6 Tips for a Successful Site Launch
For Connect Site Managers
Hooray! It’s time for your organization to launch your new Connect site, and we want it to be a success!
We recently spoke with Mavis Sanchez-Sholes, Volunteer Coordinator of Willamalane Park and Recreation District, in Springfield Oregon. Sanchez-Sholes was instrumental in implementing Willamalane’s successful Community Connect platform, so we asked her to share tips on engaging your staff, partners, and the community from the start. Keep reading for ways to help ensure a seamless launch and smooth transition to your new Connect software!
Communicate With Key Contacts
Before launching, work to get your established volunteer groups on board with the idea of a new system. Reach out to key service groups, such as high schools and senior programs, and inform them of what’s coming and how it will help their volunteer efforts. Let them know that, once the site is ready to launch, you’ll be sending them information and links to join the site, agree to any related waivers, and start looking exploring volunteer opportunities.
Lay Down The Law
Establish the new system as the new policy. As a site manager, work toward making it your only system for volunteer sign-up and tracking. When people want to sign up on paper or by calling your office, encourage them to go through the Connect platform instead. With everything going through a single channel, all your volunteerism data will be stored in one place. Plus, you may be surprised how willing your community is to adapt to your more intuitive system!
Send Instructions and Links
Make things as easy for your partners and volunteers as possible; site visitors shouldn’t have to dig around your new site to find volunteer opportunities. In your emails and social media posts, provide links to opportunities, and clearly indicate what they’re for: “Click here to sign up,” or “Click here to volunteer for the Independence Day Family Festival.” Volunteers will appreciate the ease with which they can find and register for opportunities.
Train Your Volunteers
Particularly for volunteers who are not tech-savvy, set aside one or more sessions to help them learn how to use the system. Several hours of working one-on-one with your volunteers will empower them to find and respond to meaningful opportunities. Once you’ve been through Galaxy Digital’s training, you should be well-equipped to help others learn!
Include a Link in Your Email Signature
Direct people to your site with a simple tagline, such as “Check out our new volunteer website.” Make sure this tagline is linked to your site. If you run a department or work for a large organization, encourage everyone to use the same tagline.
Run an Internal Social Media Campaign
Get your volunteers and partners excited about the new system! Launching in January, Willamalane linked to their new platform using a “New Years Resolution” theme: “New Year, New Opportunities, New Ways To Get Involved in Your Community!” Volunteers were excited about the new system, and found registering for meaningful opportunities simpler than before.
We understand that change can intimidating, but with a bit of preparation and encouragement, your organization can facilitate long-lasting, meaningful relationships with your partners and volunteers.
Want to learn more about how Willamalane Park and Recreation District engaged its volunteers with the new site? Check out our case study by clicking here!