Save Time and Trees with VolunteerLocal’s Online Waiver

VolunteerLocal DisclaimerWe love being able to save time for you and your organization. We also like saving trees. That’s why we have a section for Disclaimers, where you can upload your waiver, ensuring everyone who registers for your event has read and signed your waiver – minus the paperwork.

To set up your waiver, go to Events->Your Events, and select the Disclaimer link next to your event. Copy and paste your waiver into the text box. The checkbox underneath, “Check here to capture a digital signature to accept the disclaimer,” ensures that your volunteers are required to give a digital signature accepting your terms. You can customize the text displayed next to the confirmation checkbox in the section directly underneath.

For our Discover, Grow, & Conquer clients, we give you the option to set up a separate minor waiver for those volunteers under 18. Copy and paste your minor waiver in the portion beneath your adult waiver. You’ll notice that it prompts you to add a “birthdate” field to your registration questions. If you haven’t already done so (under Events->Your Events->Volunteer Information), adding a minor waiver will automatically do so for you. This means that when a volunteer enters a birthdate under 18 years of age, the separate minor waiver will appear on the page to be downloaded and signed by a parental guardian.

We know it’s important for you to keep your volunteers and your organization safe. Cover all your bases and ditch the paperwork with an online waiver.

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Making the Most of Social Media Through Your Volunteers

We all know that we are in the age of digital media. And whether you’re a Facebook fanatic or miss the $_32good old days of typewriters, social media is a great medium for spreading the word about your organization. So why not take it a step further and have your volunteers help share the love?

Give your registered volunteers the chance to tell their friends and family members about your upcoming event by turning on social media sharing. The “thank you” page your volunteers see after registration isn’t just polite – it’s also powerful.

To get sharing, go to the “Event Detail” page (under Events->Your Events) next to your current event (for help setting up an event, click here). Underneath “Social Plugins” is a radio button that says, “Check here to turn on social sharing tools for your volunteers.” For our Grow and Conquer clients, you can also create a custom Twitter hashtag for each individual event to easily track who has been tweeting about your festivities.

Screen shot 2016-10-28 at 11.52.51 AMWith sharing turned on, the “thank you” page will include links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. When a volunteer selects one, it will automatically sync to their own social media accounts and post, “Volunteer with me at {name of event},” followed by a link to your event page. Now everyone they’re connected to on social media will be able to connect to your event. 

You already know how helpful your volunteers are – give them the power to help build your community of dedicated volunteers through just the click of a button. Happy sharing and #happyvolunteering!

 

 

P.S. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more tantalizing tips!

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How To Get Happy (Volunteering)

As you’ve probably heard, our motto is happy volunteering. And that’s not just because we’re positive people (have you seen these hundred watt smiles?). We want to make volunteering as easy as possible for our volunteer coordinators and volunteers alike. That’s why we created our Happy Volunteering page, where vivacious volunteers can find nearby volunteer opportunities in their state.

Happy VolunteeringReady to have your events listed on our happy site? We’ve made that pretty easy, too. To get started, go to Account in your navigation bar, and select Organization Info. Hit the link to upload your logo, which will appear above your organization’s name on the Happy Volunteering page.

Now that you have your selfie in order, shoot us an email with a list of your live events, and their locations. We’ll assign them from our end to make sure they show up under the right state. When a volunteer clicks on your organization on the Happy Volunteering page, it will take them directly to your public landing page. You can list your events on your public landing page by going to Event Detail (under Events -> Your Events).

It’s as sweet and simple as that! Got questions, or want your events listed? Shoot Lucy an email at lucy@volunteerlocal.com, and get happy!

 

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VolunteerLocal’s Dashing New Dashboard!

There’s a saying that goes, “Your home(screen) is where your heart is.” Or something like that.

We are thrilled to announce that VolunteerLocal has a dashing new dashboard! You can now customize your homepage to your organization’s desire.

To get started, go to your dashboard and select the link to customize it. By choosing an event, you can pick what data points you would like to publish. Want a countdown for your big event? Need to see the number of filled shifts? Interested in watching your number of registered unique volunteers grow? Simply drag and drop each component into your event, and voila!

 

VolunteerLocal Dashboard

 

Keep your content customized and relevant. Got questions? Shoot Lucy an email at lucy@volunteerlocal.com. Happy dashboarding!

 

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How To Feel Good and Do Good this Holiday Season!

The holidays are upon us! As they say, ‘tis the season to give back. Instead of stressing about shopping for a picky Dad or hosting those weird cousins of yours, why not try your hand at a little charity? We’ve got a few festive ideas to help you get involved in your local communities.

Photo cred: acfb.org
Photo cred: acfb.org

Support Your Local Food Bank

Donating food is an easy way to make a huge difference. We all have canned goods in our pantries – dig them out and deliver them to a food pantry near you. Toys aren’t the only gifts to find a happy home this holiday season.

Give Warm Fuzzies

Clothes are always needed, especially in the wintertime. Homeless shelters are often looking for coats, hats, scarves, and mittens to keep people warm during the harsh weather. Reach into your closets (and your hearts) and donate any extra winter-wear you can. It’ll warm your spirit.

Photo cred: bloomington.in.gov
Photo cred: bloomington.in.gov

Puppies, Kittens, Rabbits, oh my!

We KNOW you adore little animals just as much as we do. Show your love by donating blankets, toys, or food to a local animal rescue shelter. Our furry friends need a little holiday cheer, too!  

Donate Blood

Roses are red, violets are blue, blood is both – so donate! Sorry, we know that didn’t rhyme. Look, we all hate needles, but if you’re willing to get poked, it’ll help to save lives. Find blood drives happening near you. Plus, free cookies!

Get Moving!

Photo cred: gsruns.org
Photo cred: gsruns.org

Sign up for a holiday 5K, 10K, half or full marathon that donates a portion (or all) proceeds to a local charity. Work off that eggnog while supporting a great cause.

 

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Make a charitable donation in someone’s name. Having a donation made in your name is better than any pair of socks you could receive. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving.

While you’re out there making the most of this holiday season, don’t forget that really every month is a great month to give back. Studies show that December is the most popular month to volunteer or donate, but organizations always need help. Spread the cheer this season (and every season) to make our communities more cultural, safe, vibrant and fun!

Happy holidays, and happy volunteering!

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5 Steps to Volunteer Greatness

Now, we understand that volunteers can be a complex group to pin down. They run the gamut from teenagers to seniors; some are looking for community involvement, some want a free parking spot. We like to think that most volunteers are passionate about the work they’re doing – if they care to give, odds are, they’re giving because they care. With that in mind, we’ve put together five easy steps you can take to hone your volunteer force into loyal, informed and enthusiastic advocates for your event.

 

Step 1: Train Your Volunteers

Make sure those volunteers know their moves.

Photo cred: wikipedia.org

A training session should include a step-by-step of their actual job duties. Bonus points if you can bring in returning volunteers to give newbies the real low-down on how things will work. Do they know where to check-in when they arrive? Do they know what to bring? Who to talk to if they get lost or confused? Introduce the volunteer coordinator; it’s always helpful to associate a face with the name of the person who’s choreographing the big dance.

Pro tip: a pre-event volunteer training session rarely has perfect attendance, but don’t sweat it. You just need a handful of informed volunteers to lead the rest of the pack.

 

Step 2: Let’s Get Digital

Welcome to 2015. Your volunteers will almost undoubtedly turn the volume up on your events – through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, you-name-it. As representatives of your organization, be sure they understand the gravity and implications of what they post online.

Photo cred: phoenix-society.org
Photo cred: phoenix-society.org

Our best advice? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Leverage social media to draw attention to your event. Create a hashtag you’d like your volunteers to use when they tweet about their experience. Share with them your Facebook page and encourage them to “Like” what you do online. Ask your volunteers to tag your event in their photos (you might even consider hosting a photo contest!). There’s nothing wrong with a little free publicity – just make sure it’s the right kind of publicity.

 

Step 3: Repeat After Me…

Your volunteers are the most visible representation of your organization on-site; make sure they know the lingo. All your volunteers should be able to speak intelligently about your event in case they find themselves on the recording end of a microphone by a media or news outlet.

Moreover, equip each volunteer with a map of the event grounds or venue where they’ll be working, and make sure they can locate information booths and bathrooms on a dime.

 

Step 4: Always Assess Risk

If you’re running a post-race beer garden or beverage tent, prep your volunteers on the signs of alcohol poisoning and where to find birthdates on IDs. Set up wrist-banding stations and coordinate with the local police force wherever possible.

Photo cred: njtreefoundation.org
Photo cred: njtreefoundation.org

If it rains, provide ponchos. If it’s starting to get late, put together a hospitality crew to distribute fresh fruit to your folks on the course. You’re the kind of coordinator who looks out for your volunteers – rain or shine. Keep them happy, hydrated and nourished throughout the day.

If there is the possibility of physical injury during your event, be sure to explain proper protocol to your volunteers and get those waivers signed. Liability less, volunteer more!

 

Step 5: Volunteer Appreciation

The last (and perhaps most important) step of this process is a simple “thank you.” Volunteers love a little kudos (don’t we all?), so make sure they know how much you appreciate their hard work. From a t-shirt to a candy bouquet, a handshake to a milkshake, there are myriad ways to show your gratitude. Try a little tenderness: it’s the key to happy volunteers.

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