We know the work you do is important; United Way partners with more than 60,000 businesses and organizations who contribute innumerable volunteer hours and over $1 billion annually. We also understand that big change starts at the community level. Each United Way affiliate like yours improves communities by fostering partnerships and engaging volunteers throughout the year.
So, it’s important that your organization has the tools it needs to effectively manage groups of volunteers for your volunteerism campaign. There are plenty of GetConnected features that can help you engage community members, manage needs, and track impact specific to your special volunteerism events.
Whether your United Way affiliate participates in “Days of Impact,” “Day of Caring,” or “Week of Action,” these volunteerism and donor campaigns draw attention to important programs and encourage prospects to get involved as part of a collective effort. Here are just a few reasons you can benefit from hosting a Days of Impact event:
Grow your volunteer pool: Volunteering is better together. By encouraging families, groups, and teams to participate in your volunteerism event, you’re more likely to foster lasting community relationships
Engage corporate partners: Corporate partners will be encouraged to participate in community-wide initiatives
Boost donations: Giving is contagious. With a bit of savvy marketing, you’ll encourage corporate partners and philanthropic volunteers to donate to your cause and meet your goals.
Increase impact: Your goal is to “advance the common good” in communities across the nation and around the world. Community-wide volunteerism campaigns unite stakeholders and citizens with a common goal to accomplish more and boost the resources needed to inspire change.
Managing volunteers, corporate groups, agency partners, and volunteer needs can seem quite the undertaking. But when you make the most of your volunteer management software, your more likely to present a seamless, successful Week of Volunteering campaign:
Your GetConnected platform will help you keep volunteer, community partners, and needs organized. Volunteers can filter needs through your platform so it’s easy to locate all opportunities associated with Volunteer Week.
GetConnected Central has plenty of tools--like Spotlights and Email Blast--to help you engage existing and prospective volunteers, so you’ll boost participation and maximize impact. You can create hours Benchmarks to motivate volunteers. Plus, opportunities, agency pages, and volunteering achievements are easily shareable on social media!
You can capture data that encompasses all needs associated with an initiative. You can then access the Initiatives Summary report--including items like total hours logged and responses. Using this data, share your impact with partner agencies, stakeholders, and community members and celebrate the success of your Week of Volunteering campaign.
You may consider the following questions to help you better plan your volunteerism events:
Are you prepared to accommodate groups or teams of volunteers?
Do you have private or special volunteer needs available for corporate partners?
Are volunteer needs well organized and easy to locate on your volunteer site?
Do you have a plan to market your Day of Caring initiative?
Don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit unsure in any of your answers. GetConnected Central was designed to help volunteer centers like United Ways manage community groups effectively. So we have put together some best practices for implementing a Week of Volunteering campaign using your site:
Take advantage of Initiatives
Week of Volunteering is one of the most common use cases for the GetConnected Initiatives feature. Initiatives provide site managers with a flexible, creative way to group needs. Using the feature, site managers can group a variety of needs posted by different agencies under a single “umbrella.” Plus, volunteers can filter by Initiative, so associated needs are easy to locate and sign up for. What’s more, when volunteers log their hours, they will be able to assign their hours to the initiative, so all impact is associated with your volunteerism event.
Want to learn the ins and outs of the initiatives? Sign up for our training here!
Think like a marketing professional
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional to pique the interest of volunteers and stakeholders. GetConnected Central has several tools to help spread the word and boost participation:
Spotlight your campaign
Use your platform’s Spotlights to market your Week of Volunteering Initiative on your site’s landing pages. Volunteers are more likely to find--and sign up for--your program when it’s easy to access. Your spotlight should include a call to action like:
“Help us better our community this National Volunteer Week. Click here to volunteer,” to prompt volunteer participation.
Draw attention to your initiative or specific opportunities by using your site’s social media integration, which allows you to share information from your platform directly to your organization’s social media profiles. You can even create a hashtag (like #UWDaysofAction) to encourage your volunteers to spread the word and share their experiences.
Target communications with Email Blast
Use the email blast tool to reach out to volunteers and community partners registered with your system. Email is an effective way to inform prospective participants about your campaign and bolster enthusiasm. You can target users and tailor your messaging accordingly, so your emails are more relevant and effective.
You can also communicate with participating agencies, volunteers associated with a specific need, or all participants with the User Filter option in the Communications tab. Check out this article for more on the User Filter.
Curate Your Group Experience
Some United Ways run their Days of Action campaigns primarily for corporate partners. The User Groups tools is an effective way to group volunteers, like employees of a company or students of a school. Members of the user group can track collective impact and access private opportunities just for them. If you’d like to learn how to create a user group, contact our Support team!
You can also cater to corporate partners and school groups by creating private needs just for users of a user group. Private opportunities are located within the Initiative page, but will require access in order to sign up for the need. Managers can even send a private link to group members so it’s simple to join.
Utilize Custom Pages
In some cases, you may need to provide additional information and guidelines for your Week of Volunteerism Initiative, like location details, photos, or stories. The Custom Web Pages tool is great for creating an informative landing page. You can link to this webpage in the Initiatives description area.
Ask tailored questions
Site managers can create custom questions aimed at volunteers who respond to needs within an initiative. Use your custom questions to find out more about your volunteers, and to capture data for later reporting.
You may want to ask your volunteers about the kinds of previous volunteering experience they have. Or you may want to collect data about how registrants heard about your Days of Action campaign. Whatever the information you need, custom questions help you collect information (from your volunteers) specific to your use-case!
Track and share impact
The comprehensive Initiatives tool allows site managers to easily track initiative-specific data. By creating a Week of Volunteering Initiative, you will have access to reporting to understand collective impact, without having to sift through numerous, disparate sets of data. Share this data with your corporate partners, agencies, volunteers, and stakeholders to demonstrate your event’s success!
Check out our informative, Initiative-specific reports:
Initiatives Summary Report: Learn about active opportunities, response totals, and submitted hours for each Initiative.
Opportunity Responses by Initiative Report: View data about specific user responses, categorized by agency and need.
Tip: Volunteers can check-in to needs using the Volunteer GetConnected mobile app. Hours are logged to your system automatically, so hours tracking and reporting is accurate--and easier!
You can use your software to help you meet your Day of Caring or Week of Volunteering goals. Features like Initiatives will help you to better manage needs, and make it simpler for volunteers to find the roles that suit them!