How to Unlock Recurring Grants Through Your Volunteer Program w/ Geng Wang

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Published:

January 28, 2023

Last Updated:

March 22, 2023

Learn everything you need to know about volunteer matching grants and how to secure them for your nonprofit.

In this interactive workshop, you'll will learn:

  • ​What are Volunteer Matching Grants
  • Why are Volunteer match grants so valuable and impactful?
  • How can I use my current volunteer program to find Volunteer Grants (qualification and setting yourself up for success)
  • Best practices for receiving and growing your nonprofit's volunteer grant program
  • Understand how Instrumentl saves you time and money in finding, tracking and managing your grants all in one place

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Create your Instrumentl account using the link above. Save $50 off your first month should you decide to upgrade when your trial expires with the code CIVICCHAMPS50.

About Geng Wang:

As CEO of Civic Champs, I lead our team of passionate change leaders to create technology solutions to create a seamless and rewarding volunteering experience for both volunteers and service organizations.

​Prior to Civic Champs, I co-founded two companies. The first company, RentJungle.com is an apartment search engine which we sold in 2014 to The Rainmaker Group. The second, Community Elf (rebranded as Cosmitto) is a social media management firm which we sold in 2017 to a PE firm, Topanga Partners.

​In addition, I had the honor of spending 4 years at McKinsey & Company, advising senior executive clients at Fortune 500 companies - helping them solve their most pressing strategic and management issues.

​Across all of my endeavors, I am most passionate about my teams and the people I work with. I believe strongly in building a collaborative and open culture that fosters learning and personal growth.

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Click the video link below to start watching the replay of this free grant workshop, or check out the transcriptions below the video.

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How to Unlock Recurring Grants Through Your Volunteer Program w/ Geng Wang - Grant Training Transcription

Will: Hello everyone, and welcome to How To Unlock Recurring Grants Through Your Volunteer Program with Geng Wang. This workshop is being recorded and slides will be shared afterwards. So, please keep your eyes peeled for a follow-up email later in case you want to view anything from today.

My name is Will. And in case it's your first time here, this free grant workshop is an Instrumentl partner workshop. These are collaborations between Instrumentl and community partners to provide free educational opportunities for grant professionals and broader nonprofit professionals. Our goal is to tackle problems that folks often have to solve for while also sharing different ways that Instrumentl’s platform can help folks win more grants.

Instrumental is the institutional fundraising platform. If you're looking to bring grant prospecting, tracking or management into one place, we can help you do that. And you can do so using Civic Champs’ link on the screen. And we'll also share it in the Zoom chat. And lastly, be sure to stick around for today's entire presentation. We'll be sharing a couple of freebie resources more to come after Geng’s presentation.

Now with that housekeeping out of the way, I'm very excited to introduce Geng as the CEO of Civic Champs. Geng leads a team of passionate changemakers to create technology solutions that create a seamless and rewarding volunteering experience for both volunteers and service organizations. Prior to Civic Champs, he co-founded two companies. The first one, Rentjungle.com, was an apartment search engine that was sold in 2014. And the second, Community Elf, was a social media management firm that was sold in 2017.

In addition, he's spent several years at McKinsey & Company advising senior executive clients at Fortune 500 companies helping them solve some of those pressing social and strategic management issues. Across all of Geng’s endeavors, he's most passionate about his teams and the people he works with. He strongly believes in building collaborative and open culture that fosters learning and personal growth, we asked that if it is your first time here, the best way to ask a question is to leave three hashtags in front of it in the Zoom chat so that I can acknowledge that I've received it, and then we'll cover that in the Q&A section later today.

Other than that, Geng, feel free to take it away.

Geng: All right, thank you so much, Will. Thanks for the kind introduction. Certainly, Civic Champs is the company that I'm most excited about. But today, our topic is how to unlock recurring grants through your volunteer program. I think this is something that a lot of folks are not aware of. And so, I'm really excited to hopefully help folks find some more funding for your organizations and also find a way to help motivate your volunteers.

And so if you just joined us in the Zoom chat, I love to hear your name, organization, how many volunteer hours that you'd have in the last year, any questions you might have regarding the grant. And we'll try to get to that in the Q&A.

Just a quick background on Civic Champs, for those of you that don't know about us, we're a volunteer management platform. And, basically, we help triple volunteer capacity and engagement. And so, that's sort of what we do. You can see here, just a couple of slides, here's our mobile friendly application that we have. So the way we track and engage our volunteers is we can do it online, through mobile. And then obviously, we have nice reporting tools. And all of that means that we can help increase capacity for folks by about 3x. And so, the reason this matters is that in order for you to get some of these volunteer management grants, it's important that you actually have a way to track that information, right? And certainly, you can use us or another platform.

But to dive into what everyone's here to learn about today, I guess, to start, I thought it'd be helpful to talk about what volunteer matching grants are. Right? And so, these are basically funding grants that companies provide to organizations based on how many hours their employees have volunteered at those organizations, right? And so, for example, you might have a company like Verizon or you might have someone like Disney that has a program like this. And there's three different ways that these are typically set up. So the first one -- and those are listed sort of on the right here.

But the first most basic version is that if a volunteer from a company volunteers at your organization, the company will simply match the $1 amount for every hour that they volunteered, right? So, that could be ranging from eight to maybe $15 per hour even, right? The second way that these companies will do a donation match is that they will sort of preselect certain nonprofits. And they will say, “We're going to support only these organizations. And we'll match all the hours that all our employees have volunteered at that organization over the course of a year.” And the last is what we call event-based match. And this is where you don't have to have recurring volunteers, but simply a group session where a company comes in for a day or half day, and they maybe bring 10, 20, 30 volunteers, and they'll sort of add up all of those hours. And so, let's say it's 4 hours with 30 volunteers, that's 120 hours. And they'll say, “Okay. Well, for those 120 hours, we're going to match $10 per hour. And so, you'll get a grant for $1,200.”

Now, I think the only caveat I would note is that for almost all of these grants, there's a minimal requirement typically, right, that says you have to have volunteered at least 20 hours or at least 40 hours at this organization for you to be eligible to submit a grant application.

So, that's a little bit of what are volunteer matching grants. And then what are the benefits of these matching grants? Right? And I think, obviously, the top first and foremost is it increases donations for the organization, right? And it's for the amount of time that you have to spend on this. It's a pretty nice ROI or bang for your buck, right? You already have these volunteers coming to you, anyway. Why not double the impact that they have? I think the other thing that people don't think about as much is, one, it helps you actually foster relationships with these organizations that have these matching grants. Oftentimes, they also have donation matching programs as well where they say, “Hey, my employee donates $5, also matches $5.” Right? And so, it's an opportunity for you to get engaged and understand what other programs they have. And sort of make sure that you're in front of these potential donors.

I think the other thing is, if you think about it, from the volunteer side, this is a fantastic way to both motivate and retain those volunteers. Because if you think about the messaging of, “Oh, hey, Geng, thank you so much for coming in today, for your four hours volunteering. I see that you're with Highmark Healthcare. And so, I don't know if you're aware, but Highmark, actually, when you hit 20 hours with a nonprofit organization volunteering, they'll provide a $500 grant. That means a ton to us. Here's all the stuff we could do with that $500. Would you consider coming back next week?” Right? That's a really powerful message that you can share with your volunteers that really helps motivate them. They say, “Oh, yeah. I mean, A, I really enjoyed my experience, ideally. But, B, now, there's an extra reason for me to come back.” Right? Because it's not just my time, but shoot, my company is going to give them 500 bucks if I come back a couple more times. What a great way to really increase the impact that I'm having.

And then the last thing is a lot of your other grants have matching requirements, right, whether that's from a volunteer hour, or some sort of in-kind match. And so, you can actually get more leverage, right, by getting these matching donations to be a match for your other grants, right, sort of like a triple win, if you will, right? So, you have the local community foundation might be saying, “Hey, we have a $25,000 grant we'd like to give you. But tell us how you are going to leverage that and match that with other contributions.” Right? And sometimes, they'll count volunteer hours. And then other times, we'll say, “Hey, we'll also count donations that you're able to bring in as well.” And so, this is another way to satisfy the requirements of those other grants that you might be looking at.

So those are a few of the benefits of volunteer matching grants, right, increasing donations, fostering these relationships with companies around you, really driving motivation for your volunteers, and then qualifying for other grants.

Some fun facts. So 40% of Fortune 500 companies have a volunteer matching grant program. That's a lot. I mean, Fortune, you do the math, 40% of all of them, right? It's a lot of companies. And these are the largest companies. And I think that's one of the things I'd love for folks to have the takeaway, which is if you think about who would you go and target for this, look at the largest companies in your community. They're the ones that are most likely to have a program like this, right? And the Exxon Mobil's of the world, the Sam's clubs of the world, right? All the really large healthcare, the Blue Cross Blue Shields. Most of them have a volunteer matching grant program that they have. And roughly, the rate that you can expect is between 8 to $15 per hour. And that's sort of the amount that you're able to get.

Now, here, there's a lot of texts. We're not going to go through it. But I thought this is a really nice leave behind of value add for everyone that's attending today's webinar, which is, here are six example programs. We chose ones that have more or less a presence everywhere. And so, hopefully, you can find one of these companies in your area, right? So, almost everyone has Verizon, AllState, Starbucks, some sort of affiliate branch in your community.

And so, this is all the details about their specific program, right? And so, if you look at Starbucks, right, there's Starbucks everywhere. But Starbucks, from $1 per hour matches a little bit lower. But their minimum hours required to sort of trigger that match is also relatively low. So, it's easy for you to get access to it. And so, if any volunteer that works at Starbucks today, volunteers for at least five hours with you, you can get a $5 per hour match, right? And then the details here, and all of these, under sort of underlined text here are links.

And so, once we share out this presentation, you can actually click through and get all the nitty-gritty details for each one of these programs. And so, you'll see, there's some differences between these organizations, like I mentioned, some are doing these individual matches, others are doing team matches, some have flat rates, right? So, if you look at Exxon Mobil or Verizon, they say, “Hey, we're not matching any dollars until you hit 20 hours. But then we'll write a $500 grant right off the bat, right?

And so, imagine having 5 or 10 volunteers from Exxon Mobil that put in 20 hours, right? That quickly adds up, right, in terms of the funding that you're able to leverage from these volunteers. And then, we'll dive into just a couple of sort of case studies here, right? And so, I mentioned Starbucks earlier already. And so, this is just a little bit more details around it. A few things I'll note, right? So, the minimum donation amount that they provide is $25. And you have to be a “qualified nonprofit.” So, pretty much all 501(c)(3) would qualify, including universities as well. And so, the way that it works is that the employee has to go into their community champion portal, which we have a link here so you can share that with them if you have anyone that's coming in. Then they say how many hours they did, and then they submit an application for the matching grant. Right? So, you might have to walk them through this a little bit. And that's one of the other tips we'll talk about, which is providing some instructions for your volunteers, right?

But in this case, right, there are some other limitations. Folks can only request up to $1,000 per year for this particular organization. But that's sort of the program that Starbucks has. Another one is Verizon, their minimum is also $25 and their maximum for a year is $1,000 per volunteer. You can also, however, in their case, you can request that you have to sort of hit 50 hours or more. And then you get a $750 grant instead. And then again, here are the links for the login for the employees so that they can submit a grant as well.

One of the other things I might note is that almost all of these programs require the organization, your organization, to validate these hours. And so, this is another reason why it's helpful to have a tracking platform like Civic Champs, or any others that you're able to say, “Oh, yep, I can verify that Geng or Will has volunteered 100 hours over the past year. And here's all the sort of specific interests.” Right?

So, how do you get started? And so, getting started, so we've sort of put five steps here. Again, we're going to share these slides out. So, no need to take copious notes necessarily. But first, I would say, who runs these programs? Typically, they're your large national employers. Right? And so, identifying them. Think about the list of folks in your community who have a national presence. And you could probably name them off the top of your head. You can also search on Instrumentl. And Will is going to do a quick demo after this so you can see how that works on Instrumentl. Or other platforms also have some grants as well. And then three, you can examine your volunteer database. And you could see if anyone's actually using a corporate email account, right?

So you could just take an export, scan through it and say, “Hey, here's all the folks that have a corporate email account. Maybe there's already groups. Maybe you see Walmart's listed there.” Right? Then you can make a note and reach out to that volunteer, right, and say, “Hey, did you know that there's this program? Would you mind filling this out for us? It looks like you already have 40 hours for the year.” Right?

I think a lot of people just aren't aware that their company offers this perk, if you will. And then I would say, “You can also reach out to corporate engagement leads?” Right? And so, what I mean by this is often these folks sit in HR, but they're the folks that are the community liaisons, right? And so, if you go to an event, your donor, or your development team might have a better grasp of who these folks might be. Right? They're the same folks that would be evaluating what donation grants to maybe contribute. But reaching out to them and asking them, “Hey, could we put together an event for your company?” Right? They're always looking for team building events. They're always looking for ways to go out in the community to volunteer. And if you know that they have a volunteer grant match. Right? You also know that when you put together this event, you not only get sort of their labor, love. But also, you're going to be getting some financial contributions as well. Right?

And last, but not least, everyone here probably has a board that you're working with. And so leveraging your board in two ways, right? Both talking with your existing board members. If they're part of a bank, oftentimes banks will do this as well. And then potentially thinking about when you're looking at new board members, right? This might be another consideration, if you will, as you're looking at new board members. Maybe getting someone engaged from the large local employer base that has a program like this.

All right. And so, yeah, I'll sort of turn it over to Will to talk about how you might leverage Instrumentl to find these volunteer grants.

Will: Awesome. Thanks so much, Geng. So, one of the things that Instrumentl can really help you do is streamline your research process when it comes to identifying corporations that might be good for you to do some more due diligence on as to whether or not they have a volunteer match program, like Geng mentioned.

So on the screen here, what you can see is a sample output in terms of this food security project here. What we're doing is we're searching for the keyword phrase of matching. And then what we start to dig into is the opportunity itself, and seeing whether or not there is a commitment to volunteerism or some sort of funding source like that. So, I'm going to take over on the screen share real quick so I can share a couple examples of how you can also see this when you set up your project.

So in the Zoom chat, I'll drop it in just in case folks haven't seen it earlier in the workshop. But essentially, when you create your Instrumentl account, you'll go through this process where you'll create a project. And when you create your project, there will be a variety of different grant results that will be output. And those grant results are going to be active grant opportunities that your organization can actually pursue.

And so from here, what I've done in this particular example is I've really set up this test project from the case of volunteerism and philanthropy as one of my fields of work, as well as community services. And what Instrumentl will do from there based off of where my organization is located out of as well as where my communities that I service are based out of is they will cut through the 12,500 plus active opportunities that there are, and show me the ones that are most relevant to me.

And as I start to look through some of these results, what I can do is I can do some more advanced filters that then help me identify who are some of these corporations that Geng was referencing that are giving towards Volunteer Match programs or other corporate giving. So to do that, when you go into your match results, you can drop down into the filter, and then you're going to see an option when you scroll down even further, which is just going to be a funder type of corporate. And these corporate funders are essentially going to be opportunities that you can start to kind of explore that potentially will have a Volunteer Match program. And the best way that you can figure that out is simply with a Google search onto that company website.

But what Instrumentl help you identify is it'll help you identify some of the organizations that already have corporate grant opportunities, which typically will also mean, since they're often cases, Fortune 500 companies or larger organizations. It often means that there's also a Volunteer Match program of some kind around volunteerism.

So you can actually see in this example, one of the results under the corporate options is the Walmart Foundation, which is one of those that was referenced earlier in the presentation. And as you kind of work through this, the other thing that I tell you as a general tip is that you can actually search by keyword phrase as well. So maybe you'll come up with a variety of different phrases potentially from reviewing the slides later today. And you might search for things like volunteer, volunteerism, matching those sorts of keyword phrases.

And when you do that, what Instrumentl will do is it'll search through the respective results from the initial search result and essentially output clear instances where that exact phrase is referenced in the actual grant opportunity and whatnot. And so, this can just help you understand, okay, this might be a shortlist of folks that could potentially be good fits.

One example that I was looking at earlier today was in this food security project of mine. I actually took this approach of searching for volunteers. And I think I filtered by corporate as well. And I came up with one Insperity, which it looks like essentially when I look into this opportunity. So this is Insperity corporate contributions. And in this particular example, this organization provides financial volunteering, in-kind support to eligible nonprofits. To be considered for support, organizations should fit one of these focus areas.

And you'll notice how as I scroll through this section, essentially, it's a core focus of theirs to be facilitating volunteer participation, as well as the main eligibility requirements being nonprofit, tax exempt, 501 (c)(3). They obviously have some preference of, ideally, having a place where their employees already volunteer, which kind of speaks to Geng's earlier point of really identifying who some of those folks may be.

But essentially, this is a perfect example in which if you were to click the View website button here, I can see that this is presumably an HR company of sorts, and they're focused on making a difference. And now you see how they do so through these different corporate contributions and whatnot. And so, what I recommend you do, if you haven't already done so, is create a free 14-day account. Or if you're already in Instrumentl customer, you can go through your filter options, drop down into the corporate section in terms of funder types, and that will often give you a short list of folks that you can potentially do more due diligence on.

The other thing that you can do is you can always play with your fields of work in the case of my example, where I had selected for specifically volunteerism. But the other thing that's useful from the research side of things is that Instrumentl has all of this rich data as well around these organizations. So if you're looking at some of those corporate opportunities that Geng referenced in this slide earlier. So, for example, let's look up Starbucks together. We can use the Quick Find option and quickly identify the Starbucks Foundations Recipient Profile. And from here, we can also do our due diligence in terms of the sorts of funding opportunities that they might be providing. So, I've never done this before, but I can search for the phrase volunteer and see if there's any purpose that comes out there.

Nothing specifically with the purposes here, but maybe I see community as a case. So, maybe it'll be communities. So if I see that, I can start to scroll through and look at what are some of the focus areas of these corporations. And then essentially, you'll be able to parse through the data from here. And you can actually see when you go into the foundation's profile of Giving by NTEE Code. The respective areas where they might be giving more attention to and their actual fundraising efforts and just contributions to the community.

So something that you should look into as you explore things is just finding this list of potential corporate funders. The other place that you can look in Instrumentl is for folks that are on our standard plan or above, we have a funder matches tab. What that does is it matches your nonprofit to organizations that have a history of giving in the areas similar to yours. So these might be folks that are not open for RFP or invite only. But they often sometimes will include some corporations as well that are -- they'll have some potential corporate implications of just like the connections to corporations when you dig into where they're receiving funding from as well, and whatnot.

So, that's something that you can check out when it comes to finding some of these opportunities, how to quickly research it. Again, when you set up your matches, you'll go into the filter section, drop down into that corporate section. And then from there, you can start to search more concretely into the respective keyword phrases you might be looking out for there.

With that, I'll pass it back to Geng for the next section.

Geng: Awesome. Thanks, Will. And it's always really great to see Instrumentl works just how much power you have in terms of finding things so quickly. So hopefully, that was helpful for everyone to see.

The other thing I wanted to quickly was, as we think about these volunteer grants, right? One of the questions that came to my mind naturally was, okay, what could be the potential impact of a program like this for my organization? Right? So, I just thought we would do a couple of simple calculations together, right? And just to think about what could I do with something like this? Right? So example one is let's say you have 15 volunteers from one of these companies, right? And they volunteer just eight hours, right, with you. Maybe over just a one day session does an event and the organization matches $10 per hour, right? That's all $100 in terms of the grant that you can get, right?

So, depending on your mission, right, this could be something that you. And again, I think one of the great things is, these are unrestricted funds, obviously. And so, you're able to use this to pay for anything from payroll to equipment, or anything else that you would like. Another example would be, let's say, you have a larger company that comes in. But they're only coming in for half a day, right? And so doing 4 hours, 50 volunteers. Right? That would get you $2,000, right, for sort of a half day event that you're able to put on.

And then another example would be, let's say, you get some more recurring volunteers, right, you have five more dedicated volunteers. Over the course of the year, each of them puts in 48 hours, right? So let's call it a few hours each month, right?

So, you're really looking at four hours a month, right, in that case? And then if there's still $10 per hour, in terms of the match, right, that's $2,400 insurance of the grant opportunity, right? And these are just the direct benefits in terms of the dollars that you'll get from the match. But there's all the other benefits that we talked about from that relationship building to actually having probably a deeper connection with the volunteers that you're working with.

Oh, actually, you know what? I apologize. I might not be sharing my screen. Harder for you to see that. I apologize. It's only been three years since we started using Zoom. Right? So, we're still getting used to it.

All right, here's an example. As you can see, I was clicking through and watching. I even have animations. Look, it’s really nice. Example 1, 2, 3. So now, you can sort of experience that a little bit. But as I was saying, I think one of the things to note is this is just a direct impact that you get. But, obviously, there's the ancillary benefits that you receive as well. And in the chat, I saw someone had a question around what could we use this with our volunteers who might be retired. And so, it turns out, some of the corporate programs allow retirees of the companies to actually also get this benefit. So, Exxon Mobil is one in particular that I know allows this. But there are others out there as well that say, “Hey, if you're retiring and you worked with Exxon in the past, you still are eligible for this benefit.

Great. And so, three other quick tips before diving into a little bit of an example here. One is just [audio cut].

Will: Did we just lose Geng? We might have just lost Geng. Let’s see.

Geng: Sorry about that. My Zoom crashed. So, I apologize.

Will: No worries.

Geng: Let me share my screen here. It told me it crashed maybe 30 minutes ago. But I managed to maybe limp along for a little bit here.

So I was saying like, I think the first thing to think about is I do really believe, right, I realize this a little self-serving. But using a volunteer management software can be very helpful, right, to actually, A, allow you to report what you need to do for these corporations and say, “Hey, I can validate this time.” But, two, it also allows your volunteers potentially to have easy access to their own record of volunteering, right, that they can just share with their head of HR.

The second thing is, I would say, there are a number of different programs. And so, I think it's worthwhile just to take -- maybe it's a simple one sheet, right, with the link to their corporate login to say, “Hey, if you're from Starbucks, you just click on this. Here's how you submit your grant application.” Just to make it easy for them so that they don't have to search around for those instructions, right? And again, hopefully, from this webinar, you can look at the slides from previously. And then sort of copy some of the instructions that we already created here for you.

And then the other thing to think about is, really, for these companies, a lot of them, again, are often looking for opportunities to get involved in the community. And so to the degree that you can actually make it easy for them or reach out to them and say, “Hey, we're looking for a group of volunteers to come in for a day,” and we're able to put together this really great event that also, by the way, has some team building elements to it, right? That's really what they're looking for. Maybe some photo opportunities, if you will. That can really make it easy for folks to say, “Oh, yes. Well, of course, let's do that.” Right? Because that seems, instead of -- because no one wants to do the work, right? You imagine you're in this role at the company. Every time they have to think about this corporate volunteering event, they have to reach out to different nonprofits, call them, figure out what to do, and whether they have enough spaces. And so, if you actually bring that to them, it makes their job a lot easier too. Right? More likely for them to say yes.

And then just an example here, this is our dashboard for Civic Champs. And so, at the very top here, you can see the big numbers, right? So the number of volunteers. We call them champions, number of hours, donations, and then estimate the impact of these volunteers. And what I've done here is I've just done an example where for a specific date, period, right, so sort of year-to-date, right now for 2023. I chose a group called Walmart. And so I filtered, right, all the volunteers that work at Walmart. And this is a list of sort of the five folks in this sort of demo account that we have that presumably work at Walmart or are part of the Walmart group. And you can see the total number of hours that they have, how much individually they've contributed, right? This is sort of the benefit of having a platform like Civic Champs.

And then I'll actually pop out here and actually show what that might look like in live. And so, here is the same screen, essentially, right, just with a few more volunteers. And so, the other thing that you can do here on Civic Champs, right? So on the left are -- each row is a volunteer. You can see their total number of hours and activities. If you click into one of them, so we'll pick London here, you can see her information, her emergency contact information, her profile. And then we also collect things like onboarding questionnaires. And so, you can see all the questions that she might have answered as she was signing up to become a volunteer, and whether her waivers are active or not, and expired.

So, this is one of the benefits of using a platform like Civic Champs. You can also see, for example, her line by line activity, if you will. And so let's say, “I want to look for just London.” Right? I could see, hey, here's all the times that London's volunteered for me. Here's the number of hours, and then I could quickly export, right, all of this and put that into an Excel sheet or something for a company to say, “Yep, I can validate. They've done the amount of volunteer that they said they did.”

And then the other thing I just want to show real quickly is from an event scheduling standpoint, right? So, you can create events for your corporate groups. So, this is just an event that I put together for this demo today. We'll pretend we're at a pet adoption event, let's say, an animal shelter. And so, if you were to edit this event, just to walk folks through, you can quickly create an event like the one I have here. Right? So, you put your event name here. You say what date it is, whether or not it's a recurring event. So, let's say you have a monthly right now on the fourth Thursday. But you can have pretty much just like Google Calendar. You can create a different recurrence every Friday, every Thursday, every weekday, et cetera, put your description in here. Then you can have a day of instructions.

And so, we'll actually automatically send this back out to folks the day before to remind them to sign up for their shift. Your point of contact. So, who are they going to reach out to their questions? And then this is really interesting. And so, you can also select the visibility for your event. And so, whether you want everyone in the public to be able to sign up for something, maybe you want it to be private. So, you send it only for this corporate group. They have to have this link to sign up for this event. Or you could say, selected groups only. And so you could select this and say, “Hey, I only want people from Walmart to” -- maybe have a Walmart group, right? So I say, “Hey, only Walmart employees can sign up for this.” Right?

Then you put in your address here. We also use geofencing. And so when people come into this -- I'm a little colorblind. But I think that's a yellow orange-ish circle here. It'll remind you or remind your volunteers to check in, right? They'll say, “Hey, Veronica, it looks like you're here to volunteer today. Would you like to check in for the event?” Right? And then you put in your shift information, right? So, you might have a morning shift, an afternoon shift. What rules do you want people to play? How many slots do you have for each of them? Right? And then if you want to have them attach waivers and questionnaires, you can do that as well. So whether that's a photo release waiver, or something like that. Okay? And then once you review it, you can publish it. And then people can start signing up for the events.

And so, if you look at the calendar, right, so this would be your event calendar, you can see how many folks have signed up for different events. And then you can start managing that way. And then I won't belabor -- we won't do like a full demo. But I do think it's interesting to show you one other thing, which is just our mobile app. Because this allows, like I said earlier, access to their volunteer hours for the volunteers themselves, right? And so, allowing your volunteers to have access to their records on their phone. It can be quite powerful.

And so, hopefully, you guys can see my screen. Maybe give me a thumbs up from somebody that's on camera, if you can see. Okay, thank you. And so, here, we try to keep everything simple, right? Big letters, big words, all that kind of stuff.

On the app, if you click on Discover, you can sign up for -- we'll use the same demo account here. But you can sign up for events, right? You can sort of look at say, “Oh, yep, yeah, Friday or Wednesday, the eighth looks good. I'd love to volunteer there.” So, I click on the Register button, take the shift that I'm interested in. Maybe I want to do some dog walking, hit the Register button. And that's it. I get a calendar invite as I'm doing that. And now, if I ever need to unregister, I can do that as well. I can see the location. Bring that up on my apple map so I can get directions to the event.

And then for your volunteers, right, it tells you how many hours -- they could see how many hours they have, 36.3 hours. If they click on that, they could see their full history of volunteering, right? Again, sort of giving that access to the records that they have. And then finally, when they show up, like I said, as they hit go into that geofence, they fit this big check in button. It looks around them and says, “Hey, are there any events around you? It looks like there's no live events right now around me here. But otherwise, you would see -- you'll be able to select an event here and sort of check in for the event.” Right?

So let me -- here, I'll show you what that might look like. So, we'll actually start a timer. It’s pretty similar. And so, yeah, once you're checked in, it starts a little timer. And then when you want to check out, you hit the Checkout button, say what activity you did. And then you can even leave a quick reflection or feedback, right, to say, “Hey, had a good time. I didn't have a good time. I was confused. Rob was the best volunteer manager I've ever had.” Right? Things like that.

And last but not least, I would say, the other thing you could do as an admin is you can also use the mobile app to check in volunteers on their behalf. Not everyone wants to download a mobile app necessarily. And so, we'll check in some of our all star volunteers, Kareem Abdul Jabarr and John Adams. Really great volunteers. And then when they're done for the day, I can sort of select the folks I want to check out and check them all out.

Oh, and one last thing you could do here, right, is you can see everyone that's supposed to be showing up for your events as well. So you can see, here's all the people that are registered for the day. You can click in. You can check them in here as well. And then you can also message everyone. So, this is helpful. Let's say you have a rain delay or snow delay, right? Events like that. So you could say, select all everyone, “We're delayed by two hours. Take your time, or grab a coffee before you come in.”

So, that's a fairly quick demo of some of the features on Civic Champs and how that might help you with your volunteer matching grants in terms of tracking the hours that folks have done, and then also helping you report right as well. And certainly, we're not the only platform out there. But that's, I think, one of the benefits of having a system in place.

So, let me reshare my screen again. And we'll sort of go through the last few slides here. And we'll get into Q&A right after that.

So I would say, in terms of learning takeaways, right? So, hopefully, you're able to get a few things out of this session. So one is understanding what are volunteer matching grants, what are their benefits. Two, how to get started identifying companies both in your area or otherwise, right, using Instrumentl, for example. And then three, what activities would you need to do to help facilitate and manage these volunteer matching grants?

So, I thank you guys for your time. Here is my contact info. You can reach me by email, my phone number, or LinkedIn. Feel free to add me across all of those things. I'd love to say hi to all of you all. And then we also have our own promotion through Instrumentl. And so if you're booking a demo, through this link here, you'll receive two months free of Civic Champs. And so, this is sort of our Instrumentl special, if you will. And so, we'll put that in the chat box as well. And, yeah, hopefully a few folks will sign up and we'll get to get to know you a little better.

And then last but not least, there are some freebies for today. And so if you click here and complete the actions, you'll be able to get a freebie, including a PDF with some additional details about volunteer management grants, format, knowledge management grants, volunteer matching grants. And so if you do that, you can get this nice little freebie as well.

Will: Yeah. We'll be including our 10 best lessons from 10 Grant Writing experts in that follow-up after you submit that form. If you enjoyed today's workshop, our next one is going to be on the first, which is going to cover taking advantage of $156,000 and free digital advertising with Google and Microsoft Ad Grants for nonprofits. So, check that out if you want to RSVP for that. We have a number of questions to work our way through. So, let's go ahead and start with the Q&A here.

Rob's first question for you is do faith based 501(c)(3) typically qualify for corporate matching grants?

Geng: Yes. So universities and churches and faith-based organizations typically do qualify.

Will: And then Aaron asked, what about internationally based programs?

Geng. International, I would say is a little bit tougher. I think the programs I typically have seen are geared towards the US. They probably have separate policies for these sort of countries' specific entities overseas, right? So if you're Walmart in Costa Rica, right, they probably have their own separate program that probably looks a little bit different. The details, obviously, would be different in terms of the amount that they would match. Right? And so, you'd have to look into the specifics for the oversea program.

Will: Bree asked, if these corporate giving programs usually have a head person in the organization who manages it, or just in general, like tips and advice around identifying that person?

Geng: Yeah. So, they definitely have a head person or head persons. Typically, it's part of their human resource team. Sometimes it's a volunteer person who's stepping up into sort of a community engagement role. I would say to find them, right -- if they're ever sponsoring anything around in your community, right, whatever the event is that got sponsored, they would know who that person would be, right? So, that would be one way to find who this is. It's often harder to find them online. Although you can potentially find them on LinkedIn. Right? That's the other venue.

And then last, I would say, leveraging your current volunteers is a great way to do it. Right? Because if you say, “Hey, Linda, or Cory, I saw that your company has this program. I actually don't know exactly who to reach out to you to get more details. Would you mind who your HR person is, right? And help me put in contact and help me meet them. Right? And so, I think your volunteers can be a great way to sort of be a conduit for you.

Will: Awesome. And Abby asked this, do the companies require a minimum number of volunteers from their company in order for a nonprofit to qualify for the match? And what do you typically see there?

Geng: So, it depends. I would say, most of them do not have a minimum number of volunteers. They have a minimum number of hours. And oftentimes, that's what I see more of is a volunteer must have done 20 or 40 hours, perhaps. That's on the high end. But 20 is probably on the lower end. And then, of course, Starbucks at five hours will qualify.

The only time they're able to, not forgo those limits is when they have those events. And even for the events, usually, there's not a limit or the number of volunteers you need to qualify. But rather, a total number of hours. And so, you could probably find different ways to fit in, right? So, you might have an eight hour event with half the number of volunteers to qualify or you have a four hour event with double the number of volunteers, right, in order to qualify for maybe their hours threshold.

Will: Got it. And Linda asked, how does a nonprofit know the dollar amount to request? Or does each company set the grant amount? For example, there's a website that has $1 value for volunteer hours that you could use and whatnot. I'm curious about your thoughts there.

Geng: Yep. Yeah. So, each company has their own amounts that they set. And so, here's some examples again just coming back to this old slide here, right? So, Elevance Health, excuse me, will contribute 200 or $500 for an individual if they do 20 hours or 50 hours, right, for a nonprofit. Starbucks is $5 per hour, up to $1,000. So everyone sort of varies a little bit in terms of how much they're sort of willing to contribute.

Will: Awesome. Those are the questions that I had jotted down. I’m going to give it a couple seconds to see if anyone's been typing anything in. Otherwise, I think we've tackled everything for today.

Geng: Yeah. Well, thanks again to everyone for joining. And since we're on this page, one other thing I would note is that these are the actual names of the programs for these companies. And so, if you're reaching out to somebody using their specific name, it's often helpful. So, they know exactly what you're talking about. And these are the acronyms I've seen that use a lot of acronyms that obviously start with P. But you can volunteer and they always pay, right? I mean, they sort of acronyms like that. And so that could be a helpful tip as well.

Will: Awesome, very useful. Thanks so much, Geng, and Civic Champs, for collaborating with us for this partner workshop. That's going to wrap it up for this week. But hopefully, we'll see you guys next week as we talk about Google and Microsoft Ad Grants for your nonprofit. Thanks so much, everybody. And look out for that replay in the coming week. Bye now.

Geng: Thanks everyone. Have a good week.

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