As an agency manager, you can post both needs and events to your site. Both needs and events are powerful means of connecting with your community. Please read this article to ensure an understanding of how needs and events are different, and how you can most effectively publicize both on your Connect platform.
Needs and Events: What's The Difference?
Needs are volunteer opportunities. When you post a need, you're essentially putting out a "call for volunteers."
Events on the other hand, are public events that anyone can attend. When you post an event, you're essentially telling your community that you'd like them to be part of the event--as guests or participants, but not necessarily as volunteers.
Why the Confusion?
Agency managers sometimes confuse the two terms, and we think the confusion stems from the fact that nonprofit events often cannot happen without the work of volunteers. Likewise, many volunteer opportunities posted on a Connect platform are directly related to the planning and staging of events.
How to Publicize Both Effectively
Needs and events can be closely related, and it's easy to reflect this in your postings. Specifically, you can have your need postings link to the event, and to have your event posting link to the related needs, as shown in the event post below:
The rest of this article explains the following steps for setting everything up:
- Post Your Event-Related Needs
- Copy Need Links for the Event Posting
- Create the Event Posting ... With Links!
- Copy Event Links for the Need Postings
- Update Your Needs ... With the Event Link!
A good way to begin is by posting all of the needs related to the event.
Note: If really doesn't matter whether you post the event first or you post the needs first. You'll end up returning to the items you posted first (in this case, the needs) in order to add links to whatever you posted second (in this case, the event).
Let's work with the example of a 5K race. If your nonprofit is hosting the race, you might publish separate need postings for the following volunteer opportunities. Here's an example of some 5K-related needs that have been posted on a site:
Note: Click here for detailed instructions on posting needs
You actually have two options here:
- Provide links to each need posting
- Provide a link to a page that lists all of the event-related needs
The first option is something you can do on your own as an agency manager; instructions for doing this are provided below. The second option requires the assistance of your agency manager.
Note: To have a single link to a page listing all event-related needs, ask your site administrator to assign a common tag to the needs. With this done, your admin can then send you the URL for a page listing the commonly tagged needs.
The easiest way to get a link to a need is to view the posted need on your Connect platform. The URL in the address bar is the link for that need. Here's an example of how this looks on our training site:
To get the link, click on the address bar and copy the link to your clipboard. If you've posted multiple needs, you'll want to save the link for each need in a separate place, such as in Word or Notepad.
Click here for details on creating an event on your Connect platform.
As part of your event description, you can now link to the various related volunteer opportunities. To link to an opportunity, use the link tool in the Text Editor.
Below is an example of what the 5K event announcement might look like with the linked needs.
Just as you copied the links to the needs before, go ahead and view the posted event so you can copy that URL to your clipboard.
Return to your needs postings, open them to update, and link the event there. Here's an example of how an linked event might look within a need posting:
If you have questions or need assistance with posting needs, events, URLs, etc., please check out the other articles on this site, and contact us if you can't find what you're looking for.