Nonprofit Insights: Engaging Volunteers on Facebook

The Nonprofit Insights webinar series brings major thought leaders and experts to you for thought-provoking presentations on a variety of issues related to technology and engaging your community members for social good.

Join the free Nonprofit Insights webinar about engaging volunteers on Facebook.With all the buzz recently about Facebook and organic reach, one question remains:

How useful is Facebook for nonprofit engagement? Can nonprofits build support on Facebook? How??

Engaging Volunteers on Facebook

Register for this free event.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
10am – 11am PT (1-2pm ET)

Follow along with the conversation on Twitter: @VolunteerMatch and #vmlearn.

Join John Haydon, nonprofit marketing expert and author of “Facebook Marketing for Dummies,” for a Nonprofit Insights webinar focused on de-mystifying the process of engaging supporters on Facebook. John will walk us through today’s version of the popular social network, and provide concrete strategies for how our nonprofit organizations can connect with potential supporters and build real relationships with volunteers that can exist online, offline, and wherever we need them.

Register for this free Nonprofit Insights webinar now.

5 Tips for Engaging Youth Volunteers

Guest post by Susan Ragsdale

5 Tips for Engaging Youth Volunteers

A young lady works on door decorations for Ronald McDonald House during service camp.

“[The world's hope] is to rely on youth . . . not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” — U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy

When I was young, I watched the Wonder Twins on Saturday morning cartoons. These youth worked with superhero adults to make a difference in the world. They assessed situations, made decisions and took action to try to make things better.

Sometimes their plans worked; sometimes they didn’t. But, that didn’t stop them from using their minds, hearts, time and energy to do what they could.

Today, there are many youth who want to make that difference and yet are often overlooked as possible resources in the volunteer pool. Working with various youth groups over the past 22 years, I’ve seen youth dig in and happily do what they can to make things right, better and more just and come up with viable solutions.

In engaging youth as volunteers, I recommend these tips from my book Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth:

  1. First, recognize youth are resources in your own thinking. Acknowledge that they have a perspective you don’t but that you need.Young people’s brains are often unfettered by “no”. Adults have often been told too many times that there ideas won’t work; systems are too hard to change. But youth haven’t repeatedly heard that message, thus they often have more freedom to tackle problems with enthusiasm, courage and out-of-the-box thinking. Use that resource!
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  3. Ask them to do good. Ask them to make the world better. Ask them what they think; ask them to get involved, to help, and to share their gifts.
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  5. Look for and engage youth from their sparks (their interests and talents). When a youth is actively involved in his spark, he is following his innate purpose and will be fully engaged in what’s going on. Challenge them to tap into their powers and use them for good.
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  7. Mix it up. Involve youth volunteers in a variety of opportunities. Expose them to different community needs and ways to contribute. Help them find their passion and voice.
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  9. Let youth work side-by-side with adults. Working next to adults expands youths’ perspectives and feeds into their own sense of purpose as they hear why adults are giving of their time.

We can’t afford to wait until young people are grown up before they understand or learn about society’s problems, find their voice, take action, and have an impact. We need to harness their energies, perspectives, gifts, and understandings today as actors in finding solutions for today’s challenges. We need them and they need us. Take a chance and start seeking young people out as volunteers.

See how these youth are serving: http://bit.ly/1thSvDh then send me how you’re engaging youth. We’ll tell your story on our blog.

Susan Ragsdale is a nationally recognized trainer in positive youth development, service-learning, and play with purpose as well as the co-author of 7 books including her latest, Groups, Troops, Clubs & Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth, (published in September 2014 by Search Institute Press). Learn more through her website and her blog, or reach her at cad@TheAssetEdge.net or Twitter @TheAssetEdge.

People Make the Difference: The Joys of Discovery

Each day, people discover ways they can make a difference. And as the VolunteerMatch network grows, so does our impact.You may have noticed lately that we’ve been highlighting the data and stats in our 2013 Annual Impact Report. And these numbers are exciting, don’t get me wrong. We’re data nerds with the best of them.

But data isn’t the whole picture, especially when we’re talking about social impact. The truth is, there’s no substitute for the stories behind those numbers. These are what show us that each one of us – staff member, employee, volunteer, company, nonprofit – can make a difference. Hearing about real-life stuff going on in the network is what inspires us to take action.

So as you browse the Impact Report, take a look at some of these great micro stories that showcase the amazing work happening in the VolunteerMatch network. You’ll see how technology, and your organization’s use of it, creates real change in the community.

Each day, people discover ways they can make a difference. And as our network grows, so does our impact.

Keep up the great work!

Has VolunteerMatch made a difference for your nonprofit organization? Share it on social media using #vmstory, or submit the full story here!

Has VolunteerMatch made a difference for your company and employees? Share it on social media using #vmstory, or submit the full story here!

Nonprofit Insights: Tapping into the Power of National Days and Weeks of Service

The Nonprofit Insights webinar series brings major thought leaders and experts to you for thought-provoking presentations on a variety of issues related to technology and engaging your community members for social good.

Join VolunteerMatch and some special partners for a free webinar about how nonprofits can leverage national days and weeks of service for volunteer engagement.For many nonprofit organizations, national events like MLK Day of Service, National Volunteer Week or #GivingTuesday create not only another opportunity to build support, but also more work, more logistical challenges, and potential fatigue among donors and volunteers.

How can nonprofits balance the potential benefits of #GivingTuesday?

Tapping into the Power of National Days and Weeks of Service

Register for this free event.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
11am – 12pm PT (2-3pm ET)

Follow along with the conversation on Twitter: @VolunteerMatch and #vmlearn.

Join VolunteerMatch, #GivingTuesday and the Support Center for Child Advocacy to talk about how organizations can tap into the power of national days and weeks of service. No matter the size or budget of your nonprofit, this webinar will provide insight into how you can engage volunteers to help with campaigns on days like #GivingTuesday, and, vice versa, how these national days of giving and volunteering can help grow your volunteer engagement.

Register for this free Nonprofit Insights webinar now.