If you’re volunteering at a Haunted House this Halloween, VolunteerLocal invites you to show us your scary side – and you might just win $100. To enter the VolunteerLocal #ScaryVolunteering costume contest, simply:
1. Snap a photo of your ghoulish get-up and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #ScaryVolunteering.
2. We’ll pick the $100 cash prize winner on November 3rd. We’ll also feature your Haunted House on our website the following week.
Costumes will be judged on creativity, scare-factor, and hideousness (for starters).
Fair organizers take this enduring, all-American summer ritual for a spin – innovating on timeless fair traditions and building new exhibitions to surprise and delight. Look past the long-adored livestock judging, food trucks, local artists and carnival rides, and you’ll find a ‘Kitten Pavilion,’ the ‘hippiest’ homemade goods, and (new in 2014) the ‘World’s First Pot Pavilion’ at the Denver County Fair.
“Groundbreaking…unconventional…craziest county fair in America,” the website reads. “We hear it all the time! It’s how we roll in Denver – a city founded by pioneers.”
The Denver County Fair, re-established in 2011, capitalizes on a burgeoning creative class in Denver, Colorado – folks working to establish their city as a harmonious crossroads between the traditional and progressive. Just look at the recently unveiled 2015 County Fair Poster (yes, that is a robot next to a tomato above a unicorn).
It’s all part of the County Fair’s mission, which seeks to identify Denver’s unique character and reflect it back to the community. “Not so different,” says Kristy King, Volunteer Coordinator at the Denver County Fair, “from that of Historic Denver, one of the nation’s premier historic preservation organizations.” A fact that has not gone unrecognized by those leading the selection process for Historic Denver’s annual Dinner and Awards Program. In 2013, the Denver County Fair was awarded the Community Preservation Award by Historic Denver.
King, who coordinates over 200 volunteers for this annual celebration of all-things Denver County, is a proud participant in helping to make every fair-goer’s experience unforgettable. She’s also a big believer in keeping volunteer management simple, streamlined, and efficient. “VolunteerLocal is a fantastic volunteer management solution!” she says. “I was able to convince (wasn’t hard) the fair leadership to upgrade to the Discover Plan ($200). Thanks again for your time and help!”
Keeping pace with Denver: VolunteerLocal is the hip and innovative solution to the old practice of spreadsheets, paper waivers and phone-trees.
Selecting the right college after high school is a big decision. These days, students have a lot to consider: private or public? Two-year or four-year? Close to home or far away? These factors play a large role in helping collegiate hopefuls determine the perfect fit for their post-secondary education.
Oftentimes, once the choice has been narrowed down to three or four options, the research moves beyond pen and paper as many students sign-up for a guided campus tour of each contending school.
At Oklahoma State University, administrators, faculty and staff understand the gravity of this decision – and encouraging high-school students to visit their campus provides OK State an opportunity to show off what sets the ‘Cowboy’ experience apart. They’ve created a program called OSU Up Close, and it’s a sneak-peek inside campus life and OSU academics. Future Cowboys can visit a lab, sit-in on a class and meet with current students and faculty working in their areas of interest.
“Our group has found VolunteerLocal very simple and easy to use. We have received a lot of positive feedback and even users who are technologically challenged (aren’t we all?) have enjoyed it. It has also greatly reduced the amount of time needed to manage registrants who want to volunteer for Welcome Week.” – Megan Horton, OSU Communications
OSU Up Close requires the helping hands of student and faculty volunteers – from ‘Bus Greeters’ to ‘Wayfinders’ and, of course, ‘College Session Assistants’ to help represent each college of study at Oklahoma State. The University even provides bus transportation to campus for OSU Up Close from a number of Oklahoma communities. Students, faculty and alumni make wonderful volunteers for these events. They are the best representatives and biggest advocates for Oklahoma State University – and OSU Up Close gives prospective students a chance to test-drive the college experience of a lifetime.
How do you help over 2,000 new and returning students move into the residence halls in just eight hours? With volunteers, of course!
At Georgia Southern University, they call it ‘Operation Move-In’ – and it’s earned the namesake: the coordination and execution of this operation takes planning, a staff of dedicated coordinators and, of course, many helping hands.
“It’s a HUGE tradition at our University that is almost entirely volunteer-driven,” says Vickie Shaw, Assistant Director of Administrative Services (and Volunteer Coordinator for Operation Move-In) at Georgia Southern University. “Without our volunteers, it wouldn’t be possible!”
This year’s Operation Move-In leveraged the help of over 900 volunteers to get the job done. Using VolunteerLocal’s customizable registration form builder, the staff at Georgia Southern University were able to segment their volunteer sign-up pages by groups: Community Organizations, Faculty/Staff and Student Volunteers. This enabled Shaw and her team to collect data unique to each respective group – including Eagle ID numbers, prior experience at Operation Move-In, organization names and contact information for supervisors and/or department heads.
“Our staff was very excited and mostly sat with their chins agape at how robust VolunteerLocal is.” – Vickie Shaw, Assistant Director of Administrative Services at Georgia Southern University
Getting students efficiently and quickly checked-in and settled into the residence halls allows them to focus on enjoying the other social, educational and interactive Welcome Week events planned by the Georgia Southern administrative staff. Operation Move-In is a True Blue Tradition that celebrates the spirit of volunteerism and empowers students and faculty alike to take part in making the Georgia Southern experience a positive one.
Going to college can be terrifying and exhilarating all at once. In late August, new students arrive in droves – with bags, boxes, expectations and frazzled parents. Campus maps and freshly minted student ID’s in-hand, these bright-eyed initiates quickly find themselves surrounded by coolly intimidating upper-classmen and no-nonsense professors who won’t accept ‘getting lost’ as a valid excuse for tardiness. College can be an abrupt immersion into a completely foreign environment: new rules, new classrooms, a new school mascot and – perhaps most jarring of all – a strange new roommate.
At the University of Iowa, however, first-year and transfer students are given a warm welcome to help alleviate those new-school-blues. This introductory, week-long celebration includes campus tours, goal-setting workshops, tools to succeed in the classroom and a pep-rally themed run-down on Hawkeye traditions. It’s called On Iowa! and it culminates in a Convocation Ceremony on the Pentacrest, followed by dinner with UI President Sally Mason at the Block Party on her front lawn. Completing the On Iowa! new student orientation includes committing to the IOWA Challenge, which tasks students with embodying five Hawkeye principals: Excel, Stretch, Engage, Choose and Serve. Did we mention the free t-shirts?
“Three cheers for VolunteerLocal!” – Kate Sojka, Director of New Student Programs, Office of Retention at the University of Iowa
On Iowa! requires the helping hands of over 650 volunteers each year – and with VolunteerLocal’s customized registration form, the volunteer coordinators for this event can collect data unique to Iowa’s campus volunteer recruitment, including student organization names, student ID numbers and ‘Squad Colors.’ Branded integration into the University of Iowa’s website design makes the sign-up process seamless for student volunteers, and the Group Signup feature allows On Iowa! volunteers to bring friends along for the experience.
Founded in 2009, New York City Runs (NYCRUNS) began as a humble website and newsletter, simply designed to help connect New York area runners with local events, running clubs and race directors. In 2011, NYCRUNS launched its own race management and timing service – and later that same year, they broke the ribbon on NYCRUN’s inaugural Brooklyn Marathon (the finish line: it’s a beautiful thing).
Today, NYCRUNS is the largest running event management company in the New York Metropolitan area, producing over 40 races on its own, and many others on behalf of their clients. The team at NYCRUNS continues to provide timing and management services to other events – and the website has grown to include inter-club competitions, race results, cause-partners and the locally renowned ‘JackRabbit’ training programs.
“I have enjoyed using VolunteerLocal, and we have had positive feedback from our volunteers as well… I just wanted to say Thank You to you and your team. It is a pleasure working with you all.” – Tina Vazquez, Volunteer Coordinator, New York City Runs, Inc.
Now in it’s fourth year, the Brooklyn Marathon is less than one month away. Scheduled to take place on November 16th in Prospect Park, the Marathon has sold out every year – but there’s still plenty of room for volunteer registrations! Volunteers for events through NYCRUNS receive special in-kind credits to be used towards race registration fees. Those who sign up to volunteer for the Brooklyn Marathon from 6:30am – 2:30pm will receive double race credits – so if you’re looking to save a little dough, grab some java and hit the course bright and early!
With VolunteerLocal, NYCRUNS has seamlessly integrated their volunteer registration and race credits pages to make the signup and volunteer credit process as simple as possible for their volunteers. With over 40 events throughout the year, NYCRUNS can list all their volunteer opportunities on one page, leveraging VolunteerLocal’s ‘public landing page’ setting:
Twin Cities In Motion (TCM) is a non-profit corporation that organizes and directs the annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon – a Top 10 U.S. Marathon – in addition to many other races throughout the year.
A marriage of wellness and social good, Twin Cities In Motion aims to promote healthy lifestyles through running events and community outreach. They accomplish this most notably by donating a portion of every race dollar to youth, wellness, charities and the sport of racing. This year, Twin Cities In Motion raised more than $800,000 with its charity partners. Oh – and we love their manifesto.
“My favorite feature is the instant email confirmation that is sent after registration – it provides the volunteer peace of mind that they are registered, and lets them know we are excited to have them join us!” – Kelli Bartholow, Operations & Volunteer Manager at Twin Cities In Motion
Twin Cities In Motion recruits over 6,000 volunteers each year. “Our most notable and longest running event is the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon,” says Kelli Bartholow, Operations & Volunteer Manager. “We host a total of 21 events throughout the year, and all of them require the helping hands of volunteers.” Bartholow adds, “We literally couldn’t run without them!”
Twin Cities In Motion partnered with VolunteerLocal in 2012. The automation, reporting, and simple webpage integration have helped Bartholow and her team hit a competitive stride. “I’ve been very impressed with the ease and functionality of VolunteerLocal,” says Bartholow. “The reporting tools are very user-friendly and they assist in the management of our volunteers.”
Bartholow coordinates the volunteer members of the 350-strong TCM Association, in addition to the thousands of community volunteers who turn out to support these events. “I would certainly recommend VolunteerLocal to others who are looking for a volunteer management system.”