How GlobalGiving Makes the Most of Our Syndication Tool and How You Can, Too

We love hearing how organizations in the VolunteerMatch community take our tools and run with them.  It’s great to find out how high-impact groups are using our widgets, feeds, automated emails, and landing pages in new and beautiful ways that complement and strengthen their volunteer recruitment and management.

This month we’ve been admiring the inspiring work of GlobalGiving.

GlobalGiving uses the VolunteerMatch Syndication Tool

What did they do?
If you click on the “Get Involved” tab on GlobalGiving’s website and choose the “volunteer” option, you’ll come to a robust list of volunteer opportunities from all over the world.  These opportunities actually live on GlobalGiving’s VolunteerMatch account. Through our Syndication Tool, GlobalGiving is able to keep all their volunteer opportunities in one place. We not only distribute them all through our network of 130-plus hosted sites, we also give GlobalGiving a way to bring them back home.

The Syndication Tool is one of the most effective parts of our Community Leader services, an $8.95 per month package of premium tools that helps organizations receive, on average, 3 times more referrals.  Wherever you place our syndication code, your VolunteerMatch listings will not only be displayed, they’ll be updated automatically.

Save Time and Influence People

Here are some stats to get you excited:

  • 612 nonprofits currently use the Syndication Tool
  • 75 different organizations have received at least 5,000 page views for their listings
  • Together, VolunteerMatch listings have been viewed a total of 2,027,849 times on the Web sites of our member organizations
  • Saved: Thousands of hours of Web site updates!

We spoke with the team over at GlobalGiving to learn how they put together such a nice looking page using the Syndication Tool, and to get some tips for other nonprofits that want to follow in their footsteps. Here’s what they suggested:

Modify the code and add your own rules
GlobalGiving realized that the Syndication Tool is an in-line JavaScript code, and thus easily editable (unlike some other types of widgets, such as iframes).  They grabbed the standard code from their Syndication Tool page, and then hand-coded changes to the CSS to make it match the style of the GlobalGiving site.

Mix up the viewing options
In order to provide their community different ways of viewing the volunteer opportunities shown in the syndication tool, GlobalGiving created a second page with different sort parameters.  This resulted in a “full descriptions” option.  This was an easier alternative to coding up a dynamic page.

Provide RSS feeds
RSS feeds are a great way to maintain engagement in your projects once you’ve hooked people.  GlobalGiving grabbed the RSS URL for their VolunteerMatch page and stuck it on their syndication page, as well.  Simple and brilliant.

Make it a part of a larger picture
One thing that makes the GlobalGiving syndication page so impressive is that it’s not a stand-alone page – it’s one piece of a larger “Get Involved” section on their website.  This provides context for the volunteer listings, builds a more diverse and dynamic community, and increases the chance that people will take action.

Don’t be afraid to experiment
The key to creating great websites is experimentation.  Think of the initial editor as a starting point, and just start tweaking the code.  As GlobalGiving told us, it’s hard to make big mistakes with the Syndication Tool.

Read about some other nonprofits that are doing a great job leveraging the Syndication Tool.

Check out this document to learn more about the Syndication Tool and the Community Leader package – it’s a great way to move your nonprofit’s volunteer recruitment onto a whole new level.

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