Volunteering in the Connected Age with Greg Baldwin, President of VolunteerMatch

UB_VM_300“We see that communities are struggling to stay connected. One of the symptoms of that is that volunteering is at an 10-year low. The common narrative is that people don’t care enough anymore. We think the exact opposite is true.

“We think people really care more than ever, but are struggling to find opportunities that are resonating with them to get involved in their community around causes that they really care about.”

– Greg Baldwin, President, VolunteerMatch

So what’s the solution to this? In the below video, VolunteerMatch President Greg Baldwin talks about what he calls the “engagement gap” in volunteering. There are barriers that keep good people, good causes, and good companies from connecting. Let’s eliminate these barriers together.

In the San Francisco Bay Area? Come hear even more on this topic. Greg will be speaking as part of Umpqua Bank’s ongoing Catalyst Series at their downtown San Francisco store on Thursday, October 15, 2015. He’ll lead a conversation about the future of volunteerism and corporate citizenship. Learn more and reserve your spot.

Vote for the 2015 Innovation Award Winner!

Vote for the 2015 Innovation Award“Innovation” is not always the first word that comes to mind when people think of nonprofits. Why is this? Across the globe, nonprofits are making huge strides in solving problems and making the world a better place. And many are doing this through innovative partnerships with corporations.

At the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit, we want to recognize these original and cutting-edge nonprofits. That’s why we created the Innovation Award.

We reached out to our family of corporate clients and asked them to nominate their favorite nonprofit partners – the ones driving change by thinking outside the box.

Out of these nominations, we’ve narrowed it down to three finalists. And now we need your help.

Check out the stories of these three groundbreaking partnerships and vote for your favorite.

Pay special attention to how well the partnerships engage corporate employees in volunteering, how well the partnership goes beyond traditional partnership models, and how well the partnership has documented progress and wide reach.

The winner will be announced December 1st at the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit.

Are you a national nonprofit? The 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit may be for you. Learn more.

Photo credit: Missy Schmidt

Last Chance to Shape the 16NTC Agenda!

NTENIn today’s world, volunteer engagement and technology go hand in hand. In our recently-published book Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World, we dedicated an entire section to technology shifts and their impact on the volunteer engagement space.

So wouldn’t it be great to see volunteer engagement heavily represented at the conference for leveraging technology for social good?

Yes, I’m talking about NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (16NTC), coming up this March in San Jose, CA. This conference puts its content in the hands of its community, by allowing upvoting and downvoting on session proposals before the agenda is finalized.

But here’s the thing. Voting ends on July 31st. If you haven’t already had your say, make sure to cast your votes now. Help us get volunteerism into the conversation. There’s are least 7 proposals all about volunteerism, including Leveraging Expert or Technical Volunteers, Convert Volunteers into Donors (& Vice Versa) and Here, There, and Everywhere: Distance Volunteer Training.

Remember, you don’t have to go to 16NTC to help shape the nonprofit technology conversation. Cast your votes today.

P.S. We also proposed a session on how we took full advantage of our Google AdWords Grant and were able to increase traffic to our site, decrease bounce rates, and increase conversions. Help us out by giving us an upvote on that session, too.

Bring VolunteerMatch (and Volunteering) to the NTC Agenda

I don’t mean to brag, but VolunteerMatch’s Engagement Manager Stephanie Hong ROCKS at Google AdWords.

Stephanie Hong, VolunteerMatch's Engagement Manager

Stephanie also rocks at puppy-cuddling.

In just a few months, she’s taken VolunteerMatch’s previously under-used Google AdWords Grant and ran with it. In June 2015, she:

  • Increased traffic from Google AdWords by 12%.
  • Increased new users by 9.4%.
  • Increased Nonprofit Registration by 64%!
  • Decreased bounce rate by 20%.

Do you have a Google AdWords Grant but don’t know where to start? Or have you been allocating some dollars to AdWords but haven’t seen any results? Stephanie can help.

How? She’s proposed a session at NTEN’s 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) called Google AdWords Boot Camp. You’ll hear exactly what she did to boost VolunteerMatch’s Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and how you can scale this to your organization’s needs.

Help us get Google AdWords Boot Camp on the NTC agenda by up-voting Stephanie’s session proposal. If you’re not already a registered NTEN user, it only takes a few minutes to sign up (and it’s free).

While you’re there, browse and up-vote other sessions you’d like to see at the conference. With 439 proposals, you may wonder, “Where do I start?”

Well, there’s at least 7 proposals all about volunteerism, including Leveraging Expert or Technical Volunteers, Convert Volunteers into Donors (& Vice Versa) and Here, There, and Everywhere: Distance Volunteer Training.

Remember, you don’t have to go to NTC to help shape the nonprofit technology conversation. Cast your vote today.

Session Recap: Tech Platforms for Volunteering

“How many of you work for nonprofits?”

Joel Bashevkin, Executive Director of Taproot Foundation, posed this question to a packed room in downtown San Francisco last week. As might be expected at an event for the group San Francisco Tech4Good, a majority of the audience raised their hands.

“How many are tech workers?” Joel went on to ask. While less than before, a substantial amount of hands went in the air.

“How many are nonprofit tech workers?”

As a few lonely hands proudly went up (mine included), the audience let out an embarrassed chuckle.

Why aren’t there more organizations that merge technology with the social sector? As an employee of VolunteerMatch, I’m fortunate to see technology put to work every day for social good, and I know the large-scale effect it can have. (Last year alone, VolunteerMatch generated $1.34 BILLION in social value).

This quandry, along with many others, was discussed at last week’s Technology Platforms for Good. The event rounded up pioneers in the tech-volunteering space. Our own Greg Baldwin joined the panel along with Joel Bashevin and Meg Garliginhouse, Head of Social Impact at LinkedIn.

The ultimate conclusion? With so many ways (and free ways at that!) to find, manage, and engage volunteers online- if you’re not using technology, you’re missing out.

I’ve chosen a few of my favorite live tweets from the session, some of which include actionable advice for engaging volunteers via technology (see below). Want even more? Watch the video recording of the event.