Seattle Works

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

How Strong Is Your Sweet Tooth? September 30, 2012

Filed under: Swank — seattleworks @ 10:12 am

If you’re willing to dish out some dough and push your way to the front of the line all for the sake of a frosted cake or peanut butter cookies – you could lead your table to victory! Swank’s Dessert Dash will give you a sugar kick for a good cause.

But, what is a Dessert Dash? It’s a great way to participate in Swank, give to Seattle Works and enjoy some immediate gratification.

Here’s the breakdown:

1. Bid!

It works kind of like our silent auctions. Before dinner, every table gets a bid form. Each person at the table can bid from $1 to $1 million (mmm… red velvet cake – it’s worth it). The total is then tallied, collected and each table is ranked in order from highest amount given to lowest amount given.  Each table then selects their speediest runner. Good luck!

2. Dash!

During the live auction there will be a couple breaks for the Dash. The auctioneers will announce the tables with the highest bids. From there, the selected table runners must run and claim the dessert of their choosing by sticking the table’s flag in it. Be aggressive and claim that cupcake prize!

3. Enjoy – yummy yummy

Your claimed dessert will be brought to your table for you to enjoy, all plated up and ready to dig in.

Needless to say, there is some pushing and shoving. You can try to be polite, but you’ll lose your chance at the French Silk Pie. It’s a dog-eat-dog world – but Seattle Works also knows that a little friendly competition has never hurt anyone… too badly at least.
Haven’t gotten your tickets to Swank yet? There’s still time!

Big thanks to Irfan Shariff, Social Media Committee member who wrote this post!


Seattle Works and Our Nonprofit Partners: A Love Story September 28, 2012

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 9:44 am

Every few months, Seattle Works opens our office to community partners–new and old–for our Partner Open House. It gives us a chance to meet face-to-face with some of the folks we email with all year, update them on all-things-Seattle-Works and hear how they’re using our programs. We always look forward to the event–and we always leave more in love with the nonprofits we work with every day!

On Wednesday, we had a chance to catch up with our friends at Northwest Chamber Chorus, The School for Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA), Seattle Public Schools, Small Faces Child Development Center, The World is Fun and Undriving, as well as meet new folks from Gage Academy of Art and Rise n’ Shine.

Our favorite part about our Open House is hearing our partners talk–especially to each other–about how they are using our volunteers and our programs to further the amazing work they are doing every day. From stories of Team Works teams tackling jackhammers and annihilating monster to-do lists to Bridge grads who are consistently impressing nonprofit boards around the city, we know the Seattle Works community is doing great work, and to hear it from the mouths of our partners just makes our day!

Thanks to all who stopped by on Wednesday–and we’re looking forward to seeing more of our partners at Open Houses in 2013!


The Bridge Kicks-Off September 27, 2012

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 11:26 am

Tuesday night marked the kick-off of the 2012-13 Bridge program. With one of the largest classes we’ve had in a long time (over 30 participants), we jumped right in with networking, nonprofit overview, and public boards and commissions. Participants of Bridge 1 represent a diverse grouping organizations, backgrounds and outlets. From corporate employees, to nonprofit administrators; arts, environment, and social issues. We have a wide range of interests in this group.

Beth Varner, Bridge participant, presents her group’s ideas on nonprofit organizational life-cycle.

I started out the evening with an icebreaker, this gave the group the opportunity to see where everyone is from. Jennifer Boehme Kumar then stole the show with Nonprofit Overview. Participants learned the importance of asking as many questions as possible before joining a board, being well-informed about what is expected of them, what they expect of an organization or board, and that passion is the key ingredient to being a successful board member. When asked what her key takeway from the night was, Rene Kendall, participant, said “Find a board that does work you have a passion for.” They got great tips like asking if the organization has Directors and Officers Liability and resources like BlueAvocado and GuideStar.

Amalia Leighton took over with a rundown on Public Boards and Commissions. Did you know that there were governmental boards at the county, city, state, and federal levels? And these boards are set-up very similarly to that of a nonprofit board. Unlike some nonprofit boards, however; these board and/or commission meetings are always open for the public to attend, so get out there and witness a city board meeting (FYI – they tend to be at 7:30 in the morning)! “A public board or commission sounds like the perfect opportunity for me. I am interested in moving my career from non-profit toward public policy or advocacy, and this could be a great way for me to learn how public decision-making works,” said Alison Saperstein, participant. There are boards and commissions for almost every project that happens. For example, there’s an advisory board for the Viaduct Replacement, a board for City Planning – the sky’s [almost] the limit.

We closed the night out with a quick case study about “the youngest person on the board.” The group said they learned valuable information, had a great time, and can’t wait to come back on Oct 9!

Finally, the Bridge has made its Twitter presence in a more “formal” way. Participants are even Tweeting from inside the HSDC conference room! #SWBridge

Stay tuned for more about this group of the Bridge and what they have to offer our community!

Want to be part of the next Bridge training? Registration is now open for the November Session (11/10 & 11/17). Get more info!  Sign Up Today!


The Showdown: Birthday Pie Edition September 26, 2012

Filed under: Grab bag,Our Team — seattleworks @ 4:46 pm

Once a month everyone at the Seattle Works office gets together for our staff meeting. We talk about our goals, our highs and lows, and whatever happens to be on the agenda this month (hello Swank!). It’s great to have a chance to see what everyone  else in the office is up too, we’re a small but mighty team and always like checking-in with each other. We also got to participate in a branding exercise, filling out the questions ‘We are the people who….’, ‘No one can……as well as us’, and ‘Our impact is…’.

Throwing their pie into the ring

Today was no ordinary staff meeting though. Bevin, our outreach manager, had recently celebrated a birthday. And we wanted to celebrate her with homemade sugary goodness, which meant a pie off.

The birthday girl with a handmade pipe cleaner sign by Eleanor

Judging is serious work

It was an epic battle: Katie brought in an apple pie topped with a glorious streusel finish, and Andy delivered a boozed-up pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream. In the end, only one could be the victor.

The team ate. And then ate some more. And finally, after much dithering (look at those serious faces!), cast their anonymous ballots. A special guest judge was brought in. Andy squeaked by with the win! But the real winners were the staff, since we all got two slices of pie. Jealous yet?


Why do you Swank? September 25, 2012

Filed under: Board of Directors,Our Team,Swank — seattleworks @ 8:23 am

We used our icebreaker time at the last board meeting to focus on SWANK!  Luckily our new AmeriCorps team was invited too, so everybody got to participate.

There were two sets of questions: one set for people who are SWANK veterans, and one set for those that get to experience SWANK for the very first time this year.

We asked our repeat offenders… Why do you SWANK?

  • High-energy, fabulous people spending an evening together for a wonderful cause.
  • It is a great night to celebrate Seattle Works.
  • To raise money for an awesome organization and attend the most happenin’ party in Seattle!
  • Because I get to dress up.
  • Great night for a great organization!
  • It’s a lot of fun and a great way to meet folks.
  • Because it is the single-largest source of revenue for Seattle Works and it is a great opportunity to share.
  • To stay young and swanky!
  • It’s one of the few events in Seattle that you can’t be overdressed for.
  • It’s the most fun way to support Seattle Works – no blackberry pulling [smiley]
  • Because I love good food, drinks and company!
  • Because I love getting all fancy, and seeing so many people supporting our organization.

So tell us – Why do you Swank?!


Anna Boone loves being by the water September 24, 2012

Filed under: 10 Question Profile — seattleworks @ 7:00 am

1. Name: Anna Boone

    Neighborhood: Greenwood

    Years in Seattle: 6

    Occupation:  Public Affairs Consultant

2. Where is your favorite place to go in Seattle?

I’m not one to have favorites, but I love being by the water – whether its Golden Gardens, Green Lake or the Sculpture Park.

3. Your first interaction with Seattle Works was…?

I joined Team Works six months after moving to Seattle. I met two of my dearest friends on that team!

4. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in the Seattle area?

Do I have to pick just one? Canlis. Or the Walrus and the Carpenter.

5. Are you involved with any other Seattle nonprofit organizations?

Yes – throughout the last few years I’ve volunteered quite a bit with groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Friends of Seattle. I also chair the regional alumni group for my college and volunteer for political causes and candidates.

6. Which coffee shop do you frequent most?

I try to stick to my morning cup at home, but when I do go out, I hit up the Cherry St. Coffee near my office in Belltown.

7. What three words best describe your experience with Seattle Works?

Energizing. Rewarding. Social.

8. Mariners, Sounders, or Seahawks?

Mariners! Summer afternoons at Safeco with a beer and peanuts are some of the best.

9.  What is your most (or first) memorable volunteer experience?

I got the volunteering bug in high school. What stands out the most isn’t a specific project, but rather the realization that we had the ability to plan something, rally a group of people, and then make a difference in the community. It was really empowering to see an idea become a tangible way to help people.

10. What makes someone a Seattleite?

Excellent question – I’ve lived here for 6 years and am just starting to feel like one. Having a sense of community, a strong network, and some favorite neighborhood spots at least set you well on the way to being “a Seattleite.”

This weekly 10 question profile is Seattle Works way of highlighting and saying THANK YOU to all that our volunteers, leaders, community partners, board members, committee members, etc do for our community! We’re asking the same 10 questions to various Seattle Works participants as a fun way to feature the different ways to be involved with Seattle Works and in Seattle.

Want to be profiled? Fill out this survey: and send a photo to yourself to Bevin at

P.S. In case you’re interested, the inspiration behind these interviews comes from NY Mag’s weekly blog post.


Ready to Serve? Seattle has you covered. September 23, 2012

Filed under: Grab bag,Our Team,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 9:00 am

So, how does a city get one of the highest rates of volunteerism in the nation? While we won’t rule out that there’s a special civic engagement brew in the Seattle drinking water, we like to think it’s due in part to the handful of amazing organizations in our city working to connect volunteers and get Seattleites psyched about service.

Last month, Tara and Katie repped Seattle Works at a get-together convened by our friends at United Way of King County where we had a chance to meet and hear about other organizations connecting Seattle volunteers. We met folks from BEAN Seattle; Flash Volunteer; I Care, We Care; One Brick Seattle; RSVP; and The World is Fun. From high schoolers, to seniors, to those of us with smartphones attached to our hips, these organizations make doing something easy for everyone! Interested in learning more about them? There’s a great wrap-up of our meeting over at United Way of King County’s blog.

The meeting got us thinking: what special sauce does Seattle Works bring to this fantastic brew of organizations? We think it consists of a couple of things:

  • We give you the tools to stay engaged at every stage in life. At Seattle Works, we think you can give back in four key ways: your time, your skill, your voice and your money. Your ability to give in each way might fluctuate throughout your life, but we’re here to arm you with the skills to give what you can, when you can–for a lifetime of community engagement.
  • We develop emerging leaders–and put them to work. We not only think giving Seattle Works participants the skills to lead makes sense for our community, it makes sense for us! There isn’t a program at Seattle Works that doesn’t rely on the work of volunteer leaders. We wouldn’t have Hot Projects without volunteer coordinators, Team Works without Team Captains and The Bridge and HandsOn Leadership without our volunteer faculty.
  • We provide easy points of entry and opportunities for growth–all under the same roof. At Seattle Works, you can find a one-time volunteer opportunity, become a volunteer leader or take your service to the next level by training to become a project manager or serve on a nonprofit board. No matter how involved you want to be, we’ve got you covered!

Between the opportunities provided by Seattle Works and these other great organizations, we’re pretty sure there’s no longer an excuse NOT to get involved, Seattle. Get servin’!