05/02/12 — Website to connect volunteers to groups

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Website to connect volunteers to groups

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 2, 2012 1:46 PM

A local mechanism to connect volunteers with needy agencies has received a shot in the arm in the form of an updated website as Volunteer Wayne debuted its new look online last week.

The new site boasts an ability for volunteers to connect to the site using their Facebook account and allows nonprofit organizations to list their needs more easily.

The new technology comes as a result of a partnership between Galaxy Digital and the United Way of Wayne County, which oversees Volunteer Wayne.

A spokeswoman for the United Way said the website had remained essentially stagnant since Volunteer Wayne was acquired from Wayne Community College.

"The website itself has remained the same since it was first created and there haven't been a lot of changes to the style of the website or the layout of the website," Catherine LeChot said. "The system was antiquated and it was a little bit hard to navigate."

Now, however, the organization has the ability to upload pictures of volunteers, organize volunteer opportunities better and allow for agencies to quickly and efficiently showcase their volunteer needs.

But being able to track statistics will be the true benefit, she said.

"The greatest part for us is we just like to see how our community members are making investments into our community," she said, adding that volunteer opportunities can be divided by age, description or agency. "We can look back -- monthly, quarterly, yearly -- and see if there are trends in volunteering."

Mrs. LeChot said the new website is more user-friendly and will hopefully involve younger volunteers further in the community, especially through the Facebook connection. The more user-friendly website, coupled with Facebook integration, seemed like the perfect way to recruit new volunteers while maintaining the strong core of veteran volunteers as well.

"We would like to appeal to a younger audience, but we don't want our tried and true volunteers to be turned off to it," she said.

The new website can be reached from the United Wayne home page by clicking the "Volunteer" tab.