Why is it important to volunteer for non traditional roles. How Ride for Reading has staff.

I currently volunteer with Ride for Reading as the Coordinator of Social Media.  I have always worked in communications – mostly in TV – and of course I have my own presence on social media.  I’ve even helped friends with their pages before – after all, this is Nashville, and we all know some poor musicians who need to promote new singles, right?  But, recognizing that all media is becoming integrated with social media these days, I wanted to sink my teeth in a little more.

I saw that Ride for Reading was looking for help in this area, so I signed up!

I immediately devoured books and blogs about strategies for Facebook and Twitter.  I read up on best practices, looked at what other non-profits were doing, etc.  I learned a lot in a very short time – I believe it was three weeks between when I signed up and when I was to take over the organization’s social media outlets!

Our first test was Bike Month, in May.  We did a lot of experimenting – and, like with most experiments, not everything we tried worked perfectly.  But, overall, we had some fun and were posting much more regularly than the organization had been before.

By summer, Facebook’s algorithms had changed.  It seemed like none of our content was reaching our fan base, and I heard similar gripes from other people who use the site.  More digging and more research led to a whole new set of best practices and strategies, only months after ours had been developed!

Another lesson learned:  no matter how much you think you know about social media, be ready to throw it all away.  This landscape changes rapidly.

I came to learn about running a real social media campaign, and I continue learning all the time.  But of course, there are so many other things I’ve learned in the few months I’ve been at this!  Like what books are popular with second graders… and with teenagers… and why it’s important to give them what they want.  (They’ll actually read it if they like the topic!)

I’m sure I’ll continue to learn many new things – about books, bikes, literacy, and even Twitter.  You just never know how much there is out there to learn.

By Angie Bianchi

Volunteer Coordinator of Social Media

 

Angie is a single example of the dozens of volunteers who have ensured the growth of Ride for Reading. All of our volunteers provide critical support for our mission, but we also want to highlight those who go above and beyond to bring their talent to our organization. Our budget is small but our capabilities are large, this only happens when you have individuals willing to take ownership of the mission and an organization willing to open its doors.

By JC Torres

Executive Director

 

Ride for Reading is a nonprofit that works to promote literacy and healthy living among children in low income communities by distributing age appropriate books via bicycle.

If you are interested in volunteering as staff, please contact us at volunteer@rideforreading.org