Seattle Works

A blog that documents all things Seattle Works…and much much more!

“Stop trying to figure out Millennials and just include them” July 31, 2012

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 10:50 pm

The title of this blog post comes from a participant in a Millennial focus group conducted for Achieve and Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates’ 2012 Millennial Impact Report. The report is 35 pages so if you have time to kill you can read it HERE. If you don’t feel like perusing the lengthy (yet informative) document, keep reading for our summary.

2012 Millennial Impact Report Summary

Research found Millennials wish for nonprofits to be more accessible and inclusive. They desire to give and serve in ways that engage their minds as well as their hands! Research found that nonprofits were not making a concerted effort to engage Millennials because they felt that Millennials were not worth the time and did not yield a high enough return on investment (for the record, Seattle Works believes Millenials are worth time).

When Millennials form long-term volunteer relationships, they tend to give larger gifts and encourage friends and family to give and volunteer as well. When they do volunteer, Millennials want a continuum of options – from one-time engagements to long-term opportunities – and, while they want the chance to work on the front lines delivering services, they especially want to leverage their knowledge, expertise, and backgrounds to help lead nonprofits. In particular, Millennials want to see more opportunities to lead on boards and committees.

Explaining the impact of volunteer projects can go a long way. In focus groups, many participants said that they have no problem doing filing, database work or other administrative tasks as long as they knew how that time benefited the organization.

Millennials also want to know that their financial gifts will have an impact, and are interested in seeing the tangible results that will come from their giving. They’re more likely to give larger gifts to organizations with which they have strong relationships.

Regardless of how they gave, many of the surveyed Millennials can be expected to act quickly when moved. In focus group discussions, participants also said they like to give “in the moment,” but that does not mean the gifts are haphazard or random. Millennials described a willingness to give based on emotion and in moments of inspiration, but they still want to know that their gifts will have an impact, and they’re more likely to give larger gifts to organizations with which they have strong relationships.


Research shows the first and most preferred way for a Millennial to learn more about an organization. While Millennials are attentive of social media and new technology, the website continues to serve as the primary and most frequented information point.


Three-quarters of survey respondents own a smartphone, thus giving them access to your nonprofit’s website and social media presences anytime, anywhere! Regardless of a nonprofit’s purpose, Millennials want to be able to have access to its information whenever and wherever they are.

Social Media

Facebook is more than just a passing fad. Of the 67% of respondents who said they have interacted with nonprofits via Facebook. While overall Facebook is more widely used, the focus group participants that used Twitter preferred it as a better way of building relationships with non­profits. They felt it was especially powerful when nonprofit leaders had their own account and shared insights from their perspective. Regardless of the social media channel, focus group participants warned nonprofits against using social media just to use it and not posting purposely to engage in conversations.


Team Works: Team C3

Filed under: Team Works — seattleworks @ 10:31 pm

Meet Team C3: Care, Contribute, Cherish

For all folks who care about giving back to their community, Contribute their valuable time and effort and Cherish the memories and friends they make in the process…


This picture was taken at their first project on Saturday, July 21 at the Seattle Center Foundation.


The rest of Team C3’s Team Works Projects will take place at:

– Science Materials Center on Wednesday, August 22

– North Helpline Food Bank on Saturday, September 15

– Eastside Baby Corner on Saturday October 20


Voter Registration On Facebook, First for WA! July 27, 2012

Filed under: Election — seattleworks @ 7:27 pm
Tags: ,

Here’s some cool election policy news for the state of Washington!

“Washington State will become the first in the nation to use Facebook for voter registration. The secretary of state will soon unveil an application on its Facebook page that allows residents to register to vote and then “like” the application and recommend it to their friends, according to this Seattle Times article. While you’re at it, make sure you like United Way of King County too!”

Public Policy Update,United Way of King County

While we’re on the topic, here’s some important dates to note on your calendars:

Primary Election

July 30 – Deadline for new Washington State voter registration (in person only)

August 7 – Primary

General Election

October 8 – Deadline for voter registration, address change and other updates

October 19 – Start of 18-day voting period (through Election Day).  Ballots are mailed out and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers.

October 29 Deadline for new Washington State voter registration (in person only)

November 6 – General Election

For my voting information, visit


Meet our 2012 Swank Auction Coordinator! July 26, 2012

Filed under: Our Team,Swank — seattleworks @ 4:14 pm

Oh hi there. I’m Eleanor Blackford, owner of bash & bloom and the 2012 Swank Auction Coordinator. I’ve worked with non-profits for almost 10 years now and am so excited to join the Seattle Works team. Now, on a daily basis, I get to plan events, boss people around, and be creative – I’m kind of living my dream job! I live with two little rescue mutts named Ruckus and Albert, and probably talk about them far too much. But they’re just so awesome, I can’t help myself!

I was born in England, grew up in Minnesota, went to college in Wisconsin (Go Badgers!), and lived in DC for 6 years before finding out that Seattle is exactly where I’m supposed to be. My English blood means that I don’t mind the weather here at all – I’ll take gray and rainy over snot-freezing 30 below zero any day. I’ve loved my time at Seattle Works so far, think the staff is amazing, and can’t wait to help throw another fabulous Swank event.


Travel to Peru with Seattle Works July 22, 2012

Filed under: Service Trips — seattleworks @ 10:10 am
Tags: ,

This year, Seattle Works is bringing you a partner program opportunity with Crooked Trails to travel to Peru to build smokeless ovens in the village of Vicos, high in the Andes Mountains.

Crooked Trails is an expert in sustainable traveling!  They provide immersive travel programs in support of indigenous peoples around the world.  For their trips they allow the host communities to take the lead, meaning that you have been invited to come to the village of Vicos and the community has developed the project that you will work on.  It’s an experience of true cultural exchange unlike any other.

The team of volunteers will be creating smokeless cooking stoves for the village.  These concinas mejoradas or “better kitchens” are becoming necessary for improved family health, saving money and conserving natural resources. These kitchens are designed to replace open fire pits which are currently what most families in Vicos use to cook.

A “better kitchen” means a stove, constructed in adobe with a steel plate on top plus a chimney to carry the smoke outside.  The warmth produced by these stoves will keep the entire room up to 15 degrees warmer – and take a fraction of the burning material as the current set up does.

Each family that has been chosen to receive a “better kitchen” is responsible for making adobe bricks and providing local materials and labor to help. You will be helping the families to build, as well as fund the rest of the project.  In about two days, the selected family and up to four volunteers will be able to complete an entire kitchen.

It’s not all work and no play though! Your late afternoon and evenings will be open for you to visit neighboring farms and families, eat around the fire with your host family, explore the area and sing and dance with all the new people you’ll have gotten know.

An unforgettable Machu Picchu extension is available and highly recommended – it is truly one of the great wonders of the world.

The service trip will be from Friday 10/19 to Sunday 10/28 and the optional Machu Picchu extension will be from Sunday 10/28 to Thursday 11/1.

The application deadline is September 4th.  Find out more details about this unforgettable experience and sign up.

We will also be having a happy hour get together at El Camino in Fremont on Thursday August 16 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.  Come meet people who are involved in global and local community programs and find out more about Seattle Works, Crooked Trails, and the Young Professionals International Network as well as our unique opportunity.

RSVP on the Facebook event.


The Seattle Works Office Gets A Face-lift! July 20, 2012

Filed under: Our Team — seattleworks @ 7:48 pm

Last Friday, the Seattle Works office got a little spruce up. We repainted the large (and very useful) whiteboard wall! The whiteboard wall was originally created when Seattle Works moved into its current office space almost three years ago. Thus, while the wall was still functional, it was becoming a little dingy from all the wear (and love) that it received in the past three years.


Bevin and Michael prepping to paint

We bought a few whiteboard paint kits and prepped the space. Then two coats of paint and a few hours later, the office had a bright and revamped whiteboard wall!


Michael slapping on the first coat

(If you’re interested of painting a whiteboard of your very own, we got the kits from Home Depot).


Seattle Works, An Innovation Hub July 17, 2012

Filed under: Innovation Hub,Invest,Lead — seattleworks @ 9:37 pm
Tags: ,

Seattle Works recently became a part of a new HandsOn Network strategy called Innovation Hubs (iHubs).  HandsOn Network is an enterprise of Points of Light and the largest network of 250 volunteer action centers across 16 countries around the world.  The centers help people to find and engage in volunteer opportunities in their local communities.

HandsOn Network is using iHubs to engage “a cohort of our strongest, most progressive market leaders to formulate innovative approaches and pilot best-in-class initiatives with the intent of scaling the most impactful opportunities to benefit the entire network, and ultimately, the communities we serve.”

Last year, through a competitive application process, we were selected along with 9 other affiliates to comprise the initial iHub cohort.  As part of iHubs, we received leadership development training, coaching and $30,000 in seed funding to launch our own concepts of innovation from resources by Points of Light’s Service Generation Campaign.  HandsOn network is planning to expand to 30 iHubs by 2014.

The full article can be found on the Points of Light Blog.