Affiliates Converge for HandsOn Network Pre-Conference

From Florida to the Philippines, HandsOn Network affiliates from around the world gathered in Atlanta June 15 for an information-packed Affiliate Pre-Conference.

The HandsOn Network, an enterprise of Points of Light, features 250 affiliates worldwide, and the Pre-Conference before the Conference on Volunteering and Service provided an opportunity to share best practices, learn about new initiatives and spark creative approaches to everything from volunteer management to fundraising.

“For me, it was really about connecting with other people and learning about what’s working and not working,” said Kristen Alexander, director of development and marketing for Boston Cares.

Emily Gilliland, executive director of the HandsOn Network, encouraged affiliates to consider “the one nut we’re going to crack this year,” in a discussion on financial stability that included corporate funding, individual donations and emerging trends like crowd funding.

“We talked about moving from ‘fund this’ to ‘fund us,’” said Zachary Brown of HandsOn Atlanta, emphasizing the importance of long-term funding programs. “We’re thinking strategically and finding partners who are going to help us with the work we’re doing in the community.”

Affiliates discussed hot-button issues that affect their day-to-day work, including disaster response, improving storytelling at the local level and what it takes to build high-functioning, high-impact volunteer networks. They shared advice on becoming knowledge experts in the service arena, delivering everything from high-quality volunteer opportunities to corporate training.

The Points of Light Digital team was on hand to provide affiliate leaders with a sneak preview of the new All for Good Facebook application, which is launching at the Conference on Volunteering and Service. All for Good is Points of Light’s volunteer hub, hosting 1.1 million volunteer opportunities and generating 48 million searches per year.

With the new All for Good Facebook application, HandsOn affiliates will be able to promote and share information about their volunteer opportunities through a seamless Facebook experience.

This year’s Affiliate Pre-Conference also had a distinctly global flavor, as executive directors from 15 international affiliates came to Atlanta to share information and engage with their counterparts from around the world.

The Conference on Volunteering and Service will be hosting a variety of learning opportunities for HandsOn Affiliates from June 16-18. To learn more about the HandsOn Network affiliates worldwide, visit the HandsOn Network website.