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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Variety, the Children’s Charity

Sign up to Volunteer at the Beer, Wine & Food Expo!

 

Photo cred: www.au.timeout.com

Variety, the Children’s Charity is nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and special needs children throughout Iowa. Although this organization coordinates a number of “fun”draising events throughout the year (including Telethons, golf tournaments and an annual Black Tie Dinner), Variety is perhaps known best for their Bikes For Kids program, which awards qualified children with a brand new bike, lock and helmet (plus some training on bike safety and maintenance!).

Variety – The Children’s Charity. Sarah Walker presenting kid for bikes. Photo cred: dynamoevents.co.nz

This Friday, community members and advocates have another opportunity to support the great work that Variety does for at-risk children across Iowa. The upcoming Beer, Wine & Food Expo, presented by Hy-Vee, has partnered with Variety to produce an event for the uniquely altruistic, yet cuisine-savvy Iowans across the state.

“The Expo will be a melting pot for culinary enthusiasts throughout the Midwest, offering the opportunity to discover the latest cooking techniques from local and regional culinary experts,” says Tiffany Egli, the Director of Activities at Variety.

“A portion of the event’s proceeds will be donated to Variety, the Children’s Charity.” – Tiffany Egli, Director of Activities at Variety, the Children’s Charity

Photo cred: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/

In addition to the palate-refining, culinary expo, this event will also feature a VIP Shopping Experience on Saturday from 11am-1pm – tailored to the serious wine/beer connoisseur. Attendees for this event will get to sip some fancy wine, chat with chefs and local craft brewers, and learn a few tips to brighten up that Wednesday night casserole – all while supporting a great cause.

“Our success for this (and all our events) would NOT be possible without our dedicated volunteers,” says Egli. “Volunteering for Variety is the difference you make in a child’s life.”

 

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Love #ScaryVolunteering?

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).

Snap it, tag it, and win a cool hundo ($100).

Good luck, Scary Volunteers!

 

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Montana Food Bank Network

Order up!

mfnb.org

The Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) is the only statewide food bank in the country, covering more than 10,000 highway miles per month and serving food to hundreds of thousands of people every year. In 2012, the organization distributed 7.4 million pounds of emergency food to nearly 200 agencies!

Although the MFBN hosts many events year-round, the organization’s crown jewel crowd-pleasure is the Big Sky BBQ, a community cook-out held in conjunction with a local brewery. The Big Sky BBQ has become one of the organization’s largest (and tastiest) fundraisers. “Thousands of people attend every year,” says Katie Lane, Volunteer Coordinator for the Montana Food Bank Network. “It’s a fun mix of delicious BBQ, local beers and live music.”

“With VolunteerLocal, it was easy to set up my event, job descriptions and shifts.  The volunteers were able to sign up at their convenience and all of the information was gathered for me.  VolunteerLocal allowed me to use my time to work on event preparations rather than inputting data into a spreadsheet.  I will absolutely use VolunteerLocal for our future events.”

-Katie Lane, Volunteer Coordinator for the Montana Food Bank Network

mfbn.org

As you might imagine, it takes many volunteers to make this great event happen each summer. This year, the MFBN got a taste of another kind of craft product – a midwest-based volunteer management software. “VolunteerLocal really streamlined the process,” says Lane. “Before [using VolunteerLocal], I had to individually contact hundreds of prospective volunteers and keep a running spreadsheet of their names, shifts, contact info and shirt sizes for each of our major events. It was really cumbersome and time consuming.”

Now, the Montana Food Bank Network can ditch the spreadsheets and sharpie markers, instead focusing on what it does best: eradicating hunger. “We have been feeding hungry Montanans since 1983.” That’s 30 years and counting, MFBN – thanks for bringing VolunteerLocal along for the ride!

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Summertime Volunteers

www.vimeo.com

Summertime – a season of lounge chairs, beaches, cool mojitos and those smokin’ aviator sunglasses you’ve kept locked away all winter. It’s the season to let your hair down, throw a barbeque in the back and pump the volume on your favorite Fresh Prince jam:

School is out and it’s a sort of a buzz,
A back then I didn’t really know what it was,
But now I see what have of this-
The way that people respond to summer madness.

(That’s right, you hardcore Will Smith fans. Those are the lyrics from one of Will’s greatest rap hits, Summertime – circa 1992.)

For some, however, this is hardly the season to relax. Event planners, festival coordinators and State Fair committees alike are in full-swing planning mode for this summer’s line-up of weddings, parades and shows. We’re betting you’ll need some volunteers to get it all done, so we’ve put together some pointers on how to find, connect with and then recruit those summertime volunteers to your cause.

www.youtube.com

 

Hit the road, Jack. Summertime is ripe with vacationing families, traveling church groups and youth organizations. Oftentimes, these roadsters will seek a volunteer opportunity in a new city or town that they’re visiting. You can connect with these volunteers by posting flyers or brochures at hotels, convenience stores and visitor’s centers. Be sure to indicate that the positions are family-friendly and group-approved, and provide contact information (telephone is best) for those who want to get involved. You can even try reaching out to some of these traveling groups beforehand to set-up an opportunity specifically available to them when they arrive.

www.fullerton.edu

Get him to the Greek! Sororities and fraternities oftentimes need to complete a certain number of service hours in an academic year (or during the summer) as per Greek Community Involvement protocol. If you allow group volunteering, consider tapping these organizations to see if they’re seeking opportunities in the upcoming months – students are a great fit for summer positions.

www.rocklinvet.com

 

Offer incentives. For music festivals, art festivals, State Fairs and the like, offer your volunteers a sweet deal. Maybe it’s a free ticket, free parking or even a backstage pass. These are the kind of events that attract people regardless, so give your volunteers a reason to arrive as a volunteer rather than a regular patron. (Pssst! Did you know VolunteerLocal exports your volunteers into a spreadsheet so you’ll have a complete list of all recipients for those neat perks?)

Finally (and most importantly), have fun. Show those volunteers some love when they arrive – free t-shirts, cool stickers and maybe a drink or food ticket to use when they’ve finished their shift. A great event depends on those great volunteers, so make sure they know how much they’re appreciated. Happy volunteering!

 

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