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Volunteer Tools for Success

Access the volunteer launch and trainings

Tool Box501 Commons provides many resources to help volunteers stay in touch with 501 Commons and with other service corps members and volunteers.

  • A newsletter every other month with information about new members, volunteer opportunities, and events sponsored by 501 Commons or other organizations. If you are not getting the newsletter, contact Stephanie at stephanie@501commons.org.
  • Quarterly 501 Connects events, which are informal gatherings for volunteers and a great opportunity to meet the amazing members of the service corps and other volunteers.
  • Quarterly Learn to Serve events that provide professional development in nonprofit consulting.
  • Join our 501 Commons LinkedIn group to participate in discussions, share news, and get to know other service corps members.

Professional Development

Check out the upcoming 501 Connects and Learn to Serve events. These programs, as well as the training resources provided in the Volunteer Lounge, will assist you in your volunteer projects and provide rich opportunities to learn more about nonprofits and expand your professional network. Learn to Serve events are designed for pro bono or skills-based volunteers and consultants and other specialists that serve nonprofits.

501 Commons will support you to ensure that you can provide top-quality services. All projects are guided by agreements that specify the responsibilities of the service corps member. A project manager is identified for each project or cohort program. (A cohort program is one where several organizations are engaged, and we work with the organizations individually and as a group.) This project manager is your partner; call on them whenever you need support or resources!

Volunteer Lounge

Tools and information to help you be an effective pro bono volunteer or service corps member are available in the Volunteer Lounge. You'll find the Guide for Consultants and Coaches, forms, training materials, and tips on how to make sure your projects go smoothly. Visit the Lounge now and let us know if you don't see what you need. Some of the content in this resource center is password protected. You were provided the user name and member password when you joined the service corps. Contact your project manager if you need log-in assistance.

Your project manager can also help you identify tools or resources needed for your project. Plus, you can find many resources on the public 501 Commons' website, especially the Tools and Best Practices and the Best of the Web sections. Consultants working on the Springboard program will find the Arts Management Resources List helpful.

Basecamp Collaboration

For large projects and cohort programs like Springboard, Catalyst, Deep Dive, and the VIP 360 program, we use Basecamp, an online collaboration software. Basecamp helps a team communicate and avoid confusion about document versions and due dates. If your project is using Basecamp, you will receive an invitation from 501 Commons to log into Basecamp. If you are on a project team and would like to use Basecamp, contact your project manager.

New to Basecamp? No problem. These five-minute videos will make you a "power Basecamp user" in no time!

1. Setting up your account

2. Getting comfortable navigating Basecamp

3. Sending messages in Basecamp

4. Using Basecamp to track milestones and to-dos

You can also get a feel for Basecamp by reviewing this PowerPoint overview.

Tools for Success

Video Part 3

Watch three 501 Commons clients talk about tools that make a consulting project successful.

Project Evaluations

At the end of every project clients are asked to rate the performance of their consultants in 9 areas. 501 Commons volunteers earn an average score of 3.7 out of 4 on all questions.