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Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~September 2010 ~


Create a virtual tour of your facility and the volunteer program.  Find a volunteer who is experienced at doing videos.  A perfect episodic task for a college volunteer majoring in film, media, or graphic arts.  They need to develop a portfolio and you can provide one place to do it.  It is possible the student will have necessary equipment.  Have the person create a video of the building or park where volunteer work is done. Tools needed are: a camera, microphone, lights, computer, video and audio editing software, tripod for the camera, microphone stand, a portable lighting structure, and headphones. It seems like a lot, but with some bargain hunting you should be able to get everything you need for a webcam setup for about $100.  Locating equipment is also a great job for a virtual volunteer.

A video tour is not just about a facility and its features.  It is a way to show prospective volunteers that they will be warmly welcomed.  Demonstrate how volunteers are engaged in the place where they do their work. It is about pride of place and service.  Check out real estate videos for ideas on how to make your work site look good.

Hollywood calls it the storyboard.  Storyboards are graphic organizers such as a series of illustrations or images (think comic book, simplified) displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a movie or a video.  If the person doing the video is trained have them help with the storyboard.  The administrator of volunteers needs to outline the content to guide the videographer.

A tour of your volunteer program starts with the storyboard.  Do not leave to chance what the videographer will do.  For the video pretend that you have never been to the facility or park or seen volunteers at work.   Think about it as if you are discovering it for the very first time.

The tour should begin from the moment potential volunteers decide he/she is interested in volunteering.  Start with a human welcome, not a sterile building exterior. Introduce yourself or have a volunteer do the welcome. Tell the viewer what they will see.  Be sure to show things like parking lots and rest rooms.  Make contact information part of the video.  Include times the office is open or web location where more information on the program can be found.

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