Volunteers – They Pay to Get Involved!
Monday, 20th November 2000 at 12:11 pm
The FIA’s recent Focus on Fundraising course, sponsored by Pro Bono Australia, was a buzz with the presentation by Karen Dimmock from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
You’d be forgiven for saying “Which organisation?” But the ATCV has been running nationally for 20 years and is Australia’s largest practical conservation organisation – and the volunteers pay to take part in the activities!
The organisation puts its success down to creating a great interactive web site.
Karen Dimmock says she uses the Internet and a very practical and focused web site to attract volunteers aged between 16 and 25 to work on conservation projects around Australia lasting for one day and up to several weeks.
She says each volunteer pays $22 for each night they are away on the project to cover food and expenses.
Up to fifty percent of the volunteers are overseas visitors who see the volunteering programs as a great way to see the country and give something back to the environment.
There are around 1500 projects each year include planting trees, seed collection, weeding, fencing, soil erosion prevention, wildlife surveys and heritage restoration.
Dimmock says there’s even a waiting list to get onto some projects.
She says the web site is often found when people search words such as conservation, environment, and volunteering.
Dimmock says she tracks the people who visit the site to see which of the key words work most efficiently.
The ACTV has an annual budget of around $25 million dollars. The web site
is run on a shoe string budget of around $5000 but it attracts more than $250,000 a year.
With a hit rate of more than 300,000 a month it makes it one of the most popular environmental NGO site in Australia.