Connecting Students to Community Causes During COVID-19
With COVID-19 affecting fall semester plans, GivePulse wants to make sure you still have a way to connect your students with local nonprofits and community partners for volunteer and service learning opportunities .
GivePulse has all the tools you need to host your own virtual volunteer fair or collaborate with other institutions nearby and to hold a volunteer fair for your city or area. Here are some best practices to get you started:
Step 1: Establish a Timeline
Decide when to host your virtual volunteer fair. We recommend dedicating a few days or a week to give your students and community partners enough time to connect.
Step 2: Coordinate with Community Partners
Let your community partners know about your virtual volunteer fair and give them options for how and when to connect with your students. We recommend using whatever video platform is available to your university or college and providing times that organizations can sign up to use your video link. You can coordinate individual info session times for your community partners or host group presentations where 4-6 nonprofits present together.
Step 3: Create a Group or Event for your Fair
After your community partners have signed up for times to do virtual info sessions or presentations, you can promote these opportunities to students by creating a group especially for your virtual volunteer fair, or by hosting an event with multiple shifts.
Virtual Volunteer Fair Group:
Creating a subgroup for your virtual volunteer fair gives you a place to group all virtual presentation events, invite participating nonprofit partners, and communicate directly with interested students.
- Create a subgroup under your university in GivePulse
- Invite participating nonprofit partners to be affiliates of your subgroup
- Post virtual presentation or info session events in this group, or allow affiliates to create their own events and share those with your group. If you’re hosting individual info sessions for nonprofits, we recommend making your nonprofit partner an admin so their contact information will be on the event.
- Invite students to become members of your group to attend the virtual volunteer fair. Encourage them to browse all community affiliates, sign up for presentations or info sessions, and post questions on the group wall. Turn the group wall into a threaded discussion board for a variety of topical discussions that students and partners could engage in together.
Virtual Volunteer Fair Event:
If you prefer to not create a new subgroup for your fair, you can also opt to create an event with multiple shifts to allow your students to sign up for different virtual presentations or info sessions. Using a multi-shift event has more limitations but can be a good option for a smaller virtual volunteer fair.
Don't forget to add your video conferencing link to all events by clicking "Yes" for Virtual/Remote Opportunity or utilizing our Zoom integration by selecting "Integration" to automatically generate a Zoom link. You can learn more about the integration here.
Step 4: Follow Up
Make sure to follow up with all the members of your group or attendees of your event using GivePulse's messaging capabilities. Send out links to your community partners’ GivePulse pages, contact information and instructions on how they can find more volunteer opportunities using GivePulse’s search functions through your group or university GivePulse page.
Note: If you're using the Zoom integration, once your participants register they will receive a confirmation email with their Zoom meeting link included. Additionally, registrants can add the event to their calendars from their registration confirmation page as show below:
Coordinate with other colleges and universities in your city or area to have a virtual volunteer fair that brings local nonprofits together in one place for students from multiple campuses to discover. This will mean less work for you and for your community partners. If you’re interested in combining efforts with other institutions in your area, GivePulse Support can help you connect.
For more information on how to set up a virtual volunteer fair, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.