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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SunFest 2015

Shake off those winter blues and get ready to groove at this year’s SunFest in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. SunFest began in 1982, and has since grown to become Florida’s largest waterfront music and art festival, attracting over 175,000 attendees to the sunny shores of West Palm Beach annually.

Photo cred: www.sunfest.com

 

This five-day event features a full line-up of live musical performers, a juried fine arts & crafts show (featuring work from over 140 national artists) a 5K walk/run and a number of family-friendly activities (dubbed “SunFestivities”) scheduled throughout.

As a nonprofit organization, SunFest also gives back to the greater community year-round through a program called SunFest 365. Their mission? To create and support projects that promote or enhance culture and the arts, youth education, and/or provide assistance for other nonprofit organizations and the environment.

Over the past ten years, SunFest has helped nonprofit organizations raise over $800,000 to support their causes.

Each year, SunFest contributes complimentary tickets to area charities, schools, synagogues and other organizations for distribution to individuals who otherwise would not be able to attend the festival. SunFest also donates tickets for fundraising purposes to eligible event/causes whose activities enhance the greater community. Over the past ten years, SunFest has helped nonprofit organizations raise over $800,000 to support their causes.

As you might imagine, an event of this magnitude (and with a heart this big) requires many helping hands. Volunteers for SunFest receive a free ticket and a free meal – all while participating in one of the state’s biggest and most impactful festivals. Sounds like a sweet deal to us. Registration goes live in February: http://www.sunfest.com/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities.

Feeling inspired? We are, too. There’s a lot to celebrate at SunFest – so put on your best dancing shoes (okay, flip-flops) and meet us at the beach, Happy Volunteers!

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Des Moines Music Coalition

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER AT LITTLE BIG FEST

 

Whether it’s a soulful woman’s crystalline croon as her hands dance across the keys of a wurlitzer piano, or the lyrical honesty of a frantically poetic acoustic guitar player, his heart illuminated in the yellow glow – there is something about live music that electrifies the night.

Photo cred: www.midwestix.com

Artists like these live among us – and sometimes, they are hidden in plain sight. But thanks to the Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC), an organization focused on cultivating and supporting Iowa’s music economy, performers in central Iowa have plenty of opportunities to showcase their hard work. One of these events is right around the corner: DMMC’s Little BIG Fest, an annual music festival which features roots, singer-songwriters, bluegrass, jam, world, blues, jazz, and soul music in Des Moines.

“VolunteerLocal makes it so easy to organize an event.” – Christopher Ford, Program Manager at the Des Moines Music Coalition

Angela Lee, Becky Migas and Jillian Sievel are three of the volunteers behind this year’s Little Big Fest. Photo cred: dmcityview.com

 

“Little BIG Fest contributes to a growing culture of support for local artists,” says Christopher Ford, Program Manager at the Des Moines Music Coalition. “It’s an opportunity for people to come together to celebrate some of the great music that’s being created in our community and to show love for those individuals who are creating our culture.”

The festival traditionally takes place in November, with its location changing from year-to-year. “As with all DMMC events, local bands are heavily featured,” says Ford. “Though bands from around the U.S. also perform at the event.”

While the location, date and line-up may change each year, one thing never does: happy volunteers. If you’re looking for a free pass to see and hear some local talent, or perhaps just to feel a few of those invariably awesome “altruistic-fuzzies,” sign-up for one of the last remaining shifts at this year’s Little BIG Fest on November 20th and 21st.

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Twin Cities In Motion

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.

Photo cred: Twin Cities in Motion

 

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

Photo cred: 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.”

Photo cred: Twin Cities in Motion

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.”

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#GivingTuesday

Photo cred: care.org

Put away those stretchy jeans and bag up the leftovers because ladies and gentlemen, the in-laws have left the building! Thanksgiving may be over (and hey – the leftovers might already be gone, too), but that doesn’t mean we’re not still feeling the holiday cheer. This week, VolunteerLocal is celebrating #GivingTuesday by giving away five free single-event upgrades to the following nonprofit organizations.

We invite you to join us for this year’s #GivingTuesday by donating, volunteering or giving back in some small way to a charity or nonprofit of your choice. You can learn more online at the #GivingTuesday website, or by searching #GivingTuesday on Twitter. Unsure where to give? Check out this Forbes list of the top U.S. charities. Let’s break some records!

1. Side by Side Kids is a faith-based, after-school neighborhood recreational program anchored in East Austin’s St. John’s community. We journey side-by-side with kids from kindergarten to 5th grade, encouraging and equipping them to reach their highest God-given potential as everyday leaders and heroes of tomorrow.  Learn more: http://www.sidebysidekids.org/

2. Midland Community Theatre sets the stage for thespians in Midland, Texas. The Midland Theatre features educational programming, scholarships for students in financial need and each year hosts the McLaren Memorial Comedy Playwriting Competition. Their upcoming show is Annie, the story of an iconic orphan who is selected to spend time at the residence of the wealthy Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. Learn more: http://www.mctmidland.org/.

3. Pasadena Pride Center serves the entire San Gabriel Valley, celebrating diversity and acknowledging the dignity of all LGBT people, especially providing support and a “shelter from the storm” for LGBT youth. Learn more:  http://www.goodshepherdpasadena.com/pasadenapridecenter.html

4. Boulder Parks & Recreation manages three recreation centers, popular recreation class programming, the Boulder Reservoir, Valmont Bike Park, and much more. This year, Boulder’s own Valmont Bike Park will host the USA Cyclo-Cross Nationals. The event will take place this January and requires nearly 500 volunteers. Learn more: https://bouldercolorado.gov/

5. The Peewee Tournament is a statewide junior wrestling tournament in Iowa – the culmination of which will take place in Dubuque, Iowa on January 10th-12th. Calling all parents, board members and students! Volunteers needed! Click here to sign up today.

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