The HandsOn Maui site and associated GetConnected portal are visited by thousands of community members and visitors each month who search for volunteer opportunities with local nonprofit organizations. Even though there are hundreds of opportunities posted, we still receive feedback from potential volunteers that they have difficulty finding the right opportunity. If your nonprofit wants to attract skilled volunteers willing to devote their time and energy to your organization, you’ve come to the right place! Here we post tips and tricks to improve your visibility and maximize your volunteer recruitment efforts in GetConnected.
In this blog post, you’ll learn about ways you and your company can volunteer during the holiday to help our keiki, our elders, and our oceans in the weeks leading up to the new year. The holidays are a wonderful time to come together with friends or coworkers to give back to the community. This season offers unique volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups.
1. Help Our Keiki
In Hawaiian, the word Imua means to move forward. When you volunteer during the holidays, you move people in need forward. Our local non-profit, Imua Family Services is on a mission to empower children and their families to reach their full potential. Back in December of 1950, Imua held their first annual Keiki Holiday party. For the children receiving services at Imua, this celebration mark another year of growth, another year moving forward.
This year will be the 69th annual Keiki Holiday Party on Thursday, December 12th and there are nearly 500 participating families. Volunteers are needed for tasks including handing out drinks, hosting a children’s art area, table assistants and more. Learn more here: https://handsonmaui.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=472120
The annual bike build program provides at-risk keiki in Maui County new bikes for the holidays. Volunteering with to assemble bikes is a simple way to positively impact 500 kids that would not otherwise ever receive a great gift such as a bike.
“Everyone can remember the feeling they got the first time they took off on a bike. We want to help provide that for the next generations” shared Krank Cycles Owner, Aaron (Moose) Reichert. “One way we can help give back is to organize the bike build for the holiday’s program.” No mechanical experience is required, and volunteers of all skill levels can learn more here: https://handsonmaui.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=468939
2. Give Back to Our Seniors
During the holidays, it’s especially important to give back to our community. “Set time aside to take an older adult out for lunch, a walk by the beach or a scenic drive.” explains the staff at NA HOALOHA-Loving Friends “Doesn’t cost much, but for a senior who lives alone, it would be priceless!”
Be a “Spark of Life” in the day of an elderly person. Maui Adult Day Care Centers is looking for volunteers to enjoy doing such things as arts and crafts, BINGO, Karaoke, dancing, talking story, reading, and holiday celebrations with their clients. Leave with a full heart everyday knowing you made a difference in the life of someone with physical and/or mental challenges who may be frail or have dementia. Join in the fun while giving of yourself! Get the details here: https://handsonmaui.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=124830
3. Protect the Ocean
Plastic blowing down the beach often finds its final resting spot the sea. It’s easier to keep trash out of the environment if we catch it before it floats off to sea. “An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—this is roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute.” (source: oceana.org)
One reason it’s so hard to get trash out of the sea is because it breaks down into much smaller pieces that are harder to remove. “Cleaning up marine debris found in the open ocean is not as simple as it may sound,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (source: NOAA via theverg.com). “The great Pacific garbage patch, for instance, is constantly shifting, the plastic litters the water column from top to bottom, and most of the pieces are minute.” This inevitably makes cleaning it up expensive.
So, let’s all do our part to pick up plastics and other trash while they’re still on land. Join the next beach clean up with Malama Maui Nui. They’ll supply all the clean up gear and you’re likely to meet some pretty awesome people.
You can also share your passion for the ocean by educating others. Volunteer during the holidays and you could be the next Docent at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS) in Kihei. More information about this opportunity is available here: https://handsonmaui.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=318981
Go Volunteer During the Holidays!
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, make new friends and share the holiday cheer. Browse through the full list of volunteer opportunities in Maui here: handsonmaui.galaxydigital.com/need/
Get Involved in Your Community
It is just a few simple steps to make a big impact giving back to your Maui Community. If your company wants to get involved to boost employee morale – HandsOn Maui is for you! If you recently moved to the Valley Isle and you want to get out and meet your new neighbors – HandsOn Maui is for you! If you are retired and looking for a meaningful way to spend your time – HandsOn Maui is for you, too. There are so many reasons people choose to volunteer, and HandsOn Maui is you go-to resource for every one of Maui’s volunteer needs.
Volunteering on Maui – Step One
The first step to beginning your volunteering journey is enrolling in an account with HandsOnMaui.com. This account gives you access to opportunities from organizations and nonprofits all over the island. One of the many benefits of signing up is a printable volunteering resume. Impress potential hiring managers with your long list of skills and community awareness. A time tracking option is available to members of our team as well!
Volunteering on Maui – Step Two
Next, in your search for amazing volunteering options, take a look at HandsOn Maui’s comprehensive list here. In this list you will find nonprofits such as Haleakala National Park. This organization is always looking for large groups to help with park beautification. These kinds of requests are perfect for your company outing! Build strong community ties and make new friends when volunteering at East Maui Animal Refuge. It’s a guarantee, you will feel like a local in no time by taking care of kitties and critters. Our dedicated retiree team members will appreciate the laid-back opportunities available as well. Learn a bit of Maui history and “talk story” with visitors at the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum as a gift shop sales associate. The possibilities are almost endless and the options only keep growing. You could explore the oceans, the countryside, the mountains, the city or the shore. Don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities found in the air-conditioning, too.
Volunteering on Maui – Step Three
Finally, you are ready for step three (and being the best volunteer on Maui!) It’s simple – sign up for one or one hundred exciting volunteering sessions and have a blast! Make sure you are open to new possibilities and maybe sign up for callings outside of your comfort zone. Giving back to your community creates a positive environment for you and everyone you come into contact with in the future. The organization you help will be grateful and have more success in their endeavors and, who knows, others might be inspired to volunteer after seeing your example!
Mahalo Nui Loa for considering volunteering
Many of these organizations function on a strict budget and have little time or money to spare. These agencies’ purpose is to better the community, and to think, you could be an essential part of that mission. If you do not see an opportunity that peaks your interest just yet, you will soon. Enrolling with HandsOn Maui means you will get updates on all new volunteer agency needs. You can always reach out to us with new and inspiring ideas as well!
HandsOn Maui is The County of Maui’s one and only resource for connecting organizations and agencies to caring community members wanting to volunteer their time. The HandsOn Network is the volunteer-focused arm of the Points of Light Institute. The vision of the Maui County Volunteer Center is that everyone in Maui County can contribute to and gain from volunteerism to meet community needs and build community vibrancy.
Remember the days of searching the newspapers for volunteer opportunities? Perhaps you even perused the bulletin board at the grocery store, or hoped to hear of prospects through the grapevine.
We now live in a digital age, when opportunities are at our fingertips through websites, databases, and social media platforms. As 2017 begins, it’s the perfect time to seek out new volunteer opportunities that may enrich your life.
The County of Maui Volunteer Center offers an easy, one-stop portal to easily locate new volunteer opportunities. On our HandsOn Maui website, you’ll find our impressive GetConnected portal, made for volunteers and agencies alike. It’s something we only could have dreamed about when the County of Maui Volunteer Center was started in the 1980’s!
For volunteers, it’s an ideal place to find volunteer opportunities that seamlessly match with your unique personality, schedule, and interests. You’ll find a dashboard filled with the latest news, fresh opportunities, and information on local agencies that we partner with.
Agencies enjoy engaging with GetConnected, updating their volunteer opportunities and seeking talented, kindhearted people to help fulfill their current needs. Our Agency Partners have found great success through the portal. Instead of scrambling for volunteers, the volunteers come to you, ones that are well-matched with your opportunities.
Currently on the GetConnected portal, there are several great opportunities posted by partner agencies, such as Hale Hoike’ike and Maui County Parks & Recreation.
Hale Hoike’ike, a museum filled with Hawaiian artifacts that also includes Bailey House, a historical 19th century home, is looking for volunteers to run the register, greet volunteers, and give a brief introduction to the museum. In particular, they are searching for volunteers on Monday mornings to accept museum admissions. The Maui Historical Society has a passion for sharing Hawaiian history with visitors, and they love it when their volunteers share that very passion. Visit the Agency Page to learn more about all of Hale Hoike’ike’s current volunteer opportunities.
Maui Parks & Recreation works diligently to keep Maui looking pristine and beautiful, thanks to the help of its dedicated base of volunteers. One upcoming opportunity is the Kula School Park Tree Planting on Martin Luther King Day (January 16), hosted by the Arborist Committee along with the Kula Community Association, Maui Green & Beautiful, Department of Housing and Human Concerns Volunteer Center and the East District of Parks. Maui Parks & Recreation regularly offers volunteer opportunities, like park clean-up projects and supporting local athletics. To see all of their offerings, go to their Agency Page.
A quote that really applies to our GetConnected portal is this: “You can’t make a difference without making a connection.” The HandsOn Maui website is designed for both volunteers and agencies, to discover life-changing volunteer opportunities or to have the ability to seek those volunteers.
So, whether you’re searching for a chance to make a difference in the new year, or if you’re an organization wanting to get even more involved in the community, look no further than the HandsOn Maui website, GetConnected Program. Email Wendy Stebbins, Volunteer Center Coordinator with any questions.
If your organization posted an opportunity two months (or years!) ago and hasn’t updated it since, there is a good chance volunteers aren’t finding it on GetConnected. Most users visit the Opportunities page to see a consolidated list of volunteer opportunities posted by our partner agencies. The most recently added or updated needs appear at the top of the search results.
The older an opportunity is, the further down the list it appears. Even if your opportunity hasn’t changed, it is a good idea to refresh it every few months. Simply log in and click Submit changes on each of your organization’s opportunities. This is also a great way to review what you have posted on GetConnected.
If the response you’ve received from one of your opportunities is less than expected, you may wonder why no one is interested. Try switching out the title for something more engaging that appeals to a larger group of people. Double-check that all the appropriate interests are included.
The more you update your opportunities,
the more likely it is that volunteers will respond!
GetConnected 2.0 interests are an excellent tool for attracting volunteers.
Volunteers have different interests and priorities when searching for volunteer opportunities. Many potential volunteers use the Interests filter to narrow down the list of needs to only those they are interested in. This means that if you aren’t including Interests in your needs, you’re missing out on a huge pool of potential volunteers that are looking for opportunities just like yours! Each opportunity on your GetConnected profile should be tagged with appropriate Interests to ensure volunteers are connecting with your organization.
Many of our partner agencies only have one ongoing opportunity available for volunteers. This makes volunteer recruitment challenging, because each potential volunteer has a different set of skills, interests and availabilities. By diversifying the opportunities you post on GetConnected, you increase the likelihood that an individual will see and be interested in your organization and volunteer opportunities.
With so many organizations and opportunities to choose from, a potential volunteer may overlook your organization if you only have one opportunity posted. Our top-performing nonprofit agencies consistently have multiple needs listed on their profiles, and they update those needs regularly.
With GetConnected 2.0 it’s even more important that your opportunities are interesting and engaging to volunteers! With our new system, GetConnected users receive an email when a new opportunity is posted by one of the organizations they follow.
Optimize Needs & Events
to Maximize Volunteers
Learn how to maximize the volunteer needs & event features of the GetConnected Program on www.HandsOnMaui.com.
In August 2016, volunteer needs were viewed 2,065 times by website visitors.
We urge you to take a few minutes to update and refresh your volunteer needs or events on the HandsOn Maui website. Creating an inspiring, compelling and motivating volunteer need/event title & description will increase your chance of volunteers responding to your opportunity. Simply describe your passion, do the work and get results… Take action today!
Just like with your agency profile, agency needs and events must be complete to receive the full benefit of GetConnected 2.0. Your agency’s needs and events contain important information volunteers need to know including:
- Time & Address – Tell your volunteers when and where to show up
- Description – Describe why this opportunity is a perfect fit for your ideal volunteer
- Age Requirements – This can be important from a functional and legal perspective
- Interests & Abilities – Your selections will help match this need with potential volunteers that may not know about your organization
Do you prefer written guidance?
If so, this tutorial on the steps to a complete agency needs and events is for you!