The Genius Blog

Introducing our Hats off to Volunteers $5,000 Giveaway Winners

Posted by: Erin Dunn on 04/29/2016 12:00 AM EDT
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giveaway winner graphic volunteer appreciation contest

Our hats are off to all of the geniuses who entered to win $1,000 for a nonprofit of their choice! After nearly 11,000 entries were submitted in our volunteer appreciation giveaway, we chose five winners at random.

Each individual will receive a $50 Visa gift card along with the donation to their charity. Meet the winners: 

Bicentennial PTO (Nashua, New Hampshire) — Nominated by Julie Connolly. She’s the mother of 11-year-old triplets and serves as a room mom in one of the girl’s classes, where she’s used SignUpGenius to manage events and snack donations. “I nominated the Bicentennial PTO because I have seen all the great things first hand the PTO has done to enrich the students' overall learning experience, including purchasing technology, bringing in external speakers and performers, organizing field day and other events, enabling after school enrichment programs and more,” she says. “It is a wonderful, supportive learning community!”

Charlotte Hounds Foundation (Charlotte, North Carolina) — Nominated by Rachel Foxx of Huntersville, N.C. The Hounds are a lacrosse team in Charlotte (SignUpGenius’ hometown), and the foundation has helped establish new lacrosse programs in 13 regional schools by providing equipment and education. She’s one of “The Foxes” a group of philanthropic women that also serve as the official dance team. With the money, they plan to create a “Junior Fox” program. “The goal is to create a youth program for girls that want to help volunteer in the community, learn public speaking skills and become ambassadors for the sport of lacrosse,” Foxx says.

Junior Woman’s Club of Loudoun (Leesburg, Virginia) — Nominated by Trina Behbahani of South Riding, Virginia. “JWCL is celebrating it's 65th anniversary of service, and it seemed fitting to nominate this organization that with only 35 members, no paid staff and a shoe string budget helps to improve the lives of others through volunteer service,” she says. Behbahani uses SignUpGenius to coordinate the nonprofit’s volunteer services, including coordinating RSVPs and collecting donations and supplies.

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation (Arlington, Virginia) — Nominated by Heidi Anderson of Alexandria, Virginia. “MMCF was established after Vicki and Peter Brown lost their only child, Mattie, to childhood cancer. MMCF is dedicated to addressing the psychological needs of children and families living with childhood cancer as well as educating health care providers on the impact of such a diagnosis on children and their families,” she says. Anderson uses SignUpGenius for volunteer duties at her school and church, and Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation uses SignUpGenius to organize volunteers for their annual awareness walk.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, Tennessee) — Nominated by Zach Bentley of Vanceburg, Kentucky. If you’re not familiar with this large nonprofit, consider this: The nonprofit has more than 9 million active donors to help accomplish its mission of eliminating pediatric cancers.  “Thanks for holding this wonderful giveaway. I've wanted to donate to this organization for quite some time,” Bentley says.

In addition, SignUpGenius users who purchased SignUpGenius Pro during National Volunteer Week were automatically entered to win one of 20 free T-shirts. 

Here are the 20 t-shirt winners

  • Alice Tarkington
  • Karen Romadka
  • Michelle Abel
  • Lindsey Kell
  • Janet Schmieder
  • Susie Gabel
  • Nathan Bledsoe
  • TechCrunch Disrupt
  • Natalie Kebe
  • Hogan Lovells
  • John Brandt
  • Jennifer Swenson
  • Heather Mersberger
  • Polly Crisson
  • Teena Singh
  • Brandy Marion
  • Laura McKenzie
  • Ashley Anton
  • Lisa Mitchell
  • DePaul Admissions

 Congrats to all!


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Celebrate Good Times, C’mon! 

Posted by: Kate White on 04/22/2016 12:00 AM EDT
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special events, registration, graduation, baby shower, bridal shower, commencementDoesn’t nicer weather make you feel like a celebration is in order? Thankfully, spring is a season chock full of opportunities to celebrate milestones: graduation ceremonies, weddings, baby showers, to name a few.  We’ve rounded up some fun and useful ways to help you keep those festivities simplified, so you have more time to soak it all in. 

GRADUATION

 WEDDINGS

 BABY SHOWERS

  • Collect RSVPs and coordinate potluck items using a baby shower sign up.
  • Know how much the typical baby items cost? Play baby product Price is Right and more with these baby shower games.
  • Coordinate logistics, party food, gifts, invitations and more with our Baby Shower Guide.
  • Give the perfect gift to the mom-to-be with this useful and unique list of baby gift ideas.

 Making time to honor the special people and occasions in life is always important. Thanks for trusting SignUpGenius with all events big and small! 


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New Feature: Profile Pics

Posted by: Erin Dunn on 04/22/2016 12:00 AM EDT

Our goal at SignUpGenius is to help you organize groups and events as simply as possible with our online tools, but we love finding ways to make your experience both useful and fun! That’s why we’re making your sign up experience better (or should we say better looking) than ever. 

SignUpGenius’ newest feature — Profile Pics — will help you put a face with the name, literally. No more wondering what your volunteers look like when they show up for the first time! 

The concept is pretty simple, and you’re probably used to having your image follow you around various websites. From your main sign ups account page, you’ll have a few options for your Profile Pic:

  • Use My Initials
  • Upload a Photo
  • Use My Facebook Image
  • Use My Gravatar Image

If you don’t choose anything, the default will be your initials.  What are you waiting for? Show everyone the bright and smiling face of an organizing genius!


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Thank a Teacher and Show How Much You Appreciate Them

Posted by: Erin Dunn on 04/21/2016 12:00 AM EDT
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teacher appreciationWe’re nearing the end of the school year (can you believe it?), and it’s time to make sure those child whisperers otherwise known as teachers understand how much you appreciate their hard work. 

National Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday May 3 this year, and National Teacher Appreciation Week runs the whole week. Since we want you to look like geniuses this year, we’re sharing our best tips and advice for putting on a smart display of appreciation.

Get your planning in line now, and you’ll reap the benefits when you see those big smiles on your teacher and staff faces. And remember, it’s never out of style to simply say thank you.


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Celebrate Genius Moms with These Mother’s Day Ideas 

Posted by: Erin Dunn on 04/20/2016 12:00 AM EDT
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Don’t put off your planning for Mother’s Day this year if you want to impress mom. We’ve got online sign ups to help you coordinate the perfect day with mom, and resources to help you pick thoughtful gifts and activities. Here are some of our favorite mom-approved ideas: 

A little planning will go a long way this Mother’s Day. Don’t forget, mom will appreciate the thought behind any gift. You expressing your love for her is at the top of her list!


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SignUpGenius Gives Back at Brookstone Schools  

Posted by: Erin Dunn on 04/15/2016 12:00 AM EDT
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Brookstone Schools, Charlotte, private school, Christian education, volunteeringWorking at SignUpGenius, we get to see first-hand the power of volunteers each and every day. For National Volunteer Week, we wanted to make sure we put in our fair share of work. 

That’s why we headed over to Brookstone Schools, a private Christ-centered school that serves underprivileged children in downtown Charlotte. The school enrolls about 150 students from kindergarten to eighth grade — and it’s a really inspiring place that shows the importance of giving back in the community. 

Brookstone Schools, low income, Charlotte, Christian school, private school, volunteers, givingBrookstone has about 300 volunteers who handle everything from stocking snack cabinets to tutoring students. Donors contributed more than 90 percent of the school’s income last school year. 

At SignUpGenius, we sponsor two students, and two of our employees serve as lunch buddies who meet regularly with the children to form an encouraging bond. On National Volunteer Day, the whole staff got a chance to see the impact of Brookstone. 

We toured the school, stuffed thank you letters to donors from Brookstone’s annual gala, heard stories from four middle school students about what the school has meant to them and ate lunch with students.  

The students have big plans. They want to be everything from an animator to an FBI agent.  

Listen to what H’Lin — a 13-year-old whose family is from the Montagnard ethnic group in Vietnam and immigrated six years ago — had to say:

“During my time in Brookstone, I have experienced what my dream is and what I want to be in life. A private school helped me learn more, without anyone disturbing my learning time. … I want to make a change in this family to be the first child to graduate from high school and finish college. Education is important to your career and your future. No one can stop you from learning.” 

Thank you to Brookstone Schools, its staff and volunteers for all they do to help students in our community. You truly epitomize what it means to serve.

 

 

 


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