Attracting and retaining young members within a volunteer organisation is no easy task. Research tells us that young people are an information seeking generation attracted to innovative advertising campaigns and technology1. This means that volunteer-based organisations like St John must work extra hard at attracting the next generation of volunteers and retaining our current youth membership. The way we target young people matters2.
At the 2009 Youth Stakeholders Weekend, participants from the Australian Youth council (AYC) and the National Cadet Officers Group (NCOG) determined that St John’s internal and external image was a priority area. This area was also reflected in the National Youth Plan (2010-2013), from which the AYC developed the 2010 ‘Building our Profile’ Key Theme and Message. This 2010 research explored the views of internal and external participants about St John’s image and recommended ways in which St John could better market its youth movement and the opportunities we provide.
The AYC determined in 2011 that further research could be conducted on ‘building our profile’, identifying the need to refine the ideas from the 2010 report and increase the profile of the St John youth movement internally and externally:
In 2010 the AYC identified a need for increasing the profile of the St John youth involvement internally and externally. Continuing with the ‘Building Our Profile’ theme from 2010, the AYC aim to further develop, and refine ideas from this research. The AYC will also make recommendations to the National Board about strategies to improve the profile of young St John members.3
In 2011 the AYC has performed research with a cross section of members to determine strategies to increase our external and internal image. This report details the results of this research and provides recommendations to better build our profile.