VolunteerMatch’s Engagement Team Just Got Stronger

Tess Srebro - VolunteerMatch's Newest Employee

Tess Srebro, VolunteerMatch’s Lead Generation and Marketing Associate

The following post is by Tess Srebro, VolunteerMatch’s newest employee. Please join us in welcoming Tess to the team!

When fantasizing about my dream job, I pinpointed a few non-negotiable qualities it would possess.

First, I needed a nonprofit. After spending two years earning a Master’s of Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University, that was a given. But it couldn’t be just any nonprofit – I sought one whose mission was centered around technology. I believe there’s so much untapped potential for technology to contribute to social good. VolunteerMatch uses technology to connect good people and good causes. Check.

Second, I needed to write. A love of language has been a core part of me throughout my life. I discovered that through nonprofit marketing, I could put this love to a professional use while having an impact. VolunteerMatch was seeking a Marketing Associate. Check.

Finally, I needed to trust in the organization. I value efficiency, accountability and openness. VolunteerMatch embodies these qualities, while being extremely successful at what it does. Aaaaand check.

I feel incredibly lucky, honored, and most of all excited to join the VolunteerMatch team in this “dream job”. As Lead Generation and Marketing Associate, I’ll be supporting companies in their volunteer engagement efforts. I admire companies that give back to their communities and encourage their employees to do the same.

To learn more about me, my history, and projects I’ve worked on, visit tessasrebro.com. I can’t wait to get started helping more companies get involved with volunteerism, and in turn, make it easier for more good people to connect with more good causes.

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People Make the Difference: Explore a Year of Impact

Everyone should have the chance to make a difference – wouldn’t you agree?

That’s why VolunteerMatch makes it easier for people to connect with the causes they care about.

Explore the 2013 VolunteerMatch Annual Impact Report

To take a look at how far we have come, it is a pleasure to share with you VolunteerMatch’s Annual Impact Report – a graphic look at people and causes, like you and your employees, who are making a difference.

Last year was an important time for us: we re-launched www.VolunteerMatch.org with a one-of-a-kind recommendations engine, overhauled our workplace group management services, ventured onto your mobile phone, and pushed our entire technical infrastructure into the cloud.

And it worked. The improvements helped us power almost a billion dollars’ worth of volunteer service in 2013. And together, we can do even more.

Don’t worry, we’ll dive into each of the sections of this awesome infographic in detail, but for now, enjoy exploring the impact we made together last year – and join in as we create impact in 2014 that exceeds all expectations.

Click here to explore the 2013 VolunteerMatch Annual Impact Report!

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VolunteerMatch and LinkedIn Built a Technology Bridge to the Future of Skilled Volunteering

As of this week, every skilled volunteer opportunity on VolunteerMatch.org gets automatically posted to LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace.
VolunteerMatch and LinkedIn have partnered to build a technology bridge to the future of skilled volunteering.

This is big news for everyone: not just for the 100,000 nonprofits currently using VolunteerMatch.org, who will now be better able to find the skilled help they need.

And not just for the 300 million professional members on LinkedIn who will now have more ways to give their time and skills to a cause they care about.

This is also big news for you and your company. By building this “technology bridge” between the two platforms, VolunteerMatch and LinkedIn have created a rich resource to engage your employees based on their own interests and skills.

So far, the pilot program has already seen twice as many—sometimes three times as many!—sign-ups from interested volunteers, a trend that will only grow when all 5,000+ listings go live today.

Click here to learn more about this partnership, and here directly from VolunteerMatch and LinkedIn.

Click here to check out how VolunteerMatch Solutions makes employee engagement easier and more successful through strategies like skilled volunteering.

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Meet the Team: Samir Shah, Senior Manager, Client Relations

They have facilitated millions of employee volunteer hours. All they have to do is pick up the phone, and corporate executives invest in volunteering. Some claim that they came up with the term “CSR.” They are: The Most Interesting Client Relations Managers in the World.

Meet Samir Shah, Senior Client Relations Manager at VolunteerMatch.1. Give us your elevator speech — what do you do at VolunteerMatch?

I help companies and nonprofits build better volunteer programs.

2. What brought you to VolunteerMatch? How long have you been here?

I came to VolunteerMatch nine years ago because it has an incredible mix of entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a desire to improve social well-being. We were social entrepreneurship before that term became fashionable.

3. What is the most inspiring part of your job? What’s your favorite part?

Helping people and working with amazing organizations. We work with many of the largest and best-run companies and nonprofits in the world, and yet still provide an invaluable service to individuals looking to volunteer and small but substantial nonprofits.

4. If you were to start a foundation or a nonprofit, what would its mission be?

Not sure about a mission statement, but I’ve recently been exploring different areas along the Northern California coast where the Esselen, Miwok and Ohlone used to live. It would be awesome to contribute to efforts like this, where they are restoring some of this land’s beauty and knowledge.

5. Where will the Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) industry be in 5 years?

It will be larger and more important to the success of companies. Consumers and employees will require that the companies they buy from and work for are doing less harm and more good.

6. Tell us a story (or two) about something that happened in your work that you consider to be a success, something that you’re proud of, and explain why.

I’ve recently had the pleasure to work with Carla Lehn and my colleague here at VolunteerMatch, Jennifer Bennett, on a project to create an online volunteer program improvement tool for the California Library System. These women are some of the smartest volunteer managers I’ve ever encountered, with a ton of experience. We are taking their knowledge (and their networks’ knowledge) and formalizing it into a dynamic tool that will continue to help volunteer program managers build the best volunteer programs for years to come.

Want to learn more about how Samir and VolunteerMatch help companies engage employees in volunteering? Get in touch!

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Meet the Team: Adam Alley, Senior Associate, Community Support & Analytics

They have facilitated millions of employee volunteer hours. All they have to do is pick up the phone, and corporate executives invest in volunteering. Some claim that they came up with the term “CSR.” They are: The Most Interesting Client Relations Managers in the World.

Meet Adam Alley, Senior Associate of Community Support at VolunteerMatch1. Give us your elevator speech — what do you do at VolunteerMatch?

I serve the VolunteerMatch.org community, helping visitors to the site connect with causes they care about, and supporting nonprofits as they connect with great volunteers on our network. I also monitor and measure trends in our network to help us better support our community and inform potential improvements to the community experience.

2. What brought you to VolunteerMatch? How long have you been here?

I felt personally aligned with the VolunteerMatch mission long before I got the chance to join the organization, so I jumped at the opportunity work here with a team of what I find to be such a dedicated and passionate group of individuals. We share a deep belief in the positive impact of service and a strong commitment to promoting community involvement, wherever that community may be found. I was lucky enough to join the VolunteerMatch team in September of 2012.

3. What is the most inspiring part of your job? What’s your favorite part?

I feel most inspired when I hear from nonprofits who have used VolunteerMatch to connect with great volunteers. It reminds me that VolunteerMatch isn’t just a great idea, or an app that could be useful in theory, but an active meeting place where every day thousands of people find ways to get involved with causes that are important to them. It feels good to play a part in helping create a place where those important connections happen.

My favorite part of working at VolunteerMatch is getting to collaborate with my teammates around how best to support and improve the experiences of volunteers and nonprofits on our site. I’m consistently impressed and inspired by the passion and dedication of the VolunteerMatch team.

4. If you were to start a foundation or a nonprofit, what would its mission be?

I feel greatly concerned by the impact of environmental degradation, particularly its effects on people living in poverty. If I started a foundation or nonprofit, its mission would be to investigate and publicize the causes and conditions of poverty and environmental degradation, and explore economic and policy tools to promote environmentally sustainable development.

5. Where will the Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) industry be in 5 years?

Obviously there are external, particularly economic, factors that influence trends within the CSR community, but my hope is that 5 years from now the CSR industry will be in a role of greater influence in business decision-making, in general. Among the more common CSR actions, I would love to see supporting employee volunteerism more widely recognized as having the most immediate and positive impact on company culture and ethos, and on the communities where employees get involved.

6. Tell us a story (or two) about something that happened in your work that you consider to be a success, something that you’re proud of, and explain why.

My mom happens to work for a company that uses VolunteerMatch to facilitate its own employee volunteer program. One day she saw a sign posted in the break room at her office promoting a company-wide week of service, encouraging employees to sign up and find opportunities on VolunteerMatch, so she and her team did just that. Later, she emailed me a picture of her and her teammates smiling and volunteering at a local food bank. For me, it was a personal, concrete example of the impact the VolunteerMatch platform and network facilitates – a reminder that the work we do in our office translates into helping people get involved in their communities, which I believe has exponentially positive effects.

Want to learn more about how Adam and VolunteerMatch help companies engage employees in volunteering? Get in touch!

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Meet the Team: Shannon David, Senior Associate, Community Support

They have facilitated millions of employee volunteer hours. All they have to do is pick up the phone, and corporate executives invest in volunteering. Some claim that they came up with the term “CSR.” They are: The Most Interesting Client Relations Managers in the World.

Meet Shannon David, Senior Associate of Community Support at VolunteerMatch1. Give us your elevator speech — what do you do at VolunteerMatch?

I support the community of nonprofits and volunteers that visit our site every day. Whether it’s a volunteer looking for a way to get involved in their hometown, or a nonprofit looking to grow their volunteer program, I’m here to point them in the right direction and help make sure their experience with VolunteerMatch is a positive one.

I also work with our Education & Training team to deliver free webinars for nonprofits every week. Topics range from interview strategies and creating a great volunteer training program, to using social media for volunteer engagement and how to look at your volunteer program strategically. Finally, I also act as the voice of our nonprofit and volunteer users, advocating for their feedback and ideas as we continue to improve our service and make it even easier for good people and good causes to connect.

2. What brought you to VolunteerMatch? How long have you been here?

I am a huge believer in the value of stepping outside your own little universe to get involved in the larger community. I love that VolunteerMatch works so hard to make this easier for millions of people, both in the larger public and through the support of corporate employee volunteering programs. Having just joined the team in October of 2013, I feel like I’m still soaking up the warm welcome of a really great group of people, and learning every day!

3. What is the most inspiring part of your job? What’s your favorite part?

I look at hundreds of mission-based organizations a week, and it’s amazing to see the different things people are doing to serve their communities and the world. From the huge international nonprofits that continue to spread their reach and fight issues like poverty on a large scale, to the guy who suffered a tragedy in his family and decided to start spreading awareness to protect others from a similar fate, it’s just awesome to be constantly reminded of the good in people. And I love being able to help with even a small part of what they’re doing.

4. If you were to start a foundation or a nonprofit, what would its mission be?

There’s a lot to be said for helping existing organizations broaden their impact rather than reinventing the wheel. If you feel strongly about a cause, chances are there is already an established organization out there that could use your energy and expertise to strengthen their operations and reach more lives. That said, if I were to start a nonprofit or foundation, I would focus on rights and access to education for women and girls in poverty. Improvement in these areas has the potential to change so many other problems plaguing our planet. I’m a long-time volunteer with 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing center for kids, and I like thinking about how that model could be translated to other parts of the world.

5. Where will the Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) industry be in 5 years?

I think we’ll see the public and private sectors collaborating more closely on finding sustainable solutions to big problems. Established CSR programs will be a given, and corporations will get more creative about who they’re working with and whether they’re creating real change. Consumers will be even more informed and discerning, and the market won’t allow companies to ignore their social impact. I like to think that companies interviewing potential new hires will get asked, at every interview, “How does your company give back? How can I expect to be involved in that?” That this will be seen as an important measure of a company’s strength, a point of pride, rather than just a question of employee benefits.

6. Tell us a story (or two) about something that happened in your work that you consider to be a success, something that you’re proud of, and explain why.

I’m proud of the timely service we provide our users on a regular basis. I like to look at it as dozens of little successes every day when we’re able to resolve issues, offer personalized support, and represent VolunteerMatch with a friendly voice.

This hit close to home for me when my dad entered retirement a few months ago and started serving on the board of a community garden called Fertile Groundworks. They needed volunteers, so I helped him find an existing VolunteerMatch account for the garden, access and update their profile, and post new volunteer opportunities (including my favorite, Squashing Bugs, great for kids!). Within weeks they had some awesome volunteers getting their hands dirty in the garden, including one who actually works for one of our corporate partners, Charles Schwab, and found the opportunity as part of their employee volunteer program! It was fun to see the impact of what we do on a more up-close and personal scale.

Want to learn more about how Shannon and VolunteerMatch help companies engage employees in volunteering? Get in touch!

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VolunteerMatch’s Corporate Volunteering Network is Now Global!

VolunteerMatch to Pilot International Expansion of Corporate Volunteering Network Using TechSoup Global TechnologyToday we announced a new partnership with TechSoup Global, an international network that leverages technology to help build the capacity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to increase social impact across the globe.

We will leverage each other’s strengths in technologies for the greater good. The collaboration enables the growth of VolunteerMatch’s expansive network of U.S.- based nonprofits to include NGOs from around the world by utilizing TechSoup Global’s technology to validate these organizations.

This pilot project promises to strengthen the global NGO community and amplify the social impact of employee volunteer programs — no matter where they are.

Through TechSoup Global’s unparalleled international NGO partner network and its expertise in NGO validation, we will begin providing our volunteer engagement services outside the U.S. for the first time. We’ll be initially offering the service for our community of corporate clients (like you!) and will make international listings available to your employees around the world. This pilot project promises to strengthen the global NGO community and amplify the social impact of employee volunteer programs — no matter where they are.

We are piloting the initiative in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia and evaluating additional countries and regions.

To learn more about this exciting partnership, check out the full press release.

Do you work with charity and NGO partners outside the U.S.? Make sure they know they can now use VolunteerMatch to connect with great volunteers!

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