The Genius Blog

Surviving Summer (with Kids)

Posted by: Linda Chase on 07/02/2015 08:37 AM EDT
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Amy Tidwell
Senior Support Genius

Our Senior Support Analyst, Amy, has been with the company for over 4 years. We asked this former teacher and mom of three, who lives and breathes Auburn football, to spill the beans on her tactics for “surviving” summer. She shares: 

Moving into our 3rd office since SignUpGenius began, I have been a little nostalgic as I reflect upon the changes in our company and in my own family over the past 4 years. With 17-, 15-, and 12-year-old girls, our summer days look much different than when they were 13, 11, and 8. It really does go by fast. Here are just a few activities that get us through those hot, summer days… then and now! 

THEN:

  • Library visits: free books, magazines, and DVDs
  • Pools and splash parks
  • Craft classes: many at Michael’s, Home Depot, Lowe's
  • Playdate swaps = break for Mom
  • Free movies (bonus: air conditioning, naptime for Mom)
  • Video game rentals
  • Attending Vacation Bible School (VBS)
  • Beach boogie boarding, sand castle making, and flying kites.

amy and girlsNOW:

  • YMCA Memberships
  • VBS volunteering
  • Going on mission trips
  • Babysitting, pet sitting, plant caretaking, part-time jobbing
  • Beach sunbathing, walking, and reading
  • Overnight camps/retreats
  • Netflix binging
  • Shopping

Then, we made dinner together. Let’s face it, now we’re lucky if a) there is food in the house for dinner and b) there are people there to eat the food. 

Then, we got a little sick of each other. Now, we miss each other. 

My takeaway? It’s not so much about what you do together, but more about being together. Show your family they matter. Rest assured, fall (and Auburn football) will be here before you know it! 

Need some memory-making inspiration this summer? Be sure to check out our tips for making family memories and unique family night ideas


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No More Bummer Summers

Posted by: Kayla Rutledge on 06/30/2015 02:08 PM EDT
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summer family fun

At last, summertime! While your kids may be shouting for joy at the thought of sunny days full of popsicles, swimming, and no school, you’re probably shuddering at the thought of melted desserts and wet swimsuits everywhere. Summer can feel overwhelming for parents, but don’t worry. SignUpGenius has the tools and ideas you need to get by.

Ideas for Summer Fun
We’ll do anything to avoid the dreaded phrase, “Mom, I’m bored!” For those days when soccer camp, ballet camp, and even camping camp are completely full, SignUpGenius has a few ways to keep kids busy.

  • Crafts – From marble racing to sand art, we have 100 summer craft ideas that are sure to have your miniature Michelangelo grinning! 
  • Snacks – The next time your kids complain they’re hungry, let them help you in making one of these 50 creative and interesting treat ideas
  • Outings – Desperate to stop the tornado of toys destroying your home? From the zoo to water gun fights, this list of 100 fun summer activities is sure to give you ideas to keep 'em busy.
  • Family Time - If you’re looking for summer activities to interest the whole family, here are 25 ideas for family night that will interest all ages! 

Staying Organized 
Figuring out who needs to go where and at what time during the summer can become quite the hassle. Fortunately, SignUpGenius has a few tricks to make this summer stress-free!

  • Summer Sports – Summer often leaves more time for sports teams! To coordinate carpools, snacks, and game/meet schedules, SignUpGenius has many sports sign up solutions.
  • Playgroups – Kids miss their friends while school’s out, so invite their playmates to get together in a simple way using this fun playgroup sign up.
  • Block Parties – Whether for the Fourth of July or just to spice up a Friday, have a potluck using the block party sign up themes

So, sit back, relax, and simplify this summer. Now, if we could just create a sign up that could get your child's summer reading project done!


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Genius Reflection: Confessions of a Fundraising Mom

Posted by: Kate White on 06/09/2015 12:50 PM EDT
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angel coo signupgeniusAdmit it. You’ve been mystified by that extraordinary fundraising mom (or dad) at church, school, or on the sidelines. How does she DO it? Our CMO/COO, Angel, gives us some insight into what it takes! She shares: 

"I’m not what you’d call a “natural” at fundraising. I don’t like to sell things or send my kids out to sell things. So, it’s a bit ironic that I’ve been involved in planning fundraisers for everything from school capital campaigns to youth group mission trips for the past 10+ years. Chalk it up to being a mom of four kids. When we adopted two of them, our family fell in love with the organization that cared for them in Liberia, so we’ve been involved in nonprofit fundraising for the past eight years, too.

fundraiser kids

Strangely enough, my distaste for overpriced products that serve no real purpose is what led me to the holy grail of all fundraising secrets.

**Secret: Figure out what people really need and provide it to them in a way that saves them time or money or improves their relationships with others.

I know. It’s Business 101. I didn’t say I was brilliant…just cheap.

But here’s the thing. When volunteers get together to decide on a fundraiser for their cause, we often start with a list of products or ideas and decide on the one we dislike the least. Or sometimes, we decide on the one that promises us the highest return or the least investment of time.

After all, we’re busy and our kids’ schools need money, for goodness sake. But there are only so many purchases a sane mom can make of elementary school art on oven mitts before she develops a twitch at the mention of fundraisers. You know what I mean?

Maximize Your Fundraising. Click to view Infographic

Somewhere on the path of purchasing frozen cheesecakes and popcorn at 1000% mark up, I began to think about the potential buyers and meeting their needs, rather than my own.

Were they parents with small kids and needed time to Christmas shop alone? A babysitting night with teen volunteers at the beginning of December turned out to be a big hit, especially if we fed the kids. Were they busy with all adults in the household working full time? Delivering home-cooked meals they could order and pay for online was worth a mint.

It ended up being pretty easy to come up with creative fundraising ideas once we thought about fundraising as a way to help people instead of a way to get something from them. And we found that different ideas worked better in different situations. (It turns out that artwork oven mitts are actually prized possessions when offered as a preschool fundraiser.) 

So, do I love planning fundraisers now? Hmm, I may not go that far.  But I do love the causes that are behind them, and I do love finding ways to make people’s lives easier. When those match up in an ideal fundraiser…well, even this cheapskate will pay good money for it."

Whether you are coordinating your first fundraiser, or are a seasoned fundraising pro, we have some helpful resources to make your next event a major success! Check out our Fundraising Resource Page!


Posted by Jennifer Rowland on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 9:23 PM EDT
This is an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing! I am taking over the Fundraising PTA position and this article was an eye-opener. Thank you!
Posted by Teresa Clark on Thursday, June 11, 2015 9:22 PM EDT
Hi Jona!
You can definitely use SignUpGenius for ordering team apparel. Users can select their size, and even pay for their items on the sign up. Someone from our support team will be happy to help you set this kind of sign up. Click on the help option on the site and send an email with any specific questions you have and we will be happy to help!
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Beyond The Boxes

Posted by: Kate White on 06/04/2015 03:36 PM EDT
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genius at work signIt didn’t take long. Our boxes are unpacked and things put away in our fun – and spacious - new office. Our staff feels motivated by the super smart “genius” quotes on the walls and the fantastic custom art pieces that were inspired by our iconic logo – the Genius Lightbulb. 

The new office space is no doubt filled with FUN – a lounge equipped with comfy seats, a white board wall to work on, an extra fridge and… wha?! Is that a ping-pong table in the break room? You bet! 

Yet, there is more than just “fun” that went into creating this new office space. Much thought went into designing a workplace that truly supports the mission of our company and reflects our corporate culture at the very core.

You will see that the mission of SignUpGenius takes center stage, or rather, center wall, leading visitors into the space. “Seeing the mission statement each and every day, front and center, provides an important reminder of just what we are here to do,” says Kate White, Marketing Strategist. “Some may say that we are overly ambitious by aiming to ‘change the world,’ but when we see the impact that our site has on individuals – a simple fundraiser helping clothe a family in need or educate our future leaders - we see that each sign up can make a true impact. It’s exciting to see our company continue to grow, serving more and more people in this way.” 

Our new office also equips us as we launch into a new season of growth and expansion. (That’s right, we left plenty of room for future genius staffers!) Enjoy a sneak peek at our new digs:

signupgenius officesignupgenius office 2

signupgenius office 3signupgenius office 4

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signupgenius office 8signupgenius office 7

Do you think you have what it takes to join the Genius Team? Have we the opportunity for you! Check out our recent job postings, HERE.

As always, thanks for allowing us to serve you with a fun, but meaningful product that helps you simplify your life.

 


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Posted by Nancy rutkwdge on Thursday, June 04, 2015 5:36 PM EDT
Love the new office
Posted by Pam French on Thursday, June 04, 2015 5:45 PM EDT
Wow! That looks awesome. I love all the light bulbs hanging. Very fun.
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Hawkfest Soars with SignUpGenius

Posted by: Linda Chase on 05/27/2015 01:27 PM EDT
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Each spring, Hawk Ridge Elementary School hosts Hawkfest, a carnival to celebrate the school and community. Using SignUpGenius Pro, Hawk Ridge is able to easily organize more than 130 volunteers and make Hawkfest their largest fundraiser of the year.    


We’re proud to help organizations like Hawk Ridge make a difference in the lives of young people. Many thanks to Principal Troy Moore, for sharing his fantastic volunteers and the Hawkfest success with us!

Schools and businesses, large and small, are using SignUpGenius to organize events and schedule people. Here are some tips on planning your next carnival.

Flyin’ high with your own event sign up? Share in a comment below!


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It's HERE - the NEW SignUpGenius Mobile!

Posted by: Kate White on 05/18/2015 04:15 PM EDT
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signupgenius mobile websiteThere is nothing we love more than making your life easier. And our completely redesigned SignUpGenius Mobile does just that. As you prepare to take your last lap around the school carpool line and shift gears into summer, we’re unveiling a mobile experience that will really give you a thrill. You’re in the driver’s seat as SignUpGenius Mobile offers easier navigation between sign ups, statistics, calendar syncing and more.

The NEW SignUpGenius Mobile is NOW AVAILABLE!

  • Enjoy easier mobile navigation and a slick new look to match your sign up theme
  • Save time by paying and signing up for multiple items at one time
  • Swap, edit and delete sign up responsibilities from the palm of your hand
  • Stay organized by syncing multiple tasks to your calendar at once
  • View easy-to-read planning resources
  • Compatible with iPhone, Windows, and Android Phones
  • Additional permissions and reporting options available (Pro Accounts Only)


Buckle up, beloved geniuses... and enjoy on-the-go organizing like never before!

 

 


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Posted by jack harrison asphalt on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 5:01 PM EDT
thanks jack harrison asphalt
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