them the idea of volunteering there. But advertising tends to work better — so as to ensure that you get genuine volunteers. Either way, you may need to put the volunteers through an interview process, so as to identify their talents and figure out where to deploy them within the radio station’s system.
- Put the volunteers through a training program: even if the volunteers have tons of experience working in other radio stations, they still need to be put through a training program. The objective is, at the very least, to get them to understand how you expect this particular station to be run (given its unique circumstances).
- Consider paying small stipends to the volunteers: notwithstanding the fact that they are ‘volunteers’, it would nonetheless be a good idea to pay them small stipends, to cater for their transport costs, lunch costs… and so on. If you don’t like the idea of giving them hard cash (because, after all, they are ‘volunteers’), you can opt to give them gift cards – from which they can withdraw cash, or use for shopping. With Visa or MasterCard gift cards, they would only be having to visit the Mygiftcardsite login page, signing in, and checking their card balances. Then, as per the instructions given in the Mygiftcardsite guide, they can either use the cards for shopping, or withdraw the funds in the cards in the form of hard cash… Whatever you do, you need to ensure that the volunteers working at the community radio station can (clearly) see what they stand to gain, by opting to work there. This way, they will remain motivated, even when the initial euphoria wears out.