Epic Day of Service designed specifically for teens.
Teens are often in need of service hours, but it is often hard to attract and retain them.
Studies show 29% of High School students volunteer, and 39% of Seniors in High School volunteer. 67.9% percent of teenagers are what they call “episodic volunteers.” This age group is known for volunteering irregularly for events, because of busy schedules.
This generation of volunteers is all about choice and tangible outcomes. Many young adults perceive volunteering as being boring. Let’s change that. 60% of Gen Z young people want their work to make a difference. Teens are social by nature, but are not all the same. It is important to provide various types of service opportunities to engage them.
Many see service as an opportunity to help gain employment and scholarships. Do Güd Day taps into those motivations.
What we know:
- High schoolers like and/or need to volunteer for various reasons.
- Young people like to volunteer with people their own age.
- Young people have busy schedules, like choices and flexibility.
- We know young people like hands-on work with tangible outcomes.
Create an eventful community service day geared towards teens. Service days are not always treated like events, but they should be [especially for GEN Z]. Want to attract younger volunteers? It’s time to re-think your typical service days. Teens are in need of service hours for school, sports, and even scholarships. This is the perfect opportunity!
These epic days of service will have the perfect balance of fun and service. Teens will learn and reflect through the activities and environment. The event will include:
- Multiple projects happening simultaneously
- Young people from different local schools
- Fundraising opportunities
- Individual or Team registration
- Interactive photo opportunity
- A certificate of service completion
- A draw to return with upcoming service opportunities
The goal of the program is to Engage + Inspire + Increase the number of Young Volunteers. Participants will Learn + Serve + Reflect while building friendships through teamwork.
High School Students between the ages of 16 and 19.
- Tap into local schools, teams, and groups.
- Think about the various types of teens and reasons for community service.
Many volunteer opportunities are poorly branded (or aren’t branded at all). Sometimes this is due to the lack of funding and/or they don’t even realize how uncool their materials look. If the goal is to attract teenagers, the branding needs to do just that. It needs to be exciting and cool, catch your attention and make you want to participate!
The first step to designing a cool brand for teens was to find a name for the event. It needed to be short and catchy. The idea is that this event is a service day event for teens that could be hosted by different organizations or at different locations, in order to provide teens with more and different opportunities. They name didn’t need to relate to a particular organization, but needed to encompass a day of doing good.
While trying to come up with a name for the event or another word for good, the word “güd” popped up.
What does Güd mean?
- Gud means “good.” — Cyber Definitions
- “It is often used as slang or a shorter way of texting or saying the word good.” — Unknown
- “Although it is pronounced quite similarly to good, it has a sound that sounds like an oo sound (from good) mixed with a u sound” — Urban Dictionary
And that is how Do Güd Day came to be.
Do Güd Day is an eventful community service day designed specifically for teens.
Throughout the brand, casual and approachable language was used. While developing the content, Google, Urban Dictionary, and feedback from teenage volunteers was essential.
What is a do-güd-er?
Wanting to come up with a definition for the volunteers of Do Güd Day it was the perfect time for a checkpoint with the target audience and to get input from teenagers about how they would describe a do-güd-er.
Here are a few of the responses received:
- Cool way to describe awesome young, kind, hardworking people who want to make a difference.
- Someone who believes the world can be a better place and does something about it.
- Someone who doesn’t just talk about.
- Someone who sees a problem, forms a plan, and then takes action. 😍😍
- Well meaning or well intentioned.
- A kid who does awesome things to help others 😅
- Somebody who makes sure that they do as much, if not more, for others than they do for themselves; however, they don’t do it for the attention, just for the satisfaction of knowing they were a helping hand.
- It’s a güd day to have a do güd day.
- Do güd, Feel güd.
The goal of the brand was to be cool, exciting and vibrant for teens. The smiley face in the “u” was something that stood out right away. The goal was to be playful and fun, but not too “child-ish.”
Because the event is hands on, the textural elements of the stickers were a perfect addition to the brand, and added a little bit of a mature feel. After trying various lockups and variations, this 3 color lockup ended up as was the final logo.
The website had two main goals; to provide event details and to facilitate easy registration. The website needed to be responsive because many of the teens would be opening it from their cellphones. It was important to keep the text simple because the target user is the teen themselves, and they respond better to simple, clear, and quick information. If it is too complex or has too many words, you will lose their attention.
The website is simple but filled with a lot of information. The use of color blocks, stickers, and imagery help to keep the website feeling vibrant and engaging.
Registration was key. Registration needed to gather important information from the teens, without being too overwhelming. It also offered registrants the ability to register as a member of a team or as an individual. Once their registration is completed, there is an option to share their registration with friends, download any permission slips and fundraising assets.
The registration including a personal profile, where the registrant could answer some questions about the kind of volunteer work that they felt comfortable with. Surprisingly, some teens would rather clean dishes than have a conversation with someone they don’t know.
We want the experience to be as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. Obviously we can’t cater to every need, But understanding volunteers interests is helpful when coming up with tasks for them to do.
As this event targets teenagers, social media is key. There are multiple audiences and goals; however, the teens are the main target. Of the social media platforms, Instagram is one of the most popular for this demographic, leading the social media campaign to focus on Instagram. Instagram additionally offers the ability to incorporate fundraising tools. Additionally, social media assets were developed that could be used for a Facebook Event. This is a great way to help some of the parents see the information, as they are not as prominently on Instagram.
Instagram for Do Güd Day
There was a Instagram social media plan for Do Güd Day itself, with posts and stories that would be used to help inform people about the organization and the event in order to increase interest in both.
Instagram for do-güd-ers
After registering for the event, the volunteers will receive social media assets that they can use to fundraise on their own. Non-Profit Organizations can easily register for Donation Tools through Facebook and Instagram. This integration makes it easy and simple for both the organization and it’s supporter to raise money directly for the organization.
In addition to Instagram’s Donation Tools, Venmo Challenges are another trendy and easy way for individuals to raise funds within their friends and connections. Venmo is a Peer-to-Peer payment app, predominantly used by Millennials and GEN Z, the target audience. When someone donates through the donate button it is harder to see who donated and how much, however with Venmo Challenges, it is easy to view who donated and for what team or individual, and to keep track of their goal. This makes it easy for individuals to fundraise for the organization, individually or as a team. People love to be “tagged” or “mentioned” on a story.
T-shirts are often a given at community service events, but many times, the shirts are something you would probably never wear again in public. That’s why this retro ringer tee was a fun and trendy option! Simple & Cool.
Picture or it didn’t happen! It is important to reflect on service. Why do you volunteer? Everyone’s answer may be different. Even though service hours are required for teens for one reason or another, it is important for them to think about why they volunteer, and what affect their volunteering can have. Volunteering is good for the individual and for the community. It fosters teamwork, understanding, a sense of belonging, pride, responsibility, and so much more.
This versatile board is a perfect chance for the volunteers to reflect— and it also makes for a perfect Insta-worthy backdrop! The back of the board is perfect for writing the event schedule, important information, and team tasks.
Many schools and organizations require some form of proof of volunteering. Volunteers will leave the day of the event with a certificate specifying exactly where they volunteered and how many hours of service they completed. Even better… this cool certificate doubles as a poster!
Stickers + Pins + Trophies
Teens love recognition and encouragement, and who doesn’t love stickers? It was important to come up with some items of swag to take home and share after the event! These are a perfect reminder of all the fun they had at Do Güd Day. The messages can help inspire others. When there are prizes on the line, enthusiasm and effort spikes! Whether they are small pins or a team trophies… the award goes to the do-güd-ers!
In order to motivate and engage teens, it is important to think about what guides them in their decision making, and to meet them where they are. Teens are fast-paced and busy, yet are willing to do work if they feel like they are making a difference, feel appreciated, and are having fun. The right environment makes all the difference. Do Güd Day does just that.
I have been involved in and have run many youth and young adult volunteer days. In my experience, people want to know how to engage young people more. I decided to use what I know from my experience to help do that. Throughout the project I sought out feedback from my younger brothers and some of our teen volunteers to make sure I was addressing the target audience and to help resolve some of their pain points.
The project was virtually complete, so we decided to hold a Do Güd Day. We began implementing this new identity with SVDP Rhode Island and chose a date for the event. We are excited to see how the event goes, and hope to work out any kinks so that the program could easily be hosted at other locations.
Do Güd Day was a success. Over 16 teens came together and made over 200 bags of toiletries for local families in need. Afterwards I had the participants give feedback on their favorite part, least favorite part, and ideas for the future. The feedback was great!