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Jesse will be spending the year traveling the world inspiring people to get involved and teaching us all about the many ways there are to volunteer and make a difference.
Do you have questions for Miss International 2013? How might an inspiring figure like Jesse help you engage your volunteers?
Stay tuned for more special messages coming soon from Miss International 2013!
Derrick Feldmann and Kari Dunn Saratovsky co-authors of the book Cause for Change: The Why and How of Nonprofit Millennial Engagement joined VolunteerMatch in uncovering how nonprofits can have meaningful connections with Millennials. “Why and How Nonprofits Can Engage Millennials for the Long Haul,” took place on August 14, 2013 as part of the Nonprofit Insights series and is jam packed with information on the how-to’s for tapping into the Millennial mind.
The Millennial generation is comprised of 80 million technologically savvy, passionate go-getters. Kari and Derrick enlightened us why it’s important to reach out to Millennials and how nonprofits and organizations can effectively establish relationships in their webinar. Nonprofits are beginning to see the value in the Millennial generation and can utilize different levels of engagement to create deeper and longer-lasting partnerships.
Different Levels of Engagement
1. Micro - Millennials like to participate at micro levels before moving to highly
involved states of cause action. “We move Millennials up the ladder of engagement from supportive activism to organizing activism by providing small steps towards becoming deeper involved,” Kari, founder and principal of KDS Strategies, explained.
2. Peer Small Group – Many Millennials participate with peers/family/colleagues in small groups. Kari and Derrick created a Virtuous Cycle of Engagement model that showed how Millennials’ involvement can grow from just “Like”-ing a cause’s Facebook page as an Inquisitor to becoming a Peer Agent who actively seeks others to volunteer with them.
3. Action = Transparent Solutions – Both Derrick and Kari emphasized that Millennials act when organizations are transparent agents of tangible solutions. Millennials will be more inclined to participate when the impact of their actions is clear.
4. Usability – Derrick, CEO of Achieve, guided us through the Five Factors of Usability; satisfaction, learnability, efficiency, memorability and errors. Millennials engage in online content because of enticing and stimulating usability. He explained the need for nonprofits to create an efficient, memorable learning experience for Millennials to help them understand why your organization needs their help.
The ability of your nonprofit to connect relies on these levels of engagement. The way people are connecting with each other is shifting to a more online and mobile platform. Derrick stated that these inspire Millennials to share and “like” your organization on social media, becoming engaged, and expanding your reach for you. Kari explained why and how nonprofits can adjust to the changing times through the acronym BUILD.
Be unified in working with this generation.
Understand the environment is changing, society is moving faster, and nonprofits need to stay current and relevant.
Identify changemakers and work with Millennial leaders to create a call to action for your nonprofit.
Leading by engagement starts with understanding the best ways to communicate with Millennials and creating a relationship that inspires them to participate and challenge you.
Determine success by creating a standard that meets the specific needs and goals of your nonprofit and implement it across the board.
As Kari and Derrick wrapped up, they stressed the importance of the Millennial generation to nonprofits. This generation must be understood as a resource for new volunteers who are interested in helping out a nonprofit’s cause. The co-author duo has provided great insight as to what it takes to capture the essence of Millennials and translate it into deeper engagement.
Over 200 participants attended this very insightful webinar put on by Kari, Derrick and VolunteerMatch. Many attendees, Millennials included, found the information to be helpful for their organization to create and enhance deeper engagement and long lasting relationships with the Millennial generation.
Knowledge is power! Our Learning Center is home to an abundance of resources for your nonprofit to access. Our next webinar will be on how to measure your program’s success. Sign up here to be a part of upcoming webinars to learn more about the different ways of empowering your nonprofit to do what it does best.
Guest post by Laura Diez, Environmental Sustainability Careers Associate, Net Impact
Projects for Good pairs organizations with students who have the will – and skills – to get work done.
For nonprofits, having capacity to complete a laundry list of projects is somewhat of a luxury. It seems like whenever one big project finishes, three more pop up in its place. Net Impact aims to solve this common capacity issue with a new online platform, Projects for Good.
Connecting organizations that need extra help completing strategic initiatives with students who want to build skills, Projects for Good (just like VolunteerMatch!) plays a key part in securing the right folks to complete meaningful work.
Curious how it works? I say go straight to the source – in this case, World Resources Institute (WRI), who turned to Projects for Good this past spring to help market its new sSWOT (Sustainability SWOT) tool that translates broad and complex sustainability challenges into actionable strategies.
I learned a lot about the resulting collaborations in an interview with WRI’s Eliot Metzger. See some of his excerpted thoughts below, and for the full interview visit the Net Impact blog.
Net Impact: How did your collaboration with companies lead to the sSWOT guide?
Eliot Metzger: The concept grew out of conversations we had with partner companies in 2010. The common difficulty they all seemed to face was in translating the high-level global trends – like climate change – into something that could resonate with colleagues and inform specific actions and strategies.
Net Impact: How does your Project for Good serve WRI’s mission?
Eliot Metzger: The project we posted – a marketing plan for the sSWOT – is very much about putting into mainstream practice something that was once just a concept.
Our objective was to broaden adoption and help establish the sSWOT as a common means of evaluating and acting on corporate sustainability priorities. That was when we tapped into Net Impact and Projects for Good.
With the marketing plan project, we were looking for a team that could offer ideas for how the sSWOT could be best positioned for those future business leaders who would use it. We were looking for students who had some private sector experience, as well as experience in MBA programs that were putting sustainability into mainstream practice.
Net Impact: How do you envision the sustainability SWOT analysis framework establishing itself within nonprofits and businesses?
Eliot Metzger: As we have learned, it is difficult to imagine the full spectrum of potential applications. The sSWOT has been used for far-ranging purposes, just as a traditional SWOT would be used. Ultimately, that is what we would hope to see – a flexible tool that can complement initiatives that are shaping companies’ core strategies.
The modest starting point for that is likely to be with an individual or a small team. Those that adopt the sSWOT can engage colleagues internally or externally on topics that may not otherwise be front and center for decision makers. A few “ah ha” moments and successful discussions can snowball into further integration and ownership of the sSWOT concept. Then you can imagine the sSWOT becoming part of common strategic processes like annual strategy reviews or stakeholder feedback sessions.
Net Impact: What made you decide that Projects for Good was the right venue for this?
Eliot Metzger: Net Impact really has no equal as a network of future business leaders who are working to put sustainability risks and opportunities on the business agenda. It was a no-brainer to help pilot the Projects for Good platform and tap into such a network for support.
We look forward to tapping into it again as the platform continues to develop. There is a lot of promise in the concept of connecting brilliant students with organizations who are working to create solutions for sustainability challenges.
Interested in taking part? Projects for Good is still accepting projects after its official launch on August 19. As an added bonus, projects completed by December 9 are eligible to win $10,000 in Challenge Grant prizes!
Hello VounteerMatch community! My name is Rana Ayed and I will be a Communications and Social Media intern at VolunteerMatch for the coming few months. I am a Palestinian woman from Jerusalem. I was raised a humanist and social activist. My family, education and professional work experience provided the seeds for my evolving work ethic, sense of local and global civic responsibility and the limitlessness of my potential.
I moved to San Francisco Spring 2011 and completed my Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Golden Gate University in May 2013. I aspire to harness my skills as a bilingual Social Marketer to explore new online communities for VolunteerMatch.
When I think about volunteering, I rarely think: why am I doing this? More often I think: why are other people not doing this? As a Social Marketer I am invested in the well-being of the communities I am part of and others I have yet to meet. For me, volunteering is about social equity and self-determination, more than committing a number of hours. It is more about being an example of the good cause I believe in.
From involving more than 150 Palestinian and International organizations to prioritize local products within their procurement policy, to introducing the first olive tapenade brand made by women cooperatives in villages, I am passionate about returning economic agency to local stakeholders.
I am especially interested in two areas, women’s health equity and youth physical activity. As a youth I was part of an Italian initiative in Palestinian refugee camps that established a women’s basketball team as a growth opportunity and social skills development for young women at the camp.
I am currently volunteering as a digital marketer for the Nurse-Midwives Department at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). Focusing on the empowerment that emerges from the values and practice of midwifery we aim to increase awareness of the benefits of midwifery care at SFGH during pregnancy and birth as a vehicle for increasing the number of women cared for by Nurse-Midwives.
It is the nuanced interactions with a mother who presses olive oil or the satisfaction of addressing the social media marketing needs of nonprofit organizations through this internship with VolunteerMatch that compels me to cultivate reciprocal, transnational relationships through digital marketing.
I am excited to learn from the diverse team of experts at VolunteerMatch and the online community of volunteers, nonprofits, and companies who are invested in the collective well-being of the society, that allows us to fulfill our dreams in a global and cross-cultural setting.
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.
Guest post by Natasha Bailey, DoSomething.org
What has been referred to as the lazy generation surely is not. In fact, the Millennial generation is the most active when it comes to creating change in their communities and the world.
In a USA Today article, Morley Winograd and Michael Hais, co-authors of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics, say that surveys show people born between 1982 and 2000 are the most civic minded since the generation of the 1930s and 1940s.
DoSomething.org knows best that this generation is dedicated and passionate about creating social change. Further proving their dedication, over 200 young people with a passion for creating positive change in their communities and the world gave up their Saturday recently to attend a DoSomething.org Boot Camp held in New York City.
With a twist on a traditional Boot Camp, a DoSomething.org Boot Camp is a free day-long training and networking event for young social entrepreneurs, leaders and activists under the age of 25. They all came with ideas for ways to better their communities. Boot Camp gave attendees the tools they need to turn their ideas for social good into action.
The day began with presentations given by the DoSomething.org staff. There were over 16 different sessions for attendees to choose from, ranging in topics from turning your ideas into action, building a website, measuring data, marketing, managing social media, corporate sponsors, starting a nonprofit, etc. In these sessions, the DoSomething.org staff gave their best tips and advice on how to effectively start and sustain an idea, project or organization.
At the end of the day, attendees took part in what is widely regarded as the best part of Boot Camp: Speed Pitching. DoSomething.org brought in experienced nonprofit and corporate professionals to participate in a speed dating-style experience with attendees. Attendees had two minutes to pitch their ideas, project or organization to the “Speed Catchers.” After, they received advice and insight on how to better their pitches.
Based on scores given by the Speed Catchers, the three attendees with the best pitches of the day were each given a $500 grant by DoSomething.org. The grants will go towards helping them further develop their ideas, projects or organizations.
For those who weren’t able to attend Boot Camp, the day was shown live on YouTube. Over 700 people were able to watch from home and still receive everything Boot Camp had to offer.
Boot Camps are held every summer in New York City. Anyone under 25 with a passion for changing their community is welcome to apply to attend. They will have a chance to learn some of the best industry practices and network with not only the DoSomething.org staff and Speed Catchers, but also each other. Meeting and networking with other young people that hold the same passion for social change is the biggest benefit of attending a DoSomething.org Boot Camp.
Does your organization work with Millennials who would benefit from an event like DoSomething.org Boot Camp?
Natasha Bailey was the Summer 2013 Social Entrepreneurship Intern at DoSomething.org, where she helped to plan the largest Boot Camp yet. She is a junior at Penn State University majoring in Advertising and Public Relations.