Discovery Communications and VolunteerMatch Partner to Inspire Volunteerism

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Discovery Communications! Check out the press release below, followed by the PSA Discovery has created to encourage viewers to give back to their local communities!

DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS AND VOLUNTEERMATCH PARTNER TO INSPIRE VOLUNTEERISM ACROSS THE U.S.

VolunteerMatch and Discovery partner to promote volunteerism[April 12, 2016] – Discovery Communications, a purpose-driven company built on satisfying curiosity, entertaining and inspiring global audiences, is extending its partnership with VolunteerMatch, the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, as a national media partner to raise awareness and drive volunteerism. Coinciding with the 42nd National Volunteer Week (April 10-16), the partnership kicks off with a national Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign. The PSA begins airing this week across all of Discovery’s 13 U.S. networks. To learn more, visit discovery.com/volunteermatch.

Launching this week, Discovery has created the new PSA to encourage viewers to give back to their local communities through volunteerism. By leveraging the power and reach of its networks, the company will market VolunteerMatch to increase awareness in volunteerism to its passionate viewers.  VolunteerMatch technology will be integrated into Discovery Communications’ digital platforms to make it easier for viewers to find volunteer opportunities in their communities. Additionally, DCI’s network of other nonprofit partners will now be connected with VolunteerMatch to extend their reach to potential volunteers.

As a volunteer management platform service provider, VolunteerMatch has been an important tool in supporting Discovery Communications’ purpose-driven culture. VolunteerMatch works to bring “good people & good causes together” by matching individuals with a non-profit in need of skills.

“We are inspired by the Discovery team’s extraordinary commitment to help us share the promise of every volunteer finding their special opportunity to make a difference,” says Greg Baldwin, VolunteerMatch President.

“Our deepening partnership with VolunteerMatch and commitment to encourage viewers to make a greater impact builds off Discovery Communications’ 30-year heritage as a purpose-driven company,” adds David Leavy, Discovery Communications’ Chief Corporate Operations and Communications Officer.  “Volunteerism is in our DNA.  Every year, thousands of our employees donate their time through a number of initiatives that give back to the communities where we live and work. We are proud to pair our passionate fans with VolunteerMatch’s vast network of worthy causes and projects to promote volunteerism nationwide.”

Discovery Communications is dedicated to giving back in the communities where employees live and work. In 2015, the company’s employees volunteered 30,000 hours across the globe through the company’s annual day of global volunteerism, “Discover Your Impact Day.” Discovery’s other major initiatives include making prom possible for deserving teen girls and boys through “Say Yes to the Prom,” and igniting a global campaign about the plight of endangered species through RACING EXTINCTION and its accompanying call-to-action #StartWith1Thing.

About VolunteerMatch
VolunteerMatch believes everyone should have the chance to make a difference. As the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, serving 100,000 participating nonprofits, 150 network partners and 13 million annual visitors, VolunteerMatch offers unique, award-winning solutions for individuals, nonprofits and companies to make this vision a reality. Since its launch in 1998, VolunteerMatch has helped the social sector attract more than $8.5 billion worth of volunteer services. Learn more about VolunteerMatch at www.volunteermatch.org.

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the leader in global entertainment reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery satisfies curiosity, entertains and inspires viewers with high-quality content through global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

Media Contacts:
Bree von Faith
VolunteerMatch
news@volunteermatch.org

Elizabeth Hillman
Discovery Communications
Elizabeth_Hillman@Discovery.com

CONNECT YOUR PASSION WITH A PURPOSE PSA

Lending a Hand the Robin Hood Way

Happy National Volunteer Week! Let’s celebrate the amazing people who volunteer and make volunteerism possible. Throughout the week, we’ll give fodder for your celebration by sharing easy ways to listen, learn, inspire and act!

Up today: Listen. Pam Koner of Family-to-Family shared this incredible story with us via our website. Enjoy!

Have your own nonprofit story? We’d love to hear it!

Pam Koner of Family-to-Family

Pam Koner, Family-to-Family Executive Director

In fall 2002, The New York Times ran a series of articles highlighting poverty in the U.S. One article described the town of Pembroke, Illinois as a community so poor that “some still live in crumbling shacks with caked­-dirt floors and no running water.” Pam Koner — a mom and entrepreneur from Westchester, New York — read that article and immediately felt compelled to help.

Pam contacted an outreach worker in Pembroke with the simple idea of linking families she knew who had enough food and other basic life necessities with families who were struggling to get by. The outreach worker supplied Pam with the names of 17 of the neediest families in Pembroke. Pam then convinced 17 of her friends and neighbors to join her cause. Each family agreed, and shortly thereafter, began sending monthly boxes of food donations and letters to each of the Pembroke families.

17 families soon grew to 60, and after a flurry of media exposure, 60 families grew to over 900. Thus, Family­-to-­Family was born — a national hunger and poverty relief organization dedicated to connecting families who have enough to share with impoverished American families who have profoundly less.

Read the rest of Family-to-Family’s story on VolunteerMatch.org.

Happy National Volunteer Week from Your Favorite Volunteer Network (We Hope!)

Celebrate National Volunteer Week with VolunteerMatch!Happy National Volunteer Week! Here at VolunteerMatch, we’re celebrating  #NVW2016 by honoring volunteers and the people who make volunteering possible — you!

We know you’re always finding creative ways to thank volunteers. Now, we want to do the same for you! We’re committed to providing the resources needed to run successful volunteer engagement programs, and inspire people to give back to their communities by connecting them with the causes they’re passionate about.

Our gift to you: one month of our Premium nonprofit tools free* — for your organization or an organization you care about. Simply share and use the code: NVW2016.

And, there’s more.

Each day this week, you can find ways to listen, learn, inspire and act on this blog. Here’s what we have in store:

  • Unveiling a new animated PSA encouraging volunteers to get more involved with causes they care about
  • A remarkable story of a women who founded and grew a small nonprofit to national standing with the help of volunteers.
  • Quotes about volunteering and service to inspire you and your volunteers
  • A Twitter Chat to weigh-in on why volunteer rates are declining and what we can do about it.

Thank you for all that you do to strengthen your community — your work is truly extraordinary! Share how you’re celebrating #NVW2016 by commenting on our Facebook page or tweeting to us @VolunteerMatch!

*Available only to organizations that do not already have a VolunteerMatch Premium subscription

VolunteerMatch’s Newest Addition: Meet Basil Sadiq, Marketing Associate

Basil Sadiq, the newest member of the VolunteerMatch team

Basil Sadiq, the newest addition to the VolunteerMatch team

You may begin to notice a new name on Engaging Volunteers — Basil Sadiq.

Basil recently joined the VolunteerMatch team after spending a few years in corporate and nonprofit communications, where he helped organizations leverage design, content, and their community to draft and share compelling content.

Get to know the newest member of our team through this short interview!

  • Give us your elevator speech — what do you do at VolunteerMatch?
    I help nonprofits and volunteers engage better with each other by posting impactful tips and stories on VolunteerMatch’s website, blog, newsletter, and social media platforms.
  • What brought you to VolunteerMatch?
    I’m a firm believer in bringing your passion with you to work, wherever you work — and I’m very passionate about connecting good people with great causes.
  • What is the most inspiring part of your job so far?
    Knowing that my role helps nonprofits and volunteers find each other by matching the right people with the right opportunities. I enjoy contributing to our online channels — especially the blog and social — and expanding our leadership’s online presence in the volunteering space.
  • Are you a volunteer yourself? If so, what do you do?
    In the past, I’ve helped construct 28 single-family homes in San Francisco’s Ocean View district through Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.

    San Francisco residents are all too familiar with the city’s housing crisis. That’s where Habitat comes in: they help build and sell “simple, decent, and affordable housing” to those in need. Volunteering with Habitat was a way for me to do my part to help alleviate the city’s housing crisis by giving back to my community.
  • If you were to start a foundation or a nonprofit, what would its mission be?
    Here in the U.S. we’re fortunate to have social service organizations that assist immigrants with their transition. While there are many great organizations out there, I would like to focus my nonprofit on Syrian refugees immigrating to the United States by helping them acclimate better to their new communities. My nonprofit’s mission would be to help Syrian refugees feel more welcome by gifting them care packages and English-learning material upon arrival.
  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    I moved to San Francisco two years ago, in part, because of the city’s mild year-round weather. In my free time I enjoy exploring the city, hiking the Bay Area’s parks and peaks, visiting museums, watching movies, and giving back to my community.

Learn more about Basil, his history, and the cool projects he’s worked on by visiting basilsadiq.com. Please join us in welcoming him to the VolunteerMatch team!

Twitter Chat: Why is the U.S. Volunteer Rate Dropping?

Join VolunteerMatch for #VMatchChat on volunteer rates.Earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued their annual report on volunteering in the United States. The report is packed with essential statistics and information on volunteerism. And it shows us that volunteer rates have been steadily declining in the U.S.

What the report did not tell us was why.

That’s why we’re taking to Twitter — to hear your thoughts on what some potential causes might be, and to share possible solutions. We want you to join the conversation, so don’t miss out!

Who Should Participate?

Individuals, nonprofits, and companies who have input to share and want to make a difference on the declining volunteer rate in the U.S.

How to Join

Prepare for the Twitter chat by reading the questions below in advance. These questions will be posed by the folks at VolunteerMatch, to be answered by many others (including you!).

Then, log onto Twitter on Tuesday, April 12 at 11:00 a.m. PST/ 2:00 p.m. EST, and follow along using the hashtag #VMatchChat. Answer our questions as indicated by Q1, Q2, Q3 with your responses, beginning with A1, A2, A3, etc. Remember to always include the hashtag #VMatchChat.

Feel free to talk to others in the chat, ask questions, be thoughtful, and most importantly — be social!

Questions

  • Q1: How do you currently attract volunteers to your org, or how do you find volunteer opportunities? #VMatchChat
  • Q2: How have volunteers helped your nonprofit or organization (or how have you volunteered) over the past year? #VMatchChat
  • Q3: What cause does your nonprofit represent, or what cause(s) have you volunteered for? #VMatchChat
  • Q4: Have you experienced a decline in volunteerism over the past year? #VMatchChat
  • Q5: Do you think there are discrepancies between certain causes losing more volunteers over others? #VMatchChat
  • Q6: What do you think declining volunteer rates in the U.S. could be attributed to? #VMatchChat
  • Q7: How can individuals, nonprofits, and/or corporations in the U.S. do their part to reverse this trend? #VMatchChat
  • Q8: What opportunities (e.g. technological advances) could the future bring to solve this problem? #VMatchChat

You’ll meet new people (virtually), learn a lot about volunteerism, and most importantly, have fun! Our aim is to leave you feeling refreshed and inspired, with some food for thought on what could be done to increase volunteerism in the future.