Bay Area: Want to Star in a VolunteerMatch Video?

Star in VolunteerMatch's new videoDo you know a volunteer who fits these three criteria?

  • Volunteers somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area,
  • Has a compelling and/ or heartwarming volunteer story, and
  • Found their volunteer opportunity through VolunteerMatch.

If so, we want to film them!

Julia, our awesomely creative Creative Services Manager, is in the process of creating a 1-2 minute, easily-sharable video. If your volunteer is selected, Julia will come to your nonprofit this May or June to capture their story through interviews and volunteering footage.

If you’re wondering why we’re only looking for San Francisco Bay Area organizations, it’s not because we love the rest of the country any less… we promise! It’s because VolunteerMatch is headquartered in San Francisco, so we’re starting local. But don’t worry! We have plans in store to include the rest of the country soon.

So Bay Area, what do you think? Want your nonprofit to star in a video and help VolunteerMatch? Send us an email.

Did You Make an Awesome Video? Submit It to the DoGooder Video Awards

Submit your nonprofit video to the 2014 DoGooder Video Awards.I challenge you to find one person who doesn’t love watching videos. And what’s better than videos? Entertaining, inspiring videos about making the world a better place.

That’s just what the 2014 DoGooder Video Awards is asking for: Your submissions of the best videos highlighting the impact being made by nonprofit organizations. The Awards are presented by See3 Communications, YouTube, the Nonprofit Technology Network, The National Youth Media Network and National Alliance for Media and Culture, and sponsored by Cisco.

You can click here to learn more about contest rules and the guidelines, but some of the great prizes include a $3,000 cash prize from Nickelodeon, two festival passes for 2014 AFI DOCS film festival, and free registration to the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

Do you have a great nonprofit video? Submit it to the 2014 DoGooder Video Awards.

You can submit your videos until February 15th via the contest website in the following categories:

  • The ImpactX Award: honoring those videos that have demonstrated impact for their causes.
  • The Best Nonprofit Video Award: honoring nonprofit organizations using video to make change.
  • The Funny for Good Award: Recognizing effective use of comedy to make people laugh and take action.
  • The Most Inspiring Youth Media Award: For youth who best communicated their thoughts on pressing social issues in a way that inspired others.

Members of the YouTube community will have the opportunity to vote for the best among the finalists from February 28th through March 10th.

Exciting stuff! And you know what’s great about nonprofit videos? They are a great way to engage talented and creative skilled volunteers!

Check out the 2014 DoGooder Video Awards, and if you submit an entry, share it with us below!

Bay Area Native Takes On VolunteerMatch

Nicole Villanueva, Communications & Social Media Intern

Hello VolunteerMatch Family! I’m Nicole Villanueva and I will be one of the new Communications & Social Media interns contributing my voice to VolunteerMatch for the next coming months. I will be working with the Communications department to refine online communications to help volunteers, nonprofits, and corporations connect good people with good causes. I’m very excited to work with, and learn from, the largest volunteer engagement network.

I grew up in the East Bay and working in San Francisco has always been a dream of mine. I attended University of California, San Diego where I played lacrosse (GO TRITONS!) and received my bachelor’s degree in communication.

I fell in love with marketing and communications during my senior year of high school when I participated, and won, in DECA (Distinguished Educational Clubs of America), a business club in which members compete against each other in several different categories. I found that the subject sparked a passion in me and I discovered what I wanted to pursue as a career.

Volunteering has always been a part of my life and it has impacted my worldview. I have found that among all the bad things in the world, even just a small act of kindness can have a ripple effect and touch the lives of many. I’ve been able to help out in many different ways from volunteering in a community garden to building a house in Tijuana, Mexico for a family in need.

It is important to me that I am involved in an organization where my skills contribute to something bigger than the company or myself. The Communications & Social Media internship at VolunteerMatch has given me the perfect opportunity to do so.

I’ve always found that communicating an idea is the key to unlocking its power. You can have the most innovative idea in the world but it’s worth close to nothing if you can’t communicate it effectively.

I would like to contribute my communication skills and knowledge of social media platforms to help nonprofits, volunteers and corporations reach their goals towards making the world a better place. I am looking forward to my time at VolunteerMatch to hone and apply my skills I learned in and out of the classroom while helping the greater good become even greater.

What’s Your Ocean Story? Rallying to Support and Honor a Fellow Community Member

Support community member Beth Kanter as she honors her father.

Support community member Beth Kanter as she honors her father.

Today we take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to support a member of the nonprofit community.

Beth Kanter has had an enormous impact on the nonprofit sector, helping organizations be more networked and more confident in our use of technology. Her long-standing blog has helped guide us through the minefield that is social media and online communications.

Her ever-growing resources such as innumerable wikis and her two books (so far) ensure that we are able to efficiently explore the latest and most valuable tools out there. Her engaging and interactive presentations inspire us all to do a better job with our SMART goals or to make it to the “Fly” stage of our social media practice.

Now Beth is turning to her network – to us – to help her honor her father’s memory. Beth’s father passed away this week after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. As a special online tribute to him and his deep-seated love for the ocean, she is calling on all of us to share our favorite ocean-related stories on social media using the hashtag #OceanLoveEarl. She is also raising money for Surfrider Foundation to support their ocean conservation efforts.

Help Beth Kanter pay tribute and honor her father.

Photo from

As volunteer managers, we understand the importance and the power of community. I urge you to show your support for Beth as part of the VolunteerMatch community, and the greater nonprofit community, as well.

This is also a great way to get your volunteers involved. It’s a fun way for them to give some time online and share with their social networks to honor the life of a wonderful man. (And to tell some great stories about the ocean.)

The VolunteerMatch Ocean Story

For VolunteerMatch, we’re proud that we can help help people get involved with the ocean, discover its majesty and work to ensure it stays healthy. Today in honor of Beth’s father we’re sharing all the awesome ocean-related volunteer opportunitieswe can find on VolunteerMatch.


Whats’s your ocean story? Share it online with hashtag #OceanLoveEarl.

One Man’s GIG to Tell Your Inspiring Stories

Guest post by Toan Lam, Go Inspire Go

The Go Inspire Go team having fun on a photo walk.

There are inspiring stories everywhere – as nonprofits who work with dedicated volunteers, you know that better than anyone. But when you turn on the tube or surf the net, it’s often hard to find them.

This is the story of how I’m trying to make the stories of people who go above and beyond to help others – people like you and your volunteers – more visible.

After reporting the news on TV for about eight years, I realized didn’t want to bring you stories of death and destruction anymore. Many people have told me that instead, they want to see stories of volunteerism, inspiration and community.

So I did something about it! I quit my TV gig and ventured into my new GIG – Go Inspire Go, a multi-platform website dedicated to telling authentic stories of everyday community heroes, leveraging social media to build community and spark action.

I’m sure each and every one of you has witnessed the incredible dedication and impact of volunteers. We want to get their story, and yours, out to the world. Know of someone who fits this description? Please tell us about them.

I truly believe that a story well told will further inspire you and your community to become civically engaged.

Here are some examples of great stories:

  1. Nico Castro, a 6-year-old “Halloween hero,” who is battling brain cancer but wanted to bring the Halloween spirit to his sick friends at the hospital.
  2. Jorge Munoz, a school bus driver in Queens, NY, by day and “Angel in Queens” by night. For the past decade, Jorge has spent half of his modest salary buying groceries so he and his family could cook and deliver their home made meals to more than 150 hungry and often homeless people at the subway stop every night.
  3. Ron Holt, a psychiatrist who cut back on his work hours and spends his own money and time speaking to students and professionals about the biology of sexuality, impact of bullying and living your authentic self.

GoInspireGo (GIG) shed light on these everyday heroes and helped multiply their movements by sharing their stories.

For the past four years, my all-volunteer team and I have been bootstrappin’ it to find inspiring content that sparks civic engagement. Content that awakens something inside you to action. And people tell us they want more!

It takes a village to create more stories, however.

We need your help.

We can do this together.

We’re launching a campaign called 50I50 to highlight 50 heroes in 50 states, and we’re inviting you to support a superhero and join our movement to inspire:

Through my new GIG, I know that there are everyday heroes out there that are living examples of generosity, goodness and selfless service. GIG can connect and inspire these communities.

Your small acts, and those of your volunteers = BIG, meaningful changes. Help us multiply our movement and uncover more everyday heroes that make it their GIG to give back.

Tell us about ordinary people doing extraordinary good in your community.