FOCUS ON SENIORS: Tech-savvy volunteers needed

Opinion Feb 24, 2017 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Throughout Ontario, it is estimated that nearly half of the population volunteers their time, energy and skills. Thousands of organizations achieve their missions while building stronger communities thanks to the expertise, passion and dedication of volunteers.

Volunteers can be found performing a wide range of tasks including serving on boards and committees, canvassing for funds, providing counselling services, making friendly visits to seniors, delivering food, helping build facilities, serving as volunteer drivers, helping to protect the environment and wildlife, advocating for social causes, coaching children and youth, and so on.

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) is volunteer-driven. The 15 members on the board of directors are volunteers, as are the people who contribute to the communication committee, the event committee and the sustainability committee.  

There are volunteers who assist at events and activities. As the GRCOA grows, several new opportunities where volunteers could be of tremendous assistance and value have presented themselves.

One such opportunity is the need for someone with above-average skill and knowledge regarding website maintenance and social media applications.  

This volunteer would provide ongoing maintenance and updated information on the GRCOA website, and post regular updates on Twitter and Facebook. The individual would realize an increased understanding of issues and challenges of aging in Brantford and Brant while using their skills. It may require up to a two-hour time commitment per week and can be performed from home at the individual’s convenience.  

Why does this need for specific skill and knowledge exist? Having a website is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to any business. People of all ages are using the Internet for information. So often today, we hear the phrase, “I’ll Google it,” from individuals looking for something. However, just having a site isn’t enough.  

When people contact the Grand River Council on Aging, they are often referred to the website to obtain more in-depth information.  

Some of the key elements of an effective website are appearance, content, functionality and usability. The new volunteer would understand these components and strive to ensure they are monitored at all times, ensuring quality and overall effectiveness. It is well understood as well that social media skills can keep interested people up-to-date with current activities.

Spelling and grammar skills will serve the volunteer well as they double-check facts and figures prior to posting information.  

The other opportunity is for those with photography skills. This may appeal to the professional or an amateur shutterbug. The time commitment would be variable. They may be called in to capture a special event; to snap a photo of other volunteers, sponsors and donors; or to highlight stories that appear in the Brant News. Additionally, pictures are always needed for the website to showcase the work of the council.

Pictures also add visual interest for those visiting the site. This volunteer would be required to secure written releases from each person who is photographed, which would give the GRCOA permission to use their images in described ways.  

On occasion, the website volunteer and the photography volunteer may work together. There may be times when a specific need for an image on the website or social media presents itself. It would be great to have someone to call on to meet this requirement. Or, it could happen that a particular picture taken for another purpose — such as a bio photo of the board president — seems perfect for posting on the website. Twitter and Facebook could be supported in the same manner.

As an age-friendly organization, the Grand River Council on Aging welcomes people of all ages to volunteer. You may be a retired photographer or a student in university with a love for social media. If so, we want to hear from you.  

The GRCOA maintains a database of people who have expressed an interest in volunteering or have submitted a completed application form. When a need arises that seems to mesh with your stated skill level or area of interest, you will receive a phone call inviting you to an interview to discuss the opportunity further.

Volunteering can be a rewarding, beneficial experience for people of all ages. Volunteers contribute significantly to organizations, too. It can be a win-win situation for all concerned.  

We look forward to hearing from you.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Tech-savvy volunteers needed

Volunteers are the backbone of many community organizations

Opinion Feb 24, 2017 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Throughout Ontario, it is estimated that nearly half of the population volunteers their time, energy and skills. Thousands of organizations achieve their missions while building stronger communities thanks to the expertise, passion and dedication of volunteers.

Volunteers can be found performing a wide range of tasks including serving on boards and committees, canvassing for funds, providing counselling services, making friendly visits to seniors, delivering food, helping build facilities, serving as volunteer drivers, helping to protect the environment and wildlife, advocating for social causes, coaching children and youth, and so on.

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) is volunteer-driven. The 15 members on the board of directors are volunteers, as are the people who contribute to the communication committee, the event committee and the sustainability committee.  

There are volunteers who assist at events and activities. As the GRCOA grows, several new opportunities where volunteers could be of tremendous assistance and value have presented themselves.

One such opportunity is the need for someone with above-average skill and knowledge regarding website maintenance and social media applications.  

This volunteer would provide ongoing maintenance and updated information on the GRCOA website, and post regular updates on Twitter and Facebook. The individual would realize an increased understanding of issues and challenges of aging in Brantford and Brant while using their skills. It may require up to a two-hour time commitment per week and can be performed from home at the individual’s convenience.  

Why does this need for specific skill and knowledge exist? Having a website is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to any business. People of all ages are using the Internet for information. So often today, we hear the phrase, “I’ll Google it,” from individuals looking for something. However, just having a site isn’t enough.  

When people contact the Grand River Council on Aging, they are often referred to the website to obtain more in-depth information.  

Some of the key elements of an effective website are appearance, content, functionality and usability. The new volunteer would understand these components and strive to ensure they are monitored at all times, ensuring quality and overall effectiveness. It is well understood as well that social media skills can keep interested people up-to-date with current activities.

Spelling and grammar skills will serve the volunteer well as they double-check facts and figures prior to posting information.  

The other opportunity is for those with photography skills. This may appeal to the professional or an amateur shutterbug. The time commitment would be variable. They may be called in to capture a special event; to snap a photo of other volunteers, sponsors and donors; or to highlight stories that appear in the Brant News. Additionally, pictures are always needed for the website to showcase the work of the council.

Pictures also add visual interest for those visiting the site. This volunteer would be required to secure written releases from each person who is photographed, which would give the GRCOA permission to use their images in described ways.  

On occasion, the website volunteer and the photography volunteer may work together. There may be times when a specific need for an image on the website or social media presents itself. It would be great to have someone to call on to meet this requirement. Or, it could happen that a particular picture taken for another purpose — such as a bio photo of the board president — seems perfect for posting on the website. Twitter and Facebook could be supported in the same manner.

As an age-friendly organization, the Grand River Council on Aging welcomes people of all ages to volunteer. You may be a retired photographer or a student in university with a love for social media. If so, we want to hear from you.  

The GRCOA maintains a database of people who have expressed an interest in volunteering or have submitted a completed application form. When a need arises that seems to mesh with your stated skill level or area of interest, you will receive a phone call inviting you to an interview to discuss the opportunity further.

Volunteering can be a rewarding, beneficial experience for people of all ages. Volunteers contribute significantly to organizations, too. It can be a win-win situation for all concerned.  

We look forward to hearing from you.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Tech-savvy volunteers needed

Volunteers are the backbone of many community organizations

Opinion Feb 24, 2017 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Throughout Ontario, it is estimated that nearly half of the population volunteers their time, energy and skills. Thousands of organizations achieve their missions while building stronger communities thanks to the expertise, passion and dedication of volunteers.

Volunteers can be found performing a wide range of tasks including serving on boards and committees, canvassing for funds, providing counselling services, making friendly visits to seniors, delivering food, helping build facilities, serving as volunteer drivers, helping to protect the environment and wildlife, advocating for social causes, coaching children and youth, and so on.

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) is volunteer-driven. The 15 members on the board of directors are volunteers, as are the people who contribute to the communication committee, the event committee and the sustainability committee.  

There are volunteers who assist at events and activities. As the GRCOA grows, several new opportunities where volunteers could be of tremendous assistance and value have presented themselves.

One such opportunity is the need for someone with above-average skill and knowledge regarding website maintenance and social media applications.  

This volunteer would provide ongoing maintenance and updated information on the GRCOA website, and post regular updates on Twitter and Facebook. The individual would realize an increased understanding of issues and challenges of aging in Brantford and Brant while using their skills. It may require up to a two-hour time commitment per week and can be performed from home at the individual’s convenience.  

Why does this need for specific skill and knowledge exist? Having a website is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to any business. People of all ages are using the Internet for information. So often today, we hear the phrase, “I’ll Google it,” from individuals looking for something. However, just having a site isn’t enough.  

When people contact the Grand River Council on Aging, they are often referred to the website to obtain more in-depth information.  

Some of the key elements of an effective website are appearance, content, functionality and usability. The new volunteer would understand these components and strive to ensure they are monitored at all times, ensuring quality and overall effectiveness. It is well understood as well that social media skills can keep interested people up-to-date with current activities.

Spelling and grammar skills will serve the volunteer well as they double-check facts and figures prior to posting information.  

The other opportunity is for those with photography skills. This may appeal to the professional or an amateur shutterbug. The time commitment would be variable. They may be called in to capture a special event; to snap a photo of other volunteers, sponsors and donors; or to highlight stories that appear in the Brant News. Additionally, pictures are always needed for the website to showcase the work of the council.

Pictures also add visual interest for those visiting the site. This volunteer would be required to secure written releases from each person who is photographed, which would give the GRCOA permission to use their images in described ways.  

On occasion, the website volunteer and the photography volunteer may work together. There may be times when a specific need for an image on the website or social media presents itself. It would be great to have someone to call on to meet this requirement. Or, it could happen that a particular picture taken for another purpose — such as a bio photo of the board president — seems perfect for posting on the website. Twitter and Facebook could be supported in the same manner.

As an age-friendly organization, the Grand River Council on Aging welcomes people of all ages to volunteer. You may be a retired photographer or a student in university with a love for social media. If so, we want to hear from you.  

The GRCOA maintains a database of people who have expressed an interest in volunteering or have submitted a completed application form. When a need arises that seems to mesh with your stated skill level or area of interest, you will receive a phone call inviting you to an interview to discuss the opportunity further.

Volunteering can be a rewarding, beneficial experience for people of all ages. Volunteers contribute significantly to organizations, too. It can be a win-win situation for all concerned.  

We look forward to hearing from you.