My introduction to the voluntary sector

My name is Katie and I am currently undertaking a part-time secondment over the summer at Voluntary Action Leeds. I am working 2.5 days here and 2 days a week at my other role at the University of Leeds.

Woman smiling

In my new role I have been given the reins for VAL’s social media. It’s my job to tweet and post interesting stories on Facebook about the third sector. If you have any great photographs that you would like VAL’s social media channels to share and promote, send them over as we are always looking for exciting news to highlight the work of third sector organisations.  

My goal over the next couple of months is to try and strengthen the organisation’s social media impact by encouraging staff to tweet, post on Facebook and even show-off their photographs on Instagram. We host and participate in many events, so there’s plenty of photographs and stories that we can and should share with friends, colleagues and other organisations.

We have recently launched a new social media campaign aimed at encouraging volunteers to share their experiences by posting selfies during their time volunteering.  

The #VolunteerSelfie campaign began with a big launch event hosted by the Lord Mayor at the Civic Hall. Young volunteers from across the city joined together with staff from VAL to kick-start the new campaign with some funny selfies. We had people dressed up as Batman, some dressed in feather bowers and even an umbrella hat that did the rounds.

Since starting I have also had the chance to pop along to the Google Digital Garage which has set up for business opposite the Royal Armouries in the centre of Leeds. I was able to attend a ‘Tell Your Story Online’ seminar which highlighted some useful tools for promoting your organisation on the web.

Three important tips that I picked up during the session include:

  1. Make sure your website converts well onto mobile and tablet
  2. Make good use of analytics tools such as Google Analytics to find out who is visiting your website
  3. Tell your story consistently through all social media channels

I found the seminar useful as it got me thinking how I could use social media to target a larger audience and the best thing was it was entirely free.

There are also one-to-one mentoring sessions on offer with a Google technician, which will definitely be handy if you are looking to give your organisation a digital boost. 

I have to say up to now my experience of the voluntary sector has been brilliant, lots of cake to eat, plenty of friendly faces and lots of events to get involved with. Although my time at VAL is short, I have already learnt many things about the voluntary sector and developed skills that will help me in other future roles.

I think it’s fair to say that I am going to miss working here.   

Comments (1)

  1. Emma Bennett:
    Jul 10, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    Welcome to the voluntary sector, Katie! Hope you are loving life at VAL.

    Another tip - tweets are often useless without images!


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