VolunteerLocal Field Expert: Josanna E. Berg-Hammond

Josanna E. Berg-HammondVersion 2

Brooklyn, New York

“I think volunteering is one of the best reminders that we’re all human. I just believe so strongly that we should all be good people and we should all help each other.”

What do you love about your hometown?

I can easily walk to anything and everything I could want.

Tell us about your unique perspective when it comes to volunteer coordination.

I began volunteering in elementary school and continued to keep it a main part of my life as I grew up. Volunteering has always been incredibly close to my heart, which is why I love writing for an organization like VolunteerLocal.

What is your favorite hobby or activity outside of work:

Eating! I love finding new dishes to cook and trying out new restaurants around Brooklyn and NYC.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Impossible to answer, but I’m currently listening to a lot of Pinegrove.

Where would your friends find you on a typical Friday night?

Early dinner followed by drinks, a movie and bed (love being rested for a Saturday morning).

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VolunteerLocal Field Expert: Swanee Astrid

Swanee Astrid

Boulder, ColoradoSwanee

“Something truly given not just of your time, but of your heart can never be taken away. In my strange little corner of the world I see how much each of us gives to our sense of democracy and justice and equality through the time and space we share to come together; I am reminded of how much passion there is in the world and am validated in my own existence by this unity.”

What do you love about your hometown?

If I told you, you’d probably want to move here.

Tell us about your unique perspective when it comes to volunteer coordination.

I have been a volunteer for many occasions from parking at Renaissance fairs as a teenager to venue managing at major festivals as an adult. A lot of volunteer work occurs through my coordinator position at Naropa University with the student body and curricular events. As a community organizer in the writing community I host a regular series and am spearheading a mentorship program for queer youth with a therapeutic services non-profit, Queer Asterisk.

What is your favorite hobby or activity outside of work:

Cooking is a regular practice and one of my life passions. Also aikido & archery– I especially wish I had more time for these!

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Anne Waldman who is not techinically a musician, but if you have ever seen her perform you know she is a rockstar and her rendition of Jaguar Harmonics & Gimme Shelter” at the Jack Kerouac School is in my book of memories I’ll remember when I curtains close”

Where would your friends find you on a typical Friday night?

Holding an arts salon among our friends group, appreciating each others explorations in creativity while enjoying mixed drinks, delicious food, ultimately always dancing.

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Introducing: Your Field Experts

BrianneBrianne Sanchez

Des Moines, Iowa

Topics of Focus: On-campus recruitment and coordination, retention, creative strategies to engage volunteers.

“I live for my book club!”

JulieKentJulie Kent

Denver, Colorado

Topics of Focus: Non-profit organizations and conferences – distribution channels and on-site tactics.

“What do I love about Denver? No humidity!”

LinhLinh Ta

Des Moines, Iowa

Topics of Focus: Volunteer management at downtown festivals and parades. Coordination tips for everyday success.

“I am a hybrid of Leslie Knope, Diane Nguyen and Martha Stewart.”

Version 2

 Josanna E. Berg-Hammond

Brooklyn, New York

Topics of Focus: Cause-driven volunteerism, contingency planning, and production tips for mid- to large-scale events.

“I’m always trying to make a joke out of everything and anything.”

Anna Elliot

Anna Elliot

Des Moines, Iowa

Topics of Focus: Music festivals, art festivals, churches and faith-groups.

“I’m naturally curious about people and ideas.”

Jordan MazeJordan Maze

Chicago, Illinois

Topics of Focus: Infographics, leveraging media to garner (and maintain) volunteers’ attention, effectively communicating to volunteer groups.

“I’m pretty even-keeled – it’s hard to get me riled up (unless it’s political). I appreciate good conversation and silence equally.”

BekahRebekah Coenen

Des Moines, Iowa

Topics of Focus: New technology in the world of volunteer recruitment – how (and why) to go mobile and stay ahead of the curve.

“Just a big kid with a full grasp of sarcasm.”

Samantha GrattonSamantha Gratton

Raleigh, North Carolina

Topics of Focus: Tools and resources to stay up-to-date on industry trends in event management.

“I often refer to myself as an extroverted introvert — I love being with people, but also love to balance that with introspective quiet.”

SwaneeSwanee Astrid

Boulder, Colorado

Topics of Focus: Art festivals, creativity in the space, attracting, engaging and maintaining millenial volunteers.

“Someone once described me as one of Elrond’s emissaries from Rivendell.”

Anne Summers 

West Des Moines, Iowa

“I love people but not crowds. I like deep conversation over small talk. I think more than I act (but I’m working on it).”

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Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

Ask anyone who has ever attended Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and they’ll probably agree: it’s an unforgettable experience.

BonnarooOver the course of this four-day event, Great Stage Park (the name of the festival site) becomes the eighth largest city in the state of Tennessee – and a veritable township blossoms in the General Admission campground. Amidst a sea of tents and tarps, flags are hoisted high, lifelong friendships are forged, and the deep reverberations of bass guitar, the rhythmic pounding of drums, and the soulful echo of vocalists can be heard all through the day and night.

“We work year round to watch thousands of people come together and enjoy a complete experience. Not just the bands on stages, but the food, the campgrounds, the artwork, even the new flushable toilets, but especially the people all make this an incredible time.” – James Shinault, Vice President of Festival Projects and Fan Experience at AC Entertainment

A ticket to Bonnaroo grants attendees access to performances by world-class comedians and mega-stars in the music industry, alongside exclusive (early) showings of movies in the Cinema Tent, local artists in Centeroo, and many other miscellaneous attractions (an iconic fountain, a Christmas Barn and a Broo’ers Festival). The Bonnaroovian Code encourages all attendees to “radiate positivity” – and the good folks at AC Entertainment (aka the production wizards behind Bonnaroo) make that pretty easy.

AC Entertainment is internationally recognized as an innovative leader in creating, producing, booking, and marketing first-class live entertainment experiences. James Shinault is the Vice President of Festival Projects and Fan Experience.Bonnaroo

“My job centers around making sure that our festivals are being executed at the highest level while maintaining a set budget and ensuring that our fans have an amazing time,” says Shinault. “A big part of that deals with fan interaction, which is where our volunteers come in.”

Each year, almost 2,500 volunteers participate in helping to make Bonnaroo the phenomenal experience that has become for so many. “Volunteers are extremely important to Bonnaroo because they are often times the most fan facing part of the event,” says Shinault. “They are some of the first people you interact with when you enter the site and they can be seen on each and every corner of the site ensuring that our fans are having a great time.”

“VolunteerLocal essentially acts as a one-stop shop for everything that I need to recruit the volunteers, organize them, and communicate with them.”

For a job this big, Shinault and his team trusted VolunteerLocal. “I’ve used pretty much every basic form of online recruiting from Google Forms and spreadsheets to just emailing to sign up, and I’ve even used other volunteer management softwares,” he explains. “VolunteerLocal is by far the most organized, consumer friendly, seamless way I’ve found for online recruiting of volunteers.”

We’re definitely feeling the love, too – Bonnaroo has become something of an annual company retreat here at VolunteerLocal. Look out for the #HappyVolunteering flag in Guest Camping next year!

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Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series

ROCK N ROLL MARATHON-LWReady, set, Rock ‘n’ Roll!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is a one-of-a-kind running festival experience. The concept behind this series began as a simple, fun idea: what if the race director could book live bands to perform along the course as runners passed? Perhaps the finish line, too?

The year was 1998 and the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was born. It was an unforgettable experience, a huge hit amongst both runners and artists in San Diego, CA – and something that decidedly could be scaled and shared with other runners around the world. Today, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series produces 5k races, half-marathons and full marathons in more than 30 cities annually – including Las Vegas, Chicago, Nashville, Washington DC, Madrid and Mexico City. The finish line concerts feature hugely popular artists such as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Goo Goo Dolls and Train. We’d run a marathon to see those shows! Well, we’d try.

RocknRoll“While entertainment and the energy of a festival weekend define the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series experience, runners have raised more than $310 million for participating charities shows our heart and soul,” the website reads.

In addition to the impressive charitable component to each race, these events also rely heavily on the helping hands of local, community volunteers. For this, the team at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon trusted VolunteerLocal.

The volunteer coordinator can easily manage multiple events at once – and with most of these marathons recruiting volunteers concurrently, the task of ensuring jobs and shifts are filled to capacity is almost nonexistent.

Interested in signing up to volunteer for an upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon? Peruse those opportunities here – and happy volunteering!


Oh – and rock on!

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Governor’s Ball Music Festival

The subway is packed, the buses are full, and even the water ferries keel and tow with fired-up music lovers. They’re wearing purple lipstick and neon sunglasses, carrying LED hula-hoops and giant beach balls, gleefully interspersed between the usual pedestrian traffic. It’s an open invitation, a shock of color and vibrancy, a reminder that “you’re doing great.”

Credit: Paraiso Adventures
Credit: Paraiso Adventures

It’s festival season in the city that never sleeps – and Randall’s Island in Manhattan is host to the largest of them all: Governors Ball Music Festival.

Complete with four stages, 60+ musical acts, local food vendors and beer tents, mini golf and (why not?) a fun-sized Statue of Liberty, this massive gathering promises attendees the weekend of a lifetime and “an endless supply of high fives!” Governors Ball has become an annual urban celebration of music, sparkling lights and bodies in motion – and to make things even more magical, this event is produced in the heart of Manhattan.

“It’s awesome to have a festival in the middle of New York City,” says Sami Slovy, Volunteer Coordinator at Governors Ball NYC. “The line-up is extremely well curated and the festival always puts a huge focus on the attendee experience.”

Now heading into its seventh year, ‘Gov Ball’ (as it is affectionately coined) is a logistical feat that requires the administrative prowess of many talented staffers like Sami Slovy, in addition to approximately 500 volunteers – all of whom Slovy directly oversees.

“[VolunteerLocal] is a user-friendly, sophisticated software that was customizable for our needs at Governors Ball.” – Sami Slovy, Volunteer Coordinator at Governors Ball Music Festival in NYC

“Volunteers are critical to the festival,” explains Slovy. “They put so much in – they’re awesome. Our volunteers are extremely hard working, dedicated and motivated. They’re driven.”

Credit: Paraiso Adventures
Credit: Paraiso Adventures

She adds, “They want everybody to experience a great time at the festival.”

We can relate. Prior to VolunteerLocal, Slovy and her team at Governors Ball managed volunteers using several third party organizing tools. “It was very extensive and extremely tedious,” says Slovy. “We saved hours by switching to VolunteerLocal.”

Slovy leverages the credit card processing tool to collect application fees (and temporary deposits) from her volunteers at the time of registration. No usernames, no passwords, and a single-step signup process have kept her volunteers happy – and the on-site check-in/out tool keeps Slovy informed on-site.

We at VolunteerLocal are special fans of the Gov Ball Gives Back program – an initiative of the festival in conjunction with New York area nonprofits. This program provides an opportunity for New Yorkers to volunteer at local food banks, kitchens and public parks to earn their free GA ticket to the festival.

Volunteers receive a free t-shirt, ticket to the festival and a “rocking good time.” If that sounds like a good deal to you, the 2017 Gov Ball dates have been released – and the volunteer registration will go live next spring. Happy volunteering!

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Red, White & BOOM!

The 4th of July: a day to celebrate our country’s great independence, the Constitution and the Magnaamericanflag2 Carta, beef jerky and (did we mention?) totally awesome fireworks. This year, with the 2016 presidential hopefuls surfacing on your televisions, radio stations and in your favorite coffee shops, our prediction is that tomorrow’s 4th of July celebration will be peppered with some good ‘ol fashioned politics.

So before you dive into a lively debate with your brother-in-law about the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, burn off some steam by celebrating like a true American: volunteer at the Red, White & BOOM! Half Marathon and RedWhiteandBoomLogoRelay. Produced by Twin Cities In Motion, this event takes place on the morning of July 4th in Minneapolis, MN – and it’s an excellent way to kick off a weekend of patriotic festivities.

Twin Cities In Motion (TCM) is a non-profit corporation that organizes and directs the annual Medtronic TwinCities Marathon, Medtronic TC 10 Mile, TC 10K, TC 5K & Medtronic TC Family Events, Valentine’s Day TC 5K, 100% Irish for a Day TC 5K and TC 10 Mile, Medtronic TC 1 Mile, Red, White and Boom! TC Half Marathon, TC Urban Dash, Fifteen’s 5K and all related events, as well as the TC Kids Marathon Program, as a community service for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. We know – that sounds like a lot of running. Luckily, volunteers like you keep this organization in smooth operation, mile-after-mile.

From all of us here at VolunteerLocal – Happy 4th of July and (as always) Happy Volunteering!

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80/35 Music Festival

Grab those party pants, Des Moines.

For many in Iowa’s capital city, the 80/35 Music Festival is a summertime staple. Aptly named for it’s unique (and rather convenient) location along the intersection of Interstates 80 and 35, 8035mfthis festival has earned a stellar reputation for luring high-profile headliners into the heartland. This year’s 80/35 Music Festival will take place the weekend of July 10th-11th.

Sign up to volunteer!

Looking to score a free ticket? Sign-up as a volunteer. There are plenty of positions available: from Beer Tents to the Kids Zone, Green Team Recycle Crew to First Aid Tents – you’re sure to find your volunteer calling at this year’s 80/35 spectacular.

Included in 80/35’s roster of past performers are The Flaming Lips, Bright Eyes, the Wu-Tang Clan and the Avett Brothers.

2015 Headliners: Weezer, WILCO, St. Lucia and Talib Kweli

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imATHLETE & VolunteerLocal


VolunteerLocal is now the official volunteer registration technology partner to imATHLETE, an industry leader in race registration, e-commerce and social networking.


This partnership provides a special list price discount to imATHLETE customers who sign-up on VolunteerLocal. This discount can be applied to any paid plan (Discover or Grow) at the single-event or annual level. “Over the years, VolunteerLocal has continually proven to be a powerful force in volunteer management software,” said imATHLETE CEO Jeff Matlow. “We are beyond excited to integrate with them and ensure imATHLETE continues to provide a one-stop resource for all athletic events.”

VolunteerLocal’s easy-to-use, flexible volunteer scheduling platform was built to serve sporting events of all sizes and types. Our scheduling, coordination and communication resources, combined with our user friendly design, has led our platform to be the resource of choice for such organizations as Twin Cities in Motion, USA Triathlon and the Vancouver International Marathon, among others.

“We are beyond excited about enhancing our relationship with imATHLETE,” said Brian Hemesath, CEO of VolunteerLocal. “imATHLETE is a clear leader in the athletic space and a company that shares our goal of leveraging technology to solve everyday problems of event organizers.”

For more information about this partnership or to request a demonstration, please contact VolunteerLocal directly:


(800) 909-7370

Tweet us @VolunteerLocal

imATHLETE is a different kind of registration company. Blending registration, training and e-commerce technology with the social networking inherent in participatory sports, they are a leading force in the sporting world. With its industry-changing technology, imATHLETE is one of the fastest growing companies in the market. They are transforming the relationship between event organizers and their participants.

imATHLETE’s clients and partners include the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, ASICS Los Angeles Marathon, Austin Marathon, Bike New York, GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon, Dallas Marathon, Twin Cities in Motion, American Trail Running Association, and thousands of others.

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