The United Way has supported PBS’s event, Share a Story Family Literacy Event, for 13 years now. This event, occurring every spring, aims to promote literacy and the importance of reading. United Way’s primary goal has been to support the event each year by driving volunteer signups, and we are continuing that trend this year for over 17 shifts, spanning from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, to support the anticipated 1,300 attendees. Past Events In past years, volunteers were organized through sign-up sheets, jotting their names down for the shift they were interested in. Though this has worked well for smaller events, it’s become increasingly difficult to manage volunteers through pen and paper with an event of this size. Imagine having multiple people trying to find volunteers at the same time – overlapping shifts and information that has been passed through multiple people results in a writing “telephone game” and makes the process a bit frustrating. In the most recent years, using software such as Google docs has become a good option, though it had the manual needs of having organizers plug in the information and the possibility of overlap still stood. Share a Story 2016 This year, I was helping drive the organization of volunteers and knew that our non-profit solution, Peak NFP, was the perfect fit for this event. Let me tell you why! The deets – For each shift, we were able to add the specific time and a description of what volunteers would be doing directly within the sign-up page that we pointed interested volunteers to. Those that were interested in volunteering could peruse each shift and find the perfect fit for them – from face painting to serving ice cream. It removed the additional work for the organizers; we didn’t have to explain each option in detail to what ended up being over 70 volunteers. Personalization – First and foremost, you land on the page and you know the volunteers are being organized by the United Way. The logo and colors are placed predominantly on the page for a clear but clean customer experience, making the portal feel like an extension of the webpage. During the registration process, Peak NFP provides personalization specific to your event – for instance, for this event we asked for a shirt size and for any dietary restrictions. We also know that life happens and that’s why we made it easy for volunteers to cancel any of their shifts. The value of personalization brought this event a great user experience with the ability to change shifts if necessary and also to add in personal details that made them feel valued as a volunteer. No overlap – Again, imagine gathering volunteers only to find out that your co-organizer already has those shifts filled. This means you have to go back to your group and see if another shift appeals to them and/or works for their schedule. With Peak NFP, you add the max number of volunteers per shift and no one can volunteer for a shift once it’s filled. If someone cancels, the shift is opened again. No back and forth – it’s painless for you, your co-organizers, and volunteers. Clean data – This sounds more technical than it really is. Quite simply, we didn’t need to try to read someone’s handwriting and guess what their email address was. We could easily pull a list of volunteers, email addresses, shirt sizes, etc. for any necessary communication. No more guessing where that period is supposed to be in the email address! Success Peak NFP helped drive over 70 volunteers in over 17 shifts, supporting the success of this event which hosted nearly 1,400 attendees! This solution made it easy for volunteers to determine what they wanted to help with, provided an intuitive and clean customer experience, and made the co-organizer’s job easy! Don’t take it from me; hear what the Share a Story lead, Kelly Rotar of United Way, had to say about Peak NFP. “Christen and her team at Peak were fantastic to work with. Like most events, we had a few out of the ordinary items needed from our volunteers such as t-shirt sizes and dietary restrictions. Peak NFP was able to input that information into the site and make it completely customizable. We also loved that it had our logo and the look and feel of United Way.” For more information about Peak NFP and how it can help your event, reach out to us or schedule a free demo.
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