Event Tabling and Chat Tools for Volunteers | Track It Forward

Event Tabling and Chat Tools for Volunteers

Written by Jordan Galerkin

Icons depicting events, volunteers holding signs, and online chats

Recap for March 28th - April 3

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Facebook community this past week!

Event Tabling - Is it Worth It?

Many volunteer organizations make the decision to put time and effort into tabling at community events to promote awareness for their organization, recruit volunteers, and fundraise. But the question is, is it worth it? One of our community members brought up that they were having trouble measuring the effectiveness at these events, and our coordinator community has offered some great tips on how you can measure this!

Facebook post stating: 'I'm wondering if anyone has a spreadsheet/tracker for evaluating effectiveness of tables at community events? I guess this is also kind of a marketing question, but I know many of us have volunteers assist and sometimes they can seem like wastes of time (I know every touch point is good, but sitting in the hot sun for hours on a Saturday only to talk with a few people...). I think having some sort of more system to track and see

Comments from the group

  • “We have just added a field for that on a tracker for all outreach events that also helps us keep track of recurring vs. one-time events, who to contact, who is attending, and more.” (P.S. -  you can do this in Track it Forward by adding a text field for volunteers to add notes to their hours log!)

  • “I started my own binder where I make a sheet for each event. I track if it was “good” or “bad”, how much $$, what we sold, hours worked etc. then the next year, i re-evaluate to see if its “worth my time”. Last week an event made $40 for 5 hours of my energy/time plus 2 volunteers…not worth it next year”

  • “It's important to think about the audience that you're trying to reach and asking yourself if any event will accomplish that. Also your volunteers should have a polished elevator speech and the ability to engage with visitors at the table. Sometimes it's not volunteers that you get but donors. We are very selective about the types of events that we go to for these reasons.”

Add your own thoughts here!

Chat Tools for Volunteer Communications

Chat tools can be useful for communications not only within companies but within volunteer-based organizations as well! If you have volunteer shifts and someone is going to be late or miss their shift, they can quickly message the current volunteer onsite ahead of time. Or perhaps you utilize remote volunteers, in which case a chat tool can help to promote a sense of community and togetherness while quickly answering questions. Our coordinator community has a few recommendations on tools you can use!

Facebook post stating: Hello! Does anyone use a chat tool for remote volunteer shifts so they can all interact? I've volunteered with orgs that set up daily threads on Signal, but not sure if all of our varying vols would download the app. We have a very large remote volunteer interpreter program. Any success stories out there?

Comments from the group

  • “I personally virtually volunteer preparing taxes, and we use Slack during the shift to communicate…I use the computer version…there’s an app as well. Sometimes it’s a little finicky (i.e. tagging people, if you don't have notifications pop up it is easy to miss things) but overall seems pretty nice.”

  • “Slack!”

  • Read our article on Organizing Virtual Volunteers for more ideas for online communications, such as Facebook or Discord.

See all of the comments here!