Seattle Works

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

Collaboration is effective and smart (and what donors want to see!) January 29, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag,Training — seattleworks @ 4:55 pm

Last week was a great workshop hosted by the Puget Sound Grantwriters Alliance all about collaboration! Naturally we had to attend- at Seattle Works collaboration is something we pride ourselves on and we do it every day.

The three panelists were great and all brought different perspectives:

Nancy Long, Executive Director, 501 Commons
Rebecca McColl, Grants Officer, Antioch University Seattle
Sherrana Kildun, Director of Community Programs, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

Not to mention the very fun Ted Lord moderating! But this wasn’t simply a sit back and listen experience- instead we got to talk with each about examples of collaboration we’ve seen and what common threads wove our experiences together.

Although the focus was on grant writing it quickly became clear how useful collaboration could be in making a lot of our work more effective. All panelists were quick to stress that collaborations shouldn’t just be formed to make a grant application look more attractive but rather as a way to get more work done more effectively and ultimately do more good in the community.

If you’re a member of PSGA they’ve got the whole thing taped and on their website- you should definitely check it out! And if you’re not a member their website has some good resources still!

How have you collaborated successfully? We’d love to hear your stories.


Kira Cha spent two years in Costa Rica as a Peace Corps volunteer! January 28, 2013

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

1. Name: Kira Cha

    Neighborhood: Greenwood

    Years in Seattle: Less than 1 year

    Occupation: Boeing

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

The trails on my bike

3. Your first interaction with Seattle Works was…?

The Bridge

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

Any meal with friends

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

The Nature Consortium

6. Which coffee shop do you frequent most?

Recently, it’s been Jewel Box Cafe

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

Connecting, Exciting, Fun

8. Mariners, Sounders, or Seahawks?

Not really a sports girl…

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

The two years I spent in Costa Rica as a Peace Corps Volunteer

10. What makes someone a Seattleite?

Not using an umbrella in the rain



Another Benefit of Serving Others: Increased Self-Esteem! January 25, 2013

Filed under: Volunteer — seattleworks @ 3:27 pm

Who doesn’t want a higher level of self-esteem?  Here’s an easy way to up it: volunteering!

We found this article featuring a Q&A with a former executive from Disney/ABC Television who left his job to do 30 service projects in 30 days with 30 different organizations.  He found an unexpected result of doing this (among other things), was a better view of himself.


“…as I progressed through my month of serving others, my self-image began to transform. My feelings of doubt and insecurity were being replaced with feelings of being valued, needed and respected. I was reminded of just how much I have to offer others. It was truly a transformative process in terms of self-esteem, something I initially didn’t realize I needed and certainly never anticipated. I feel as if I discovered a secret path to positive self-esteem. – Brad Jamison


He also shares three tips to help anyone get the most out of any service project:

1. Be present.

Essentially block out the rest of what you have going on in your life while you’re at the project. Turn off your phone, or whatever else you have, and pay attention to what’s happening around you.

2. Check your ego.

Brad mentions that serving is “not about you” and he argues that service is a great equalizer.  Meaning no matter what you do in life, your age, skills, or anything else – you are equally as valuable at the service project as the person next to you.

3. Do what’s asked.

Have an open mind and follow the directions that are given to you, even if you’ve never done it before.  Every task that you’re being ask to do needs to be done – so get to it, and feel free to smile while you do so. Every bit of effort counts!

So do you agree? Do you think that by volunteering at projects that you have (or will have) a higher self-esteem?


Check out the full article:



Volunteer coordinators become the volunteers January 24, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 3:17 pm

We work every day coordinating volunteers. We recruit them, train them, match them, and support them. So it was nice this Martin Luther King Jr. Day to get down and dirty and volunteer ourselves. Irina, Ben, and I spent the morning with Zeno– one of our favorite nonprofits to work with! It was a refreshing change to be on the other side of the fence and realize how much just a few volunteers can do.

Two other fantastic volunteers came and joined us and we spent a couple of hours wrapping bottles, stamping cards, wrapping boxes, and prepping math card kits all while listening to the inauguration streaming on NPR and snacking on donut holes.

It was great to work with Carol Ryan who volunteers for as faculty for HandsOn Leadership and works closely with Hot Projects to provide a lot of great volunteering opportunities! Always a refreshing change to get into the field and see what a difference volunteers can make first hand- 31 bottles of wine and 5 raffle boxes wrapped, and 200 note cards stamped for Zeno‘s Make a Move for Math Fundraiser. All in only 15 service hours! Plus we got to learn about the great work Zeno is doing and why their mission is so important.

How did you serve during MLK Day?


Why are you investing in yourself? January 23, 2013

Filed under: HandsOn Leadership,Lead — seattleworks @ 5:49 pm

Last Saturday was the first half of our Winter HandsOn Leadership training. 19 emerging leaders came together and learned about leadership styles, project management skills, and how to fund raise as well as get to know each other over tasty Vietnamese food. We wanted to know what inspired people to invest in themselves by taking this class and what they hoped they would learn- so we asked them.

Some of the reasons people signed up for this class:

  • Make some connections in the community. Connect with some non-profits and build relationships with people and organizations.
  • A good leadership skill [set] that would be useful for me throughout life
  • More involvement in the community; awareness of community needs and resources; project management resources
  • Volunteer, learn about new things
  • Communication skills
  • Project management skills
  • I want to learn to be more involved in the community, to meet people and to learn to lead a small group for volunteer projects
  • A better understanding of all the parts of volunteering/project management

These leaders are getting the chance to work with some pretty cool partner organizations- projects are coming from Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Bent, Urban Artworks, Northgate READS, and Seattle Works is offering a project this round as well.

Next week is going to be busy for HandsOn Leadership– launching these new projects and supporting ongoing ones with Chip In! Be sure to sign up for our next round in Spring or come check out Chip In and drink some beer while learning about HandsOn Leadership. What’ll be your reason for signing up?


Sarah Field thinks Seattle Works is a great-way-to-meet-new-people-when-you-are-new-to-area January 21, 2013

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

1. Name: Sarah Field

    Neighborhood: Green Lake

    Years in Seattle: 2.5

    Occupation: Senior Advisor

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

Walk around Green Lake and the Ballard Farmer’s Market.

3. Your first interaction with Seattle Works was…?

It all started with the Hands On Leadership course.

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

Copper River Salmon right off the grill.

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

Plymouth Housing Group  Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

6. Which coffee shop do you frequent most?


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

Inspiring  Meaningful  Great-way-to-meet-new-people-when-you-are-new-to-area (that counts as one word, right?)

8. Mariners, Sounders, or Seahawks?

Definitely Sounders, but love the other teams too.

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

Running around trying to track down winners from the Leukemia Cup’s auction within 15 seconds.  It was a mad dash to quickly navigate through the crowd before the next auction item came up.

10. What makes someone a Seattleite?

Love for the town and people here.  We are all about the locals – small businesses, farmer’s markets, handmade goods, and chef-owned restaurants. If you care about this beautiful place, you are 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.


Team Works Is Getting Fancy January 19, 2013

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 2:30 am

Team Works is an all-around awesome experience: 15 people volunteer together once a month for 4 months, each time focusing on a different community issue at a different organization. Sounds cool, right? Well, it gets better.

The upcoming February – May round is going to be the best one yet. Not only are there 18 teams – who have great names and hilarious motto’s – but there are a ton of great projects that will be happening over the course of the round. In other words – Team Works is getting fancy!

Here’s a few projects these rockin’ teams will accomplish:

  • They will help assemble FUN activity materials for the Seattle Audubon Society. FUN serves 800 3rd and 4th grade students in Seattle Public Schools at no cost to the schools. Equipped with hand lenses and other tools, students in the FUN program are led outside to their school grounds by a volunteer guide to observe, investigate, question and share their discoveries. By assembling the kits, teammates directly benefit the students and volunteers who participate in this program.
  • They will be showing their love for Discovery Park  through environmental restoration. They’ll spend the day outdoors volunteering with their great team – all while listening to love songs (in honor of Valentine’s Day).
  • They will prepare Seattle Children’s PlayGarden for spring planting and the seasonal increase in visitors. They will help with projects such as: harvesting/adding compost, building forts for visitors to enjoy, hiding treasure for visitors to find in the mud pit, preparing wood construction projects for children to complete, tending to the chickens and rabbits, weeding, planting – and more!

Sound like fun? Well, that’s because it is! Join a fun and rewarding Team Works team now: