JB Hunt Spotlight: Empowerment Through Company Giving

This post is part of our Spotlight series, where we spotlight our incredible partners. We are so thrilled that GivePulse has been able to work with these nonprofits, institutions, and corporations!


JB Hunt employees engage with their community through Make-A-Wish  

The right reasons

JB Hunt has a long history of giving back to their community. As a Fortune 500 transportation company, their culture of giving thrives in part because of their trucking roots. Amy Bain, Executive Assistant to the Chairman and Manager of Company Giving and Volunteering with JB Hunt, believes this attitude permeates the company all the way to the individual truck drivers. “If something bad happened to you,” she says, “you wanted one of our trucks to stop, because they’d always get out and change a tire. That’s the culture we started with — we did things for the right reasons.”


“We wanted to be like those drivers changing tires. We wanted to get our hands dirty.”

It was that desire to make a direct impact with their community that led the company to reevaluate their model of giving. In the past, “No one ever got to get their hands dirty,” remarked Bain. “I think we wanted to be like those drivers changing tires. We wanted to get our hands dirty.”

JB Hunt also wants to make sure that they are giving for the right reasons: for the good of the community rather than for public approval. She finds that often, “people will say, ‘I didn’t know you did that,’ and that’s because we really want to keep our roots of doing it for the right reasons. And if we do it for the right reasons, people will come to us as their authentic selves.” 

Company giving 

Part of giving for the right reasons involves working with employees to find the best way to make an impact. That’s why JB Hunt has shifted from the term “corporate giving” in favor of the more employee-oriented “company giving.” “The company may be giving money,” says Bain, “but the employees are giving the impacts and the culture back to us.” 


JB Hunt employees donate $25,000 dollars to the American Heart Association 


“The company may be giving money, but the employees are giving the impacts and the culture back to us.”


This shift in focus from company to employees has altered the entire culture of JB Hunt. Employees “reinvest in their community,” says Bain, “but when they come in our doors, we’re a community. So whatever they do outside these walls, it affects the people we are inside these walls. We’ve just seen such a change.” 

“The biggest change that I’ve seen,” Bain adds, “is how people interact. When you’re in a Salvation Army line, serving food to someone who can’t afford a Thanksgiving dinner with a fellow employee, the next Monday at work when you guys are having a problem… it’s a lot easier to communicate when you know that person is a good person at heart, rather than just being mad over a dropped load.”


“It’s easier to communicate when you know that person is a good person at heart.”

Employee driven 

Bain recalls that before shifting their model from corporate to company giving, JB Hunt’s donations were based on what was most important to the executives rather than on what was most important to the majority of individuals working with the company. “We thought writing a check and getting a plaque would matter to people,” she says. Now, however, JB Hunt recognizes that “what matters to people is nailing a nail into a roof alongside a fellow coworker with Habitat for Humanity. It matters that they’re working with the kind of people who want to make the world a better place.”


“It matters [to our employees] that they’re working with the kind of people who want to make the world a better place.”

With this in mind, JB Hunt has developed a giving plan that incorporates employee ideas and values, allowing employees to vote on where the company gives money. Not only has this provided employees a stronger say in the company’s actions, enhancing a culture in which employee contributions to the community are fully valued, but this has also increased the scope of JB Hunt’s giving. “By letting the employees vote and go back to their organizations, we got so many different organizations that we had never heard of, and we were able to give them a donation that was employee-driven,” Bain says.

Individual impact, company culture

Rather than keeping giving separate from the daily working environments of employees, JB Hunt now ensures that giving is an intrinsic aspect of the culture. Bain notes that this allows for a new degree of authenticity. Employees “can come to work and be themselves, and know that there’s a group around them that will also help them overcome their obstacles and life-changing events. It makes such a difference. It helps us be more diverse; it helps us to build community. This year, we spent time educating our employees and treating them more like a nonprofit, to give them empowerment to get on GivePulse and go out [into their community].” 

Bain believes that “GivePulse helped us move corporate giving to company giving.” She says, “GivePulse has allowed employees who may not previously have volunteered to “get to an area where they feel safest, dip their toe in and get involved. And once they know, ‘I can do this, I can make a difference with just one hour’ — I just keep going back to the word ‘empowerment.’ I mean, it’s been really empowering. It’s giving. It’s empowering.”


“It’s giving. It’s empowering.”

This empowerment of employees has ramifications beyond their work with nonprofits. “When people feel good about themselves,” Bain says, “they plan for the future, they want to get ahead, they want to be in leadership.”

National giving

JB Hunt further empowers employees by calling upon the diverse skill and knowledge sets that they bring with them, as seen in JB Hunt’s participation in Wreaths Across America. JB Hunt works with many veterans, who “can step up and they can show their knowledge. They teach us how to lay a wreath at a ceremony; they teach us what it means to honor our veterans. I now know what a gold star family is. I know what someone in New York did for Wreaths Across America. It pulls us all together in a community, even if we are across a nation.”


A JB Hunt Truck mobilizes for Wreaths Across America

This sense of community across the country has also changed how JB Hunt responds to natural disasters. Previously, Bain says, if there was a natural disaster, “You were on your own.” Now, however, she says, “We as a company, we can get together, we can help each other, we can get help to those communities. We can use our trailers to haul products donated by our customers. I don’t know any disaster area that doesn’t need a trailerload of fresh water. It’s not just about the nonprofits; it’s also allowed us to mobilize and engage for real life disasters that hit our employees.”

Continuing to evolve 

JB Hunt is continuing to increase efforts that will bring the company together across the country to give back. Last year, they tested their first “field event” in Chicago; Bain says, “it worked out so well, so we are going to do from California to Pennsylvania.” 

Simultaneous giving spread across the country allows employees to feel united in a common cause. “Employees from five different field offices, thousands of employees, are going to be able to participate in events together. We can do that because of GivePulse. I can’t wait. We really want to spread it. We want to throw money where our mouth is.”

Growth like this relies upon a robust volunteer management platform: “We are able to do it because we can coordinate it and get everybody on the same page through GivePulse.”

Benefiting everyone

Bain also notes that GivePulse’s ability to build capacity for company giving is evident in WalmartGivesNWA. “Walmart came up with the NWA giving where they match — and we’re even able to tap in to that.” JB Hunt has been able to engage their employees through WalmartGivesNWA to increase their impact on the community. “It’s crazy that GivePulse can bring us even more attached to our communities. Different people, maybe they don’t work at JB Hunt, but we can still be attached to the good they’re doing in the community. Who would’ve thought that another company could benefit from a company’s giving? It just intertwines us so much.”


“GivePulse can bring us even more attached to our communities… It just intertwines us so much.”

At the end of the day, this feeling of connection stands out to Bain: “It pulls us all together in a community, even if we are across a nation. I just feel so much more connected. I’m respectful of more people. I’ve been able to learn by working with them and volunteering with them, their stories. Sometimes the grumpiest person is just trying to survive. They have a sick child, or an elderly father they can’t find care for.” 

“I talk about this all day long — I don’t feel like I can talk about it really professionally, because I get so worked up about it personally, because it means so much…I know all the bad, but there’s so much good too.”



“There’s so much good.”

Volunteer Recruitment

Volunteer recruitment is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a successful nonprofit. The question of how best to connect excited, authentic community members with impactful work remains critical for organizations to consider. Below, we have compiled a list of tips that we have gathered from our experience with nonprofits using the GivePulse platform.

1. Post Opportunities Effectively

Volunteers learn about community engagement work through many different sources. Determine ahead of time whether there are specific groups that might be particularly interested in volunteering with your organization and target your outreach appropriately. Are you looking for help from students? Do you think that retired teachers might be ideal for an education program? Find ways to ensure that your work reaches these audiences. Talk to higher education institutions and high schools, talk to churches, talk to corporations that offer giving programs. Aim your message directly toward the right people, and they will quickly make their way to your opportunity. Many of our partners, for example, post opportunities to university pages, amplifying their outreach for students.


Community partners of Brown University post opportunities to BrownEngage

2. Post Opportunities Digitally

Using online resources, whether social media or online platforms, can increase the range of people who see your opportunities. Options such as VolunteerMatch, Points of Light, and GivePulse provide online platforms to list opportunities and match them to interested volunteers; GivePulse and others offer the ability to link these posts to social media, maximizing the range of volunteers who might learn about your organization. Volunteers can also connect with opportunities via web and downloadable native app presence — joining a platform that offers both a web and downloadable app presence provides volunteers the ability to view opportunities no matter what device they prefer.


The GivePulse mobile downloadable app allows volunteers to seek opportunities in their area from their mobile device

3. Partner Up

Your nonprofit is one of many in your community, all engaging in important and overlapping ways. These nonprofits work with community members who would be excited to discover new opportunities. Engage with these nonprofits, sharing opportunities with each other’s volunteers. If you can illuminate the ways that your efforts coordinate and aid one another, and reiterate that an impact to one benefits all, you will encourage community members to volunteer widely and often, sharing their time across nonprofits. Such affiliations can expand the scope of the volunteers you reach. 


Fido’s Food Pantry posts opportunities to Hanna’s Home for Dogs, knowing that volunteers may be interested in working with both organizations

4. Discuss the Impact of the Work

We believe that it is crucial to show volunteers that they are making an impact; this manifests in the very language that we use to describe volunteer hours and donations. How are your volunteers making an impact? What will their engagement change in their community? If volunteers understand how their work will impact their community, they are more likely to want to volunteer. Include both stories and statistics to show how truly impactful their volunteering can be. You can use reflections and testimonials from other volunteers to reinforce these conversations. On GivePulse, volunteer reflections offer feedback to nonprofits that can help them to improve or can reveal the crucial ways in which their work benefits both themselves and the community. 


Through reflections, volunteers can provide testimonial to support the importance of your organization’s work in the community

5. Offer Information Up Front

Volunteers may be wary of participating in a volunteer opportunity when they are not sure of its exact details. In addition to ensuring that the time, date, and location are easy to find, make sure that you explain how volunteers will be engaging if they choose to sign up. Our partners often write detailed descriptions of upcoming events to ensure that volunteers have sufficient insight to make an informed decision. In addition, offer clear instructions about how to apply and how volunteers will be expected to report hours after the fact. Knowledge is a powerful catalyst for action.


Descriptions added to opportunities can provide information about necessary knowledge and intended impact, as well as anything else that an organization may deep important for potential volunteers to be aware of 

6. Stay in Contact

Sometimes a volunteer may express interest and then suddenly stop responding to emails. Follow up! Keep track of volunteers who have filled out applications but have not joined any volunteer opportunities. It never hurts to make sure that you have tried your best to reach these volunteers. If they decide to engage, they will make a lasting impact in your community. 


Our partners are able to message all those who have volunteered or expressed interest in their organization

7. Volunteer Management

Effective volunteer management is its own form of recruitment. When done well, volunteer management maintains existing relationships — and these current volunteers will recruit others of their own accord. When someone has volunteered in the community, reflect and have the volunteer coordinator chat with the volunteer about their experience and about opportunities to improve. This is also an excellent time to reinforce for the volunteer how they made an impact to the program and the organization.


Our all-in-one database helps nonprofits to collect and track information from a single place 

Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments! And if you use GivePulse, feel free to share how GivePulse has supported volunteer recruitment or where we could improve. We love to hear your feedback. 

To learn about how GivePulse can help you with volunteer recruitment, please contact support@givepulse.com.  

Dominican University of California Spotlight: Sustained Relationships

This post is part of our Spotlight series, where we spotlight our incredible partners. We are so thrilled that GivePulse has been able to work with these nonprofits, institutions, and corporations!

Sustainable Relationships

Dominican University of California, located in San Rafael, is a small school (just over 1300 undergraduate students) with a big mission: Dominican “educates and prepares students to be ethical leaders and socially responsible global citizens who incorporate the Dominican values of study, reflection, community, and service into their lives.” The university’s dedication to this mission is affirmed by its receipt of the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching “in recognition of the University’s exemplary institutional focus on community engagement.” 

Indeed, Dominican University of California is deeply focused on community engagement, as evidenced by the institution’s approach to service-learning. Dominican defines service-learning as “an educational approach that integrates meaningful community engagement with academic curriculum emphasizing critical reflection and analysis.” Dominican has built a service-learning program that create sustainable, reciprocal partnerships. These “deep, long lasting partnerships in the community” have emerged from a focus on quality over quantity — a focus that Dominican purposefully maintains. 


Dominican University volunteers encourage creativity in their work with students


These “deep, long lasting partnerships in the community” have emerged from a focus on quality over quantity — a focus that Dominican purposefully maintains. 

“Even if our students are only there for fifteen, sixteen weeks a semester, we have more students coming the next semester,” says Julia van der Ryn, Executive Director at the Center for Community Engagement. “A lot of times we do retain students, but this way it’s not about getting students to stay at a partner — it’s about us being able to sustain the partnership by constantly sending students to work with the partners every semester.” 

Reflection and Retention

While Dominican has created a system in which the partnership lasts beyond individual involvement, retention of students is certainly important, and van der Ryn says that use of GivePulse correlates to student retention at a given community partner. Use of GivePulse suggests “something very indicative about the organization — their effectiveness and the culture they’re interested in creating.” The partner sites at which “students have really the most sense of belonging and really are excited to be there, making strong connections” are “the same partners that really value reading the GivePulse reflections of our students.” Indeed, some partners even print out the reflections; reflections are a key tenet of community partners’ learning about how community members are engaging. 


Community partners with whom “students have really the most sense of belonging… are the same partners that really value reading the GivePulse reflections of our students.”

Dominican University of California thinks that this interest in student reflections might point to “the particular people who are supervising our students, and their approach, and the culture they want to create at their site.” The sites with cultures that support sustained student involvement are the same ones “who tell us how interesting it is to get the insights of the students.” The benefits are mutual; these same partners say that they “take ideas back from the students” to their organization and leadership. 

Dominican plans to “form a group of our community partners” to talk more about the culture they can create: “We know it creates more sustainability in terms of our students wanting to return to those partners, which translates to more success in helping the people they’re serving in their community.” GivePulse, according to van der Ryn, has “helped strengthen these sustained relationships — they’re more relationships than just partnerships.” 

Becoming Part of the Community

The degree to which community partners were using GivePulse came as something of a surprise to Dominican. Dominican “had no idea the extent to which they were accessing or reading” reflections. 

This extensive use of GivePulse shows how much it has helped community partners. Community partners see the value of this system. It “inspires them to hear from students,” particularly given that they “welcome feedback to improve their programs.” Additionally, nonprofits are able to use the data gathered from GivePulse for grant applications, and are able to build program capacity through the influx of Dominican University of California students. 

This is crucial given the many ways that partners engage with the community. Some partners, like Canal Alliance, have a variety of aspects, including “adult ESL, middle school and after school programming, legal services, a food pantry — all these multiple, wrap around services.” 


Community partners often engage with a variety of causes

With GivePulse, the university becomes “part of the community” working toward these varied goals. Before using GivePulse, an Excel spreadsheet that needed regular manual updates was used to maintain an accurate record of student involvement. Now, Dominican can keep track of student engagement “in real time,” and can know exactly where students are engaging.

With GivePulse, Dominican can keep track of student engagement “in real time,” and can know exactly where students are engaging.

Dominican can also keep track of any issues or “things that need to be ironed out,” both by accessing student reflections and by accessing logistical information about which students have registered for courses and site placements. This provides an “overview of where the [service-learning] class is at any time.” In this way, GivePulse provides a snapshot of engagement.

Beyond Mandatory

Faculty members appreciate this snapshot in their service-learning classes, describing GivePulse as a “go-to” for making sure that their classes are “on track.” Faculty incorporate GivePulse in different ways — some ask only that students record their hours, while others use the platform as a repository for prompts, essays, and other qualitative forms of information. 

In all of these cases, student usage is mandatory; faculty include GivePulse usage in evaluating students, incorporating grades for both hours and for impact reflections. 


Faculty members describe GivePulse as a “go-to” for making sure their class is “on track.”

Student participation sometimes starts at this mandatory level and grows into individually motivated use of the platform. One student, Michael Gomez, began using GivePulse to record his hours for a service learning course. From this course, he was hired for a service-learning job, and ultimately took over the position that trains students for service-learning at Canal Alliance. 


Dominican University students paint with community members


Another student, Karla Hernandez, also works with Canal Alliance. She took a service-learning class and “just became so impassioned” that she declared the Community Action & Social Change Minor and became an SL student leader in the organization. Her belief in the importance of using GivePulse’s capabilities is palpable: when in charge of verifying student hours, Hernandez refused to verify reflections if students did not write enough or were “vague and slapdash,” writing to tell them that they “need[ed] to write more.”

Service Learning Opportunity

These stories do not just point to students become increasingly adept at GivePulse — they also reveal the importance of service-learning as gateways to opportunities in community engagement organizations. Dominican is aware of the importance of community engagement not just to the community, but also to the students involved. 

On their website, Dominican cites studies that show that “Service-learning and student-faculty research can boost your learning and other gains like personal and social development by 81%,” and that “69% of employers are more likely to hire someone who’s done a community-based project.” The university offers mentorship through integrative coaches and academic advisors to direct students toward community engagement opportunities aligned with their personal and professional goals. 

GivePulse helps the university to leverage students into positions that provide increased access to work in areas in which they are interested. By seeing which students “really seem engaged” on GivePulse, the university can “tap” these students for future roles in student leadership, and can encourage them to consider majors and minors that call upon their work in the community. In this way, GivePulse offers growth opportunities for students invested in community engagement.


GivePulse offers growth opportunities for students invested in community engagement.


Students can also use hours and reflections recorded on GivePulse to propel them into new roles and opportunities. The records maintained on GivePulse help students to access “their history and use for future references, jobs, etc.” 

Unimaginable

The data GivePulse maintains must be organized in such a way that users can easily find and use their records. Dominican feels that having a detailed implementation plan is the most critical factor for universities intending to use GivePulse. Even though they describe themselves as a small university, there are many questions to answer; according to Jenny Bray, Service-Learning Program Coordinator, key questions include: “Who owns what information and who wants to share hours? Who wants to play?” Understanding the interests of different parties using the platform can help to set GivePulse up in a way that offers the most benefit to all.  

This involves, crucially, “thinking ahead of time”: figuring out where information should fall in regards to partnerships and departments, which individual contacts to set as admins for nonprofits and how best to make sure that the information all comes back to the university at the source. There are “tons of layers,” Bray says, which “makes GivePulse great.” Her advice “is really think out first how you want to use it and then kind of go from there.”


“I can’t imagine going back to life before GivePulse.” 

Elements that they suggest planning before beginning the implementation include deciding which departments will use GivePulse, determining how to make sure partners can be shared between different subgroups, and establishing single sign on to streamline the login process. 

They also stress the importance of having someone on the staff who knows GivePulse well and can train others. Creating trainings and Powerpoints that help users understand exactly what workflows to use makes the process “easier and easier.”


“In terms of the logistics and being able to have that bird’s eye view of what’s going on at the beginning of the semester — that is priceless.”

With these steps in place, gathering information becomes as easy as the push of a button. As van der Ryn points out, “The student reflections, all of that — that’s all great, that’s all the icing, but in terms of the logistics and being able to have that bird’s eye view of what’s going on at the beginning of the semester — that is priceless.” Bray agrees, adding that GivePulse offers vast benefits in terms of “the history” and being able to see who was where and for how long. “For the students, faculty, and administrators,” she says, “it is amazing to be able to so quickly access that data.” 

Perhaps it is for all of these reasons van der Ryn says of the platform, “I cannot imagine going back to life before GivePulse.”

UAB Spotlight: Committed to Change

This post is part of our Spotlight series, where we spotlight our incredible partners. We are so thrilled that GivePulse has been able to work with these nonprofits, institutions, and corporations!

Bringing community to the university


UAB volunteers teach elementary school students about physiology 

The vision statement of the University of Alabama at Birmingham affirms the university’s dedication to “inspiring and empowering the creation of knowledge that changes the world.” This is perhaps natural given UAB’s location in a city historically invested in community change. Emily Wykle, project director in the Office of the President at UAB, emphasizes the importance of Birmingham’s “really deep commitment” to community engagement. The city itself offers “very fertile ground” for civic work, she says, adding, “You don’t have to be browbeating people to get involved. You have the appetite.” 

This community-wide energy for change is evident in UAB’s broadly reaching implementation of GivePulse. UAB established their GivePulse domain (dubbed “BlazerPulse”) in the fall of 2018. According to Wykle, GivePulse has been “kind of the overlay” for the city’s work. “There’s already exciting things happening,” she notes. With GivePulse, the university can “give others a way in.” 



“There’s already exciting things happening,” Wykle says. GivePulse can “give others a way in.”

Before using GivePulse, connections between the university and the work happening in the community were sometimes, in Wykle’s words, “kind of random.” Faculty members looking for organizations with which to engage often experienced difficulty in locating the greatest community need, while community partners did not always know how to access the university’s resources. In addition, to track data, UAB used “a kind of homegrown survey that I don’t think I would be speaking out of turn to say was a big disaster. There was no way to analyze it, not a great response rate.” 


The “cluster” view of various UAB activities happening in Birmingham

GivePulse provides resources that analyze both qualitative and quantitative information. One example that Wykle sees as particularly beneficial is the engagement heat map, which she says “gets people so excited, and I think that’s really driven a lot of exciting partnerships.” She recalls working with Hands on Birmingham, a United Way sponsored organization, for their Back to School Beautification Day. The UAB community was invited alongside the broader Birmingham community to work with people in the neighborhoods where each of the city’s schools were housed. Wykle considers this a key facet of being part of the various communities in Birmingham: “This has been a way for us to work alongside them. A more opportune way.” 



“[GivePulse] gets people so excited, and I think that’s really driven a lot of exciting partnerships.”

Mutually Beneficial Partnerships

Through GivePulse, the question of how to create a mutually beneficial partnership is answered by design. Community partners can see the forms of engagement supported by UAB and can open aligned opportunities; in turn, students, faculty, and staff at UAB are able to find and engage with the opportunities that most need their help. 


UAB students gain hands-on knowledge of farming in Birmingham 


In this way, UAB has found in GivePulse “essentially a civic giving form” through which community partners and nonprofits can consider how to connect their needs to the strategic goals of the university. UAB, meanwhile, can see both “the strategic connection” and “whether that organization is invested in what [UAB is] doing.” This helps UAB “to make better decisions around who [they] support, and also democratizes the process.” Any nonprofits can sign up on GivePulse; no longer reliant on hearing about engagement opportunities through connections and networking, nonprofits now have a “front door” to the resources of the university. 


A bubble chart showing UAB engagement by specific causes


GivePulse helps UAB “to make better decisions around who [they] support, and also democratizes the process.”


In addition to accessing information about the possibilities available, UAB can now also see the work with which staff and students have already been engaging. Wykle recalls using the system to determine who had logged the most hours on BlazerPulse and finding a woman who, unbeknownst to Wykle, had been working night shifts at a crisis center. This user logged more than 700 hours with the center. Through GivePulse, this record was suddenly easily accessible, allowing UAB to “highlight her and recognize her for her work.” Furthermore, this knowledge allowed UAB to strengthen connections with the crisis center, helping more volunteers to engage in this work. 

Community Energy

UAB brought community partners onto GivePulse “really early, like before we really knew what we were doing,” recalls Wykle, adding, “I can’t believe we did that!” UAB organized a meeting with about fifty nonprofits in Birmingham that they had “deep relationships with, deep history” — nonprofits that the university knew “would go out on a limb” for them. Community partners soon began to expand their presence on GivePulse. Now, they are not just “using it for UAB,” Wykle says. “They’re really using it to get volunteers to sign up from other parts of Birmingham.” 


Nonprofits are really using GivePulse “to get volunteers to sign up from other parts of Birmingham.”

UAB maintains the community energy that first brought the partners to GivePulse by meeting with them twice a year, which, particularly in the early days of using GivePulse, offered an opportunity to hear what was — and was not — working. Wykle recalls learning that the Office of Conduct, when assigning students community service, did not count GivePulse as a valid way to track service hours, something that she would not have known had community partners not brought this to her attention. This opened an opportunity to have a conversation with the Office of Conduct, resulting in the confirmation of GivePulse as the primary method of tracking service hours across the campus.

Campus-Wide Implementation

Since implementing GivePulse in fall of 2018, UAB has created over 200 subgroups and recorded over 30,000 hours of community activity. While these numbers might seem overwhelming to build into any platform, UAB maintains an organizational system that calls upon feedback from across the institution. Wykle emphasizes the importance of building a system of liaisons across departments, colleges, and organizations on campus, all of whom can offer feedback throughout the implementation process. At the start, “there were some hiccups,” but with the help of a diverse group of faculty members, UAB was “able to say, ‘Here’s where faculty are getting stuck, here’s what’s sticky.’” 

Wykle also emphasizes the importance of support at the top tier of the institution; because she works in the president’s office, the engagement “has really has come from the top down.” This is critical: “Having it come from the top down gives it a sense of [being] something we are really committed to and interested in.” Perhaps more importantly, every department and college at the school is focused on community engagement. “Each of the schools has a community engagement part of their strategic plan,” she says, and adds, “We can meet them where they’re at… [it’s] not just a central helping us kind of thing, but can help at a school and department level.” While each department and college may have had different practices of engagement prior to the implementation of GivePulse, centralizing the data and the tracking system allows for these different colleges to share knowledge, opening the university to stronger community engagement in every field. 

It helped that faculty members immediately recognized the need for this platform from their own experiences with community engagement. As Wykle notes, “They were going to be with us from the outset. This was something that was important to them.” This was true both of faculty members whose time was spent primarily in the classroom and of faculty whose focus was primarily on research. The latter group is important to UAB: “We are a research university,” Wykle says, adding that it is important to the university to figure out how GivePulse can “help you leverage the research and work you’re already doing and use it to translate… [to] actual value in people’s lives.” The main question UAB still hopes to answer, she adds, is, “How are we taking the teaching, research, all of the knowledge being generated here, and [translating] it to making people’s lives better in Birmingham?” Accentuating this focus for the research side of the university supports UAB’s vision of changing the world through acquisition and creation of knowledge. 


It is important to the university to figure out how GivePulse can “help you leverage the research and work you’re already doing and use it to translate… [to] actual value in people’s lives.”


While faculty interest and recognition of the valuable ways GivePulse could be used were critical when establishing the platform, Wykle feels that equally crucial to successful implementation was positive student response. Students quickly adopted GivePulse, providing feedback and recording hours at a rate that surprised even the most enthusiastic faculty members. Because of their consistent use of GivePulse, students create data containing detailed information that UAB can use to understand how and why they are interacting with the Birmingham community. 

When asked if she had any advice for other universities implementing GivePulse, Wykle says, “If we had waited until everything was flawless and then invited community partners in, that would have been a major misstep.” Instead of waiting until their implementation seemed perfect, UAB was “really honest about building the plan,” asking for feedback and input from community partners, students, faculty, and staff throughout the process. Ultimately, it comes down to seeking feedback from a variety of sources to ensure that everyone — community partners, students, faculty, staff — can engage in a way that changes the community for the better. As Wykle advises, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” 


Guest Writer: Transition to GivePulse – Tips for Success

JCU student at a service-learning placement

John Carroll University (JCU), a Catholic liberal arts institution outside of Cleveland,Ohio with some 3,500 students signed-on with GivePulse in the spring of 2017 with an anticipated launch in fall 2017. They were moving from a custom-coded database that was difficult to navigate, hard to work with, and was quickly becoming obsolete for their expanding needs and level of student engagement. In planning for a successful migration to the GivePulse platform, they developed an integrated implementation plan and worked closely with a variety of key stakeholders at the University to make sure they would be ready to go live for fall 2017. Now after a successful launch and a full academic year of use by students, faculty, and staff, the director of the Center for Service and Social Action at JCU, Katherine Feely, SND, shares her five tips for success and other helpful hints when thinking about your own transition to GivePulse.

  1. Work closely with your IT department – Review the technical dimensions of the product, including data security, firewalls, scripts needed to run, and the data interface with your student information system. Involve your IT team every step of the way. Enlist their support to migrate the data from your previous platform.
  2. Test the Data – Before doing anything test the integrity of your existing data to make sure you have everything you need.  Identify the essential fields that will be migrated over and match them to the appropriate fields in GivePulse. JCU migrated test data first, comparing that data to their “reliable and verified” data and checked for errors. JCU found key data elements that needed to be re-uploaded, fields that didn’t match up, and scripts that had to be adjusted. Once satisfied, we proceeded full-force with the data migration.
  3. Training, Training, Training! Train every staff member. JCU trained all summer before going live (even those who didn’t necessarily need to know the new platform). Work together as a team so everyone understands the platform. Create a training plan with step-by-step instructions to make sure key stakeholders understand the new platform before going live. Create “test” events, registrations, activities, partners, courses, etc. so you can understand how to navigate each one. Staff members should navigate the site as a student user in order to understand navigation from their perspective.
  4. Utilize the GivePulse Team – Periodic Zoom calls to GivePulse are a great way to go over various features if you can’t understand a feature on our own. JCU staff would explore different features, gather questions in summarized format, and email them in advance to the GivePulse team, then we would work through the questions during our calls.  By working together in the actual platform and gaining a greater understanding of the architecture and capabilities of GivePulse, we could gain the confidence we needed to launch and avoid the pitfalls of ignorance.
  5. Monitor the Roll Out – Have all eyes on roll-out when going live and catch things early!  At JCU we had 600 to 700 students registering for academic service-learning placements during the course of four days. We knew that if we were going to fail, we were going to fail big. We had a few early registration roll outs with targeted courses to make sure all would work as hoped. During these first few days, we were in close touch with GivePulse to troubleshoot and their team was amazing! Their responsiveness and assistance made a huge difference – that was part of the success.
Our Challenges
  • Moving away from a complicated custom-coded database, we had to figure out what we really needed to keep, and what we didn’t.
  • We really had to learn a whole different language and a way of engaging with the registration process. It could be challenging at times, but it was totally worth it.
  • Personnel changes! We lost our database staff member just before the migration started, making it a huge challenge, but it forced me as director to really get in the weeds and learn about GivePulse from the inside out.
Getting Buy-In from Stakeholders
  • Schedule meetings with your various stakeholders to showcase what GivePulse can do. We provided presentations to various departments and decision-makers, showing them how they would benefit from using the platform, and how it could ease their workload.
  • Meet with your director of IT and some team members.  We conferenced with the GivePulse team so we could clear up as many technical questions about data integration, security, etc.  With their support, everything went very smoothly.
  • After completing the first full academic year with GivePulse, we met with our IT director and the team to thank them for their support, and to show them what a difference GivePulse made in our work, data analytics, and in providing an excellent student experience. They appreciated seeing how their hard work and input mattered in advancing the mission of the University.
What Would I Do Differently
  • Not very much. We had a full year of lead time, and we needed it.  Migrate early over the summer – not in August.

GivePulse is a great platform.  It was an excellent choice and has such robust capacity that we are so glad we made the switch. We would never think about going back to the risk and headache of a custom-coded database when we have such a great platform and a team of technical and higher education civic engagement experts partnering with us at GivePulse.



Katherine Feely, SND
Director
Center for Service & Social Action
John Carroll University

iPhone & Android: GivePulse Mobile App 2.0!

We are excited to introduce you all to our new mobile downloadable iOS and Android app. The GivePulse Mobile App 2.0 comes packed with additional capabilities to allow a seamless search and discovery process for events and groups, an easier tracking experience for community engagement, and a consolidated inboxing system to organize all communication on the go!

Screens: These are some screenshots of the mobile app.

These screenshots of our mobile app include: the list/map view, details view, and dashboard view.

We designed and developed this GivePulse iOS/Android app for Volunteers, Members and Administrators (who can use its inboxing feature to communicate with their volunteers).  The mobile app is supported to work on iOS and Android devices (phones and tablets). On this post, we will focus our energy sharing key areas we think is important for all users!

Fun Fact: We currently have 2 downloadable apps in both the iTunes and Google Play store. One is for individuals (volunteers or members of organizations to browse and track their engagement, and we recommend admins to use it for communication). This is the focus of the blog post. The other one, called GivePulse Sign-In (is meant specifically for admins, checkin attendants, or site leads to sign-in individuals on the go or in kiosk-mode so volunteers can walk up to sign-in or even clock in/out).

Login

When using the new GivePulse Mobile App 2.0, users will have a few options to login or authenticate as shown below:

Login: We have multiple types of authentication methods to streamline login

Register if you don’t have an account or use existing authentication methods.

Over the course of the past year, this is by-far the biggest improvement to our mobile downloadable app. As shown on the left, we now include multiple authentication options (namely Single Sign On) to support the diverse set of users GivePulse supports. With these abilities, we are able to ensure our enterprise clients can encourage their communities to log in with existing credentials. This will protect them from duplication of data, accounts and a number of different security factors. We believe having these options will provide a single access point for all users to login seamlessly.

Fun Fact: You can login to any of the options available (Email, Facebook, Google and SSO). If there are multiple accounts created, these accounts can be merged together so all authentication methods end up on the same account/profile. In the case you want to register without using the existing authentication methods, you can press the “Register” option at the top. This workflow will drop you into a few steps to complete.

Navigation

When logged in successfully, you will be able to see the following at the bottom navigation (these options appear at the top for android):

Navigation: Shows the primary options for mobile navigation

As shown above, these are what we believe are the most important menu options to help navigate in the app. You can tap on any of the following –

  1. Search: Allows the end user to browse and search for regional events and groups to register or become a member of
  2. Dashboard: Pulls together a list of groups you are a member of, upcoming events registered to, previously attended events, etc., This can be used as a quick way to track and confirm your engagement
  3. Add Impact: Allows individuals to track their engagement. If their administrator decides to ask additional questions or specific details of the activity, these will be populated too
  4. Inbox: Allows individuals to communicate back and forth within the app. People who receive messages will get push notifications every single time there is a new message
  5. Profile: Pulls together a list of details to summarize the individual’s engagement in the community

Search & Browse

On the “search” experience, you will immediately access a map/list view of local events and groups in your region.

Fun Fact: If you decide you want to search a larger radius, you can “pinch” the screen so that it will zoom in or out. Pinching will also increase the search radius too! Note, we haven’t launched in all the cities yet, but we do anticipate to do so with your help!

View: Displays map pin that you can select to see more details.

You can zoom in and out on the map and click on the pins to see more details of the events or groups.

List/Map View: Shows items you can interact with and see more details.

You can drag and drop the list view which is overlaid on the map and interact with both views together.

The map and list views are interactive, meaning users can drag up and down the list view and see a whole map view in the background. Users can also choose to browse through the normal list view without the map. Whenever there is a specific event or group of interest, the user can tap more to see the details. A modal will be displayed to show some details of the event.

Dashboard

Dashboard: View Groups you are member of

Screenshot of how it looks viewing groups from the dasbboard.

In the case, the user has existing memberships or groups they are a interested in, they can navigate to the “dashboard” shown on the right.

The dashboard helps aggregate together the groups and events the individual is associated with. This will  make it easier for the user to quickly access these on the go.

In many instances, an individual primarily will use the app to register to an event, join a group or discover new experiences. Beyond this, the secondary actions include tracking one’s engagement and interacting with those on the platform to organize the logistics of the events.

Add Impact

As shown below, you are able to search and select organizations to track your engagement (be it service hours or other outputs):

Add Impact: Track your engagement

Shows a list of potentially required areas sections, like Group, Event, Date and the outputs that help tell the story.

This workflow will continue to evolve as we learn more about its usage. With this in mind, we anticipate adding new enhancements in upcoming versions to streamline the tracking process.

Now moving forward, individuals can leverage the mobile app to track their engagement on the go. Since we encourage accurate data tracking, there is a workflow established which requires users to fill in the basic information: e.g., the group has to exist, an event is optionally associated (and dependent on the group admin’s setting), and the date and outputs must be inputted to go to the next screen.

Fun Fact: There are potentially additional questions the admin can add into the workflow, like adding qualitative custom fields. For example, when administrators want to add reflection questions or a scale to determine user feelings or sentiment, custom fields  can be applied to the workflow too.

Inbox

Inbox: Shows a list of conversations you might have

Inbox: Pulls all the communication you are having within the app so simplify messaging on the go.

We conclude this post by introducing you to the Inbox! The mobile downloadable app now has an inbox that can organize all your conversations on the go.

For example, if you were a volunteer who reached out to the organizer and wanted more details on the event, you can now do this within the app. Or, if you were an admin, responding back to volunteer questions, or doing message blasts with all your constituents, you can now do so again on the mobile app!

The inbox benefits individual volunteers and the administrators. With this in mind, we recommend all GivePulse users to download the app to manage conversations to improve response rates.

Fun Fact: If you receive a message, you will be notified by a Push Notification…way better than an email and it is free from SMS charges!

We believe the inbox will be a great foundation to let all users respond back in a efficient manner.

Splash screen for the mobile app

Generic splash screen which we will change from time to time

And there you go, that’s a skinny! From the search experience to the inbox experience, we have rewritten our existing app with a 2.0 release. There is still waaaaayyy more to come and we are excited to give you a glimpse of version 2.0. Hopefully we have also given you a few hints towards what may be coming soon on our roadmap! For those who want to be a part of the roadmap, please contact our product team at product@givepulse.com 

Remember, there are 2 apps we support: 1) predominantly for volunteers, which this blog describes, and 2) another focused on allowing admins and event managers to track who signed in or as a way to expose a kiosk mode to allow people to “clock in and out”.

We continue our goals to innovate in this space. We believe with these new additions, we are one step closer to help our partners understand their impact in the community!

And… if the above was too long to read…

TL;DR

Below are a few of the benefits to using the iOS or Android downloadable app.
Volunteer, Member, Participant, Registrant
  • Login (Gmail, Facebook, email or even Single Sign On – your institution or business’s internal authentication/sign in method)
  • Discover, browser and search events and groups to join
  • Register or cancel registration of events
  • Answer custom fields or questions requested by admins
  • Review profile and manage your Dashboard of events and memberships
  • Manage events you are registered to (Dashboard)
  • Oversee your memberships (Dashboard)
  • Communicate and message people (Inbox)
  • Contact the organizer, planner or admin
  • Add impact (service hours & reflection) to any group or event

To download the iOS app for volunteers: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/givepulse/id633874815

To download the Android app for volunteers: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.givepulse.givepulse

Note (we now advise admins to download the primary app which includes both admin and end user capabilities).

Admin & Event Manager
  • Sign in folks on the go
  • Put the app into Kiosk Mode and Clockin/out folks
  • Verify one’s hours/activity

Tips for Preparing your Carnegie Application

GivePulse is excited to provide the platform for institutions of higher ed to apply or renew their Elective Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The application cycle for the 2020 classification opened early this month. 

GivePulse is partnering with the College and University Engagement Initiative of the Swearer Center at Brown University to support campuses across the United States and beyond in preparing their applications.

Brian Halderman, our Director for Community Engagement and Success, has assisted campuses in previous application cycles. Below, he shares a few pointers for preparing your application, including collecting data and creating the narrative elements for your application. In the near future, he and the GivePulse team will share stories, updates, and important information about the Carnegie application and similar frameworks to help you assess and scale the work you do within your community.

Tips for Preparing your Carnegie Application

Build Community

Gather a committee of representatives from across campus that can help you pull together the required elements for the application. Think broadly about representation and the possibility of including individuals beyond the centers and departments doing community engagement work. For example, consider your institution’s communications, provost and president’s offices, among others, that may be able to provide strategic insights, examples, and support to the process. Identify a subgroup as a writing team and use the broader committee to review and revise your materials throughout the year.

Collect Evidence and Artifacts

In addition to qualitative examples of your institution’s collective impact, the application requires a number of quantitative data points. This is where a database like GivePulse can come in handy for institutions looking to track longitudinal impact and sustainable partnerships with the community.

If no such database exists, develop a plan with your committee to gather all of the necessary data and artifacts. This information should demonstrate reciprocity with your partnerships. They might include media coverage, reports, presentations, videos, etc.

Use Compelling Examples

You will likely collect many data and narratives from across campus. Use your committee to select the strongest and most compelling examples that demonstrate your institutional commitment to advancing the public good. Make sure you have the evidence (artifacts and data) to backup your case. A new element of this year’s application process is the opportunity for community partners to weigh in about their working relationship with the institution. In light of this addition, you will want to select your strongest and most sustainable partnerships so that you receive favorable and honest feedback.

Be Honest

The best part of the application process is that it provides the institution an opportunity to take a good, hard look in the mirror. It provides you with a tool to self-evaluate how well you are doing your work. Such reflection is always beneficial as it exposes challenges encountered and gives you a roadmap for improvement. Be honest in the application regarding your points of growth. No institution is doing their work perfectly and the review committee recognizes this reality. In fact, they will appreciate campuses being candid about their needs and their plan for improvement.

Take Action

Your committee will likely spend the better part of a year working on gathering information and writing the application. It is an investment of time and effort, so make sure to take action with what you have learned. With the information you have gained, develop a strategic plan for community engagement initiatives on your campus. The application process is an opportunity to highlight areas for improvement, such as data collection and assessment or advocacy for a change in the tenure and review process.

During the last application cycle, the institution where I was working had no repository for community engagement data. This meant contacting numerous departments, offices, and centers to gather information.  We quickly realized that no one center or person was focused on gathering, assessing, and digesting community engagement data at the institution. We learned that this would be important as we moved forward, as would having a database to assist us in this effort. These realizations led the institution to acquire GivePulse, and designate a center for tracking the data and reporting its findings annually.

We hope you have found these preliminary tips useful as you begin to think about your 2020 application. We at GivePulse are here to help you think about data gathering and assessing community engagement in new and innovative ways. Since our founding, we have been innovating alongside our campus partners and their communities to ensure institutions have quality data to tell their community engagement stories. From the Carnegie framework, to your local communities, to beyond, we are here to support your wonderful work.  

Check back in soon – more to come!

Best of luck to all campuses applying for the 2020 classification.

Community Partnerships with Center for Community Engagement of the University of Arkansas

300+ community partners, over 200 student programs and clubs, 17,000 engaged students, faculty and staff, 100,000 impact stories, and 300,000 service hours with an estimated impact of over $8 Million.

https://zoom.us/recording/share/5RudjkvUw0kLqczTxl062fCBGCbESv-AkR969dOuKvGwIumekTziMw?startTime=1545418954000 (Dec 2018)

This is a brief story of University of Arkansas’s (UArk) community engagement impact.  

A few years ago the Center for Community Engagement of the University of Arkansas embarked on a journey to enhance volunteer and community engagement initiatives.

Embedded into the University’s culture is the  institution’s interest and goal to scale their community partnerships.

For a large anchor institution, the university has deep rooted partnerships with public and private organizations . With that, brings complexities that make managing community engagement for the diverse set of partnerships difficult, for instance:

  1. An inflexible legacy database
  2. Multiple liabilities and existing partnership agreements
  3. An archaic matching and management portal

To address the above complexities, the institution debated whether to develop something internally would be better than using multiple tools… or is there even one tool out there that would encompass most if not all the University’s requirements.  After due diligence and analyzing all the technology options available in the market, they chose one platform to address all their complex concerns and additional features that would improve processes and help expand all community engagement programs. Specifically, the system they chose enabled the following:

  1. Flexible Database: A multi-tenant relational database that can integrate with other systems and customized to  capture all types of data for reporting outputs, relationships, activities and impact.
  2. Workflow & Form Management: A workflow to accept and approve customized liabilities and agreements between its volunteers and community partnerships annually, semesterly or a unique defined duration.
  3. Modern, Mobile-Friendly Portal: A responsive website that is accessible for all devices (and downloadable in the app stores) allowing students, faculty and staff to  be matched with community partner profiles and opportunities as well as having a way to update and track their engagement.
  4. Free capabilities for nonprofit agencies: A version for community partners to leverage for their own volunteer management, reporting and tracking purposes.
  5. Partnership Management: One place for different departments, clubs, programs and initiatives to track their own separate relationships with their unique partners.

The above abilities has enabled the institution and its broader community to come together using technology to scale their operations collectively. To view the Center for Community Engagement of the University of Arkansas’s portal, and how it’s implemented, you can visit https://uark.givepulse.com

To learn more, please let us know, we would be happy to introduce you to the UArk team and will be sharing more about collective impact and networks. 

In case you missed the recording or link at the top, here is a recent recording (Dec 2018) of UArk’s work:  https://zoom.us/recording/share/5RudjkvUw0kLqczTxl062fCBGCbESv-AkR969dOuKvGwIumekTziMw?startTime=1545418954000

GivePulse Collaborates with Campus Labs to provide Community Engagement Capabilities for Member Campuses

Austin, TX, March 4, 2018 – We are excited to announce a new collaboration with Campus Labs®, a leader in helping students connect with and manage co-curricular engagement opportunities, through an enriching integration with the community engagement functionality in GivePulse®.

Established in 2001, Campus Labs delivers an integrated platform that provides an end-to-end solution for setting strategic goals, collecting evidence, and reporting actionable insights. Today, 17 years after its founding, over 1,300 higher education institutions utilize the Campus Labs platform to manage their mission-critical information. Their Campus Labs Engage solution allows campus administrators to connect students to meaningful and guided opportunities, manage and track their involvement, and showcase the institution’s impact on the student experience.

Ryan O’Connell, Campus Labs Senior Product Manager for Student Engagement, stated  “the team at GivePulse is very talented” and that “our Engage Member Campuses are going to love their expertise in service-learning and their fresh take on community service management.”

This new GivePulse integration will enable Campus Labs Engage Member Campuses to take advantage of the thoughtful and vast community service promotion, management, and tracking tools within the GivePulse technology; while serving as a valuable resource for student engagement exploration and documentation in Engage. The amazing Campus Labs team will collaborate with GivePulse to bridge together and strengthen a more connected student engagement experience.

“GivePulse is excited to collaborate with Campus Labs to streamline community engagement for students,” said George Luc, GivePulse’s Chief Civic Evangelist and Cofounder. “Together we will enable community organizations to partner with higher-ed institutions on curricular and co-curricular service activities, research, and projects advancing social good!”

To learn more or attend the April 17th webinar, you can go here: https://www.campuslabs.com/resources/upcoming-webinars/enriching-service-management-a-preview-of-our-integration-with-givepulse/

Making the Announcement of Campus Labs Collaboration

“If enough people stepped up, we could put a dent in food insecurity.”

Think about all the meals you’ve eaten this week. Now think about how much you threw away because you were way too full, you cooked too much, or maybe it wasn’t worth saving. This is food waste and it’s a huge problem. Sadly it’s also staggeringly common, so much so that 40% of food in the US is thrown away. This waste goes straight to landfills, which are responsible for 1/6 of our methane gas emissions.

What is also common is food insecurity, a problem wherein people don’t know where their next meal will come from. We are all too familiar with this as a society; we know that hunger is an issue. Donating to food drives and volunteering at soup kitchens are normal for us because we know there are so many families in need. They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and they’re right: 18.4% of Texas households experience food insecurity, placing us third in the nation.

JenniferJames_blog_pictureI got a chance to sit down with Jennifer James, Logistics Director for Keep Austin Fed, to talk about her experiences with the food rescue organization and how she got her start there. For her, these problems were a “no-brainer”. We have all this perfectly edible food, and we have so many hungry families –  let’s feed them! Jennifer’s journey with KAF began about three years ago in a community college philosophy class. While dedicating her time to homeschooling her three children, Jennifer became involved with various volunteer opportunities. At the same time, Jennifer decided to go back to school and finish her bachelor’s degree in accounting, a choice she described as both setting an example for her children, as well as doing something for herself.

Jennifer’s professor gave the class two options for a project: write a research paper OR do a community service project with a final reflection essay on the experience. With her history of getting involved in the community, Jennifer opted for the service project and volunteered six hours that semester with Keep Austin Fed. On her first food run with the organization to a local grocery store, she recalls her “mouth dropping because of all the food [the store] would’ve thrown away had [they] not been there to pick it up.” Jennifer then came to the big conclusion: we don’t have a food production problem, we have a food distribution problem.

After writing the reflection paper and finishing up her class, Jennifer continued to work with KAF in big part because of the two-fold pay off, helping people with food insecurity and helping the environment. She is persevering toward completing her degree at Texas State University while also continuing to homeschool her youngest. Jennifer describes herself as always getting involved with whatever she’s interested in, and working with KAF was no exception as “opportunities kept opening up” to support their mission further.

Her passion for this cause was obvious throughout our conversation, and she believes it can be obvious to others as well, since it’s really difficult to believe  “anyone who would be okay with children going hungry.” According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, humans have to fulfill their physiological needs, like hunger, in order to be able to fulfill higher needs like education, social stability, and self-confidence. It makes complete sense, and that is what  Keep Austin Fed is trying to do by reaching out to schools so they can identify families who might be suffering from food insecurity. She is also a firm believer in the power of the next generation to help solve these pervasive problems: “the more our kids know about this, the more they can carry it forward.”

Sitting down with our community partners to find out why they do what they do is important to all of us here at GivePulse. We want to help them do more for their community as much as we can. Jennifer let us know how KAF could save more food in two ways: more volunteers and a large  facility.

Keep Austin Fed “can always find donors and recipients…but the limitation on saving more food is volunteers.”  Using GivePulse as their platform for volunteer management, Jennifer is able to easily view on her calendar which food runs are filled and which still need volunteers. The biggest part of her job is making sure there is a volunteer for each run and she is constantly reaching out to current volunteers to insure each recipient receives their share. When things get a bit overwhelming, Jennifer understands “you can’t save all the food”, but doing what you can is so important. Food waste and insecurity is a collective problem requiring a collective impact, but Jennifer believes “if enough people stepped up, we could put a dent in food insecurity.” Click here for more information on how to do what you can to help KAF move the needle on these issues.

With all the time and resources in the world, Jennifer’s dream for KAF would be “one big building with lots of freezers, a conference room for bigger orientations, and a party room for volunteers to get together every few months.” Increasing the longevity of the end-of-life food they pick up, holding larger orientations to accommodate more potential volunteers, and hosting get-togethers for current volunteers to inform them how they can be more involved could all greatly increase the amount of food KAF is able to save and the number of families they can feed. Click here to donate and help support these dreams.

 

Keep Austin Fed is a kind neighbor and client of GivePulse. We highlight our community partners in this “Why I Give” blog series to showcase why they are passionate about their work and ultimately inspire others to be passionate as well. For more information on how your organization can utilize our platform or to be featured in this series, reach out to us at blog@givepulse.com.