Seattle Works

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

HandsOn Affiliates Gather, Sharing is Caring October 8, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag,HandsOn Network,Our Team — seattleworks @ 4:22 pm

Last Thursday, Seattle Works, HandsOn Greater Portland, and the United Way of King County Volunteer Center gathered at UWKC for an all day joint staff retreat. We mixed, we mingled and we shared ideas.

What ties us all together? We have one common goal: engaging volunteers in our communities. Through the HandsOn Network, volunteer centers across the country are connected with each other in our efforts to make an impact. Whether it be one-off volunteer opportunities like Hot Projects; volunteering with a team of friends through Team Works; or training the next wave of volunteer leaders in board service or volunteer leadership.

All of our organizations differ, of course, but we help each other out, sharing resources, ideas and even program models.

Our day started out with  an icebreaker (duh! I think you all know how much we love icebreakers!) and moved into “What’s Up with your Center?” During this session we all shared about our programs, staffing structure, philosophy around engaging volunteers and what is unique about our organization. Let me tell you right now, all three of us are pretty rad!

We then broke out into affinity groups the rest of the day focusing on: Agency Support & Relationships, Training & Leadership Development, Events & Days of Service, Volunteer Centers in United Ways, Social Media, Disaster Preparedness, and a few others. It was a full day of hearing best practices, what hasn’t worked for other centers and overall resource sharing.

We had a blast getting to know some of our colleagues in the region. Thanks to HandsOn Greater Portland for traveling to Seattle and to UWKC for hosting us! We had a blast getting to know everyone and look forward to the many more opportunities to gather in the future!


Are volunteerism and employment connected? August 16, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 10:01 am

Are you currently looking for a job? Do you find yourself wondering what employers are looking for?

A recent article published by the Wall Street Journal indicates that service work may help you in the job market. According to a survey taken by 202 human-resource executives, more than 80% of them said they would be more likely to hire a graduate with skilled volunteer experience.

However, less than half of college seniors say they have considered volunteerism as a means to develop skills for future employment. 12.6% of 20-24 year olds are unemployed, yet less than one-fifth of them volunteer. If you are currently in college, a fresh graduate, or looking for a job, considering taking on a service role in your community to increase your marketability.

Potential employees, nonprofits, and employers can all benefit from skills developed through volunteer work. Lend a hand and get involved today!

We hope you enjoy our recap of this Wall Street Journal article


Companies now offering paid time off for volunteering August 15, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 10:59 am

Corporations are now finding out that one way to increase employee retention and community engagement is by having their employees VOLUNTEER!

Companies are not simply encouraging employees to give back in their free time, but some are starting to offer paid time off for personnel to connect with the community through service. In 2007, 20% of businesses were offering PTO for volunteer work, and this number has been steadily rising.

A general acceptance that Millennials are more likely to involve themselves rather than writing a check is one factor that is driving this movement towards service. Yet another is that since the economy is sluggish, people are incorporating engagement as a giving strategy.

We encourage you to get the conversation started. Talk to your employers about offering a similar program, because not only are you serving your community, but also overall engagement and retention rates within your company are being positively affected. You would have the opportunity to prosper both professionally and civically.

VisaVisa corporate project, 2012


Seattle Works can help you engage on the personal level or on the corporate level. If you prefer one-time commitments, we have Hot Projects. Would you rather work with a group of people over a 4-month period? Try Team Works.  We also coordinate corporate projects which allow you to serve alongside coworkers.

Learn more:

Hot Projects

Team Works



Read this article from the Washington Post!


Look what you’ve made possible so far! August 14, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 3:48 pm

We’re halfway through the year and are excited to share what Seattle Works has been up to. Thanks to your support, we have lots to report!


Plus, check out our schedule of what’s coming up in the second half of the year. We’d love to see you at an upcoming event.


Thanks for staying connected!


2013 Mid Year Donor Update-BW2013 Mid Year Donor Update-BW1


We walk our talk: Seattle Works volunteers, too! August 9, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag,Our Team,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 2:57 pm

A pretty big portion of our work at Seattle Works involves connecting incredible, willing volunteers with the organizations serving our community who need them. Not only do we connect you–Seattle Works staffers are volunteers and board members in the community ourselves!Image

I recently started my newest volunteer gig at FareStart and was peer pressured by my coworkers into bragging all about it on this blog!

So why do I volunteer? Well, for a lot of reasons–namely that I care very much about supporting the organizations in our community doing the work I couldn’t do alone. Also, it’s so much fun–no matter where I volunteer, it turns out that people who want to be involved in their community are people I like hanging out with.

Why am I volunteering at FareStart? I know I’m passionate about two very specific things: education and food–and FareStart happens to merge the two in a pretty incredible way.  My work schedule at Seattle Works stopped agreeing with my former volunteer gig teaching cooking classes through Solid Ground’s “Cooking Matters” program–if you love food and kids, check them out!–and after volunteering with the Seattle Works board at FareStart last year, decided to make the leap.

FareStart provides education and job training in the food service industry to men, women and teens who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. How do they do it? They run a restaurant and catering company–an incredible one–serving amazing food while also satisfying a huge community need.

Every Thursday night, FareStart hosts Guest Chef Night, in which a local chef takes over the kitchen–staffed by FareStart students–and creates a three-course meal for restaurant patrons. The front of the house is staffed almost exclusively by volunteers–large groups who serve as volunteer servers, as well as regular Thursday night volunteers–like me!–who help run food, fill orders and greet guests. Every week, 20 or so volunteers walk in the door with little to no serving experience, get a crash course in waiting tables, and walk out as  server extraordinaires! It’s fast-paced and the most fun I’ve ever had volunteering. I’m only one week in and I can’t wait for my next shift!

This is all to say: we at Seattle Works walk our talk! As volunteers, we know the power of a great volunteer experience–and hope we can keep connecting you to them for another 25 years!

If you’re interested in joining the FareStart volunteer team, they’d love to have you. There are many opportunities to get involved–beyond Guest Chef Night–and you can check them out on their website.


Curious about how to engage millennials?

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 11:11 am

Have you noticed that everyone you pass on the street is carrying a cellphone? Millennials are always plugged-in, meaning that ways we relay information to them are changing.




Below are some effective tips on from Case Foundation on how to connect with that guy you sat beside on the bus with ear buds in who was jamming to Macklemore.

  1. Ask them to ENGAGE. It is more beneficial to ask a Millennial to spread the word via social media versus asking them for a donation.
  2. Increase your digital presence. 8 in 10 Millennials have smartphones, so make sure that you have platforms and information that is accessible via mobile devices.
  3. Network via social media. Did you know that 3 out of 4 Millennials like, retweet, or share content on social media?
  4. Millennials tend to prefer messages from a combined cause rather than supporting a specific organization. When nonprofits join together, they get more attention to their cause and grow their supporter base.
  5. Be straightforward with your audience. Clearly define the mission, issue, and how the supporter can make a difference.
  6. Reach Millennials with email. This is a good medium for supporters to learn about causes—and saves us from spending postage money!
  7. Follow the lead of Twitter. After 140 characters, Millennials start to lose interest.
  8. Use pictures, GIFs, videos, and infographics. Millennials are visual learners.


Check out the full article:


8 weeks later–SW in the eyes of an intern August 8, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 1:02 pm

I only have one week left of work left here at Seattle Works, and frankly, I can’t believe it. Just yesterday it seems like I was learning the ropes of Outlook, Salesforce, and Greater Giving, and here I am fixing to say goodbye.

I am part of a program with 15 other students who are all working at nonprofits in the Seattle area. Reflection is a huge element of DukeEngage, so we get together twice a week to discuss work. In these sessions, I have the opportunity to learn about a variety of nonprofits around Seattle, such as Northwest Harvest, One America, and Seattle Tilth, among others.

One reappearing theme that has become apparent in my time here is how the VOLUNTEERS of Seattle Works are what really make it special. Any given organization can have volunteers, but every person that I have met associated with SW is downright AWESOME. Y’all (headed back to NC next week—so I have to reconnect with my southern roots!) are fun, lively, and easygoing. Along with these traits, you’re community-oriented and enthusiastic about making Seattle a nice place to live and work.

I will miss the ease of the west coast lifestyle, but I plan on staying connected with Seattle Works after I return to school. Now I know that it is easy to find a niche in volunteerism, something that SW has proven to me. Keep doing what you’re doing, and stay awesome. Thanks for being a Seattle Works volunteer.


Curious about what I’ve done around the city? Here is a (short) peek into my time in Seattle