Celebrating Impact Holidays in October with Desktop Wallpaper

It's October! We'll be featuring the artwork from one of verynice's volunteers each month. The prompt was to pick a holiday(s) that inspire us to give back. This month we feature the work of Zack Forer! Download our wallpaper and celebrate the spirit of giving back with us. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Zack Forer

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Native American Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day

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Click here to download

Why I Give Back

I'll be honest, it's not often that I get approached to do pro bono work. Freelance is, after all, a business and how I earn a living. However, there are certain times where I feel it's necessary as an artist to give back to charitable organizations. Whether it's something small like an illustration for a calendar spreading social awareness to something larger like a mural in an inner-city community, the ultimate reward is knowing you contributed to a cause that benefits others. I know it's not much, but if I can use my artistic abilities to get a positive message across in a creative and informative way, I feel a sense of accomplishment. If I can inspire someone with my artwork or make someone feel proud or smile, it makes the experience all the more worthwhile.

Check out more of Zack's work below!

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Five Helpful Tips for Managing Volunteers

At verynice, we manage an extensive distributed team of 500+ volunteers from over 150 countries who engage in pro bono service. When volunteers collaborate with our team, they help us extend our mission for helping nonprofit organizations through meaningful and impactful work.

Collaborating with volunteers has been an integral part of our business since our inception. Along the way, we’ve learned a few things when it comes to managing a network of individuals and improving the volunteer experience.


#1: Use a Reliable Tracking System

Free tracking systems like Podio, allow your organization to efficiently track and communicate with volunteers. Whether you’re working with volunteers across the globe or exclusively within your community, a central system helps ensure all volunteers are connected to the organization and are easily accessible when it comes to reaching out.

There are many key features that come with using this system. Besides general communication and updates, your organization can set up reminders to follow-up with volunteers and receive notifications when new volunteers join the network or update their information. Volunteer profiles also connect with LinkedIn to display profile photos, putting a face to a name in an extensive network.


#2: Create Custom Surveys

Another great feature of using a tracking system is the ability to create custom surveys for your volunteers that cater to specific areas of expertise. Depending on your organization's needs, you can create surveys that help gain insight on new volunteers or updates on existing volunteers’ experiences. Creating a custom survey can take a load off of filtering through the volunteer list and help optimize the efficiency of finding exactly who you’re looking for, automatically creating a repository of data to reference at your convenience. At the same time, allowing a free-form response from volunteers can help your organization gain insights on skills you might have never expected needing or even knew existed in your network.

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When creating a survey for new volunteers, keep it clear and concise. Six to ten questions at most, covering basic questions such as name, location, and availability. Then expand into skills specific questions like, “How would you describe your skill set?” or “Please describe your professional experience in X, Y, and Z.” This process not only efficiently gathers critical data for your organization but also guides the volunteer through assessing what exactly they are looking to contribute as a volunteer.

#3: Diversify

Don’t continue re-using the same volunteers. There is always going to be a volunteer waiting for their opportunity to contribute. Giving everyone a fair chance to work on a project acknowledges volunteers willing to donate their time in assisting your organization. It is also important to remember people with different backgrounds and ranges of experience bring new information and skills. Giving different volunteers the opportunity to work on projects creates an environment for development, creativity, and leadership. Diversifying your selection or rotation of volunteers enhances the overall collaboration and turns one-time volunteers into lifelong volunteers.

#4: Follow Through on Check-ins

Communication is key when it comes to keeping your volunteers engaged and eager to work on upcoming projects. Integrating annual check-ins with your network at large and scheduling out one-on-one check-ins with volunteers will enhance your organization’s performance and establish a connected community of volunteers. Additionally, it is useful to check your system annually to make sure all information is up to date. Systems such as Podio allow you to send volunteers direct links to their profile information, removing any confusion or hassle for volunteers when it comes to updating their information.

#5: Show Gratitude

Volunteers are an extension of your organization and without them, the scale of your current and future impact would not be as effective. Acknowledging great work and personally thanking your volunteers for the free time and effort they put into every project is invaluable. Expressing gratitude is an investment you can and should make, and your volunteers will be inclined to volunteer again.

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At verynice we’re reminded every day that our greatest impact is made when we collaborate and work together. Our volunteers are essential to completing pro bono projects and realizing our greatest impact. To learn more about our volunteer process visit verynice.co/impact or contact info@verynice.co.

 

 

Celebrating Impact Holidays in September with Desktop Wallpaper!

It's September! We'll be featuring the artwork from one of verynice's volunteers each month. The prompt was to pick a holiday(s) that inspire us to give back. This month we feature the work of verynice Founder, Matthew Manos! Download our wallpaper and celebrate the spirit of giving back with us. 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Matthew Manos

Labor Day

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Click here to download

 

Why I Give Back

Every year in the United States alone, nonprofits will spend billions on service providers like me. Imposing a full market rate upon someone who has an end goal to better the world, in my mind, is immoral. These are not people who take big bonuses. Every dollar that a nonprofit saves has the potential to be invested back into the cause itself, and that is such an inspiring thing. Because most designers and consultants are not "boots on the ground" change-makers, but instead facilitators of impact from afar, a pro bono commitment is one of the most direct ways that our work can create change in the world. It's also really fun.

Visual Design Internship & Volunteer In Residence Positions Available

We are hiring a visual design intern & a volunteer in residence to join our team this fall! To apply, please send your cover letter, design portfolio and resume to info@verynice.co with the position you are interested in indicated in the subject line.

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Fall Visual Design Internship

Position Description:

The Design Internship is a production-oriented position that supports our creative team in the visual design process for various client projects. The Design Intern will split their efforts between our for-profit and non-profit clientele.

This is a flexible 16 – 32 hour per week position, and is housed in our downtown Los Angeles office in the Arts District area, requiring 2-4 full days in-house. Our business hours are Monday – Friday, 9am to 6pm. This is a 3 month position, starting mid-September, available for current students in their junior or senior year of undergraduate studies. Compensation options include a paid stipend or course credit.

Deadline to apply is Wednesday, August 30, 2017 before Midnight PST.

Position Requirements:

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Design, Visual Communications, Fine Arts, or a related field. Strong verbal and visual communication skills. Interest or basic experience with socially-oriented design. Entrepreneurial spirit and attention to detail. Ability to handles multiple projects and deadlines at once. Must have own computer (preferably Mac) and Adobe Creative Suite.

To apply, please send your cover letter, design portfolio and resume to info@verynice.co with the position you are interested in indicated in the subject line.

 

Volunteer In Residence

Position Description:

The Volunteer In Residence is a design and/or design strategy oriented position created to assist the verynice team with an exciting internal initiative as well as a range of our pro-bono/social impact projects.

This position requires 1-2 full days in-house at our downtown Los Angeles office in the Arts District. Our business hours are Monday – Friday, 9am to 6pm. This is a 3 month position available for current students in their junior or senior year of undergraduate studies or recent graduates. This is an unpaid position.

Deadline to apply is Wednesday, August 30, 2017 before Midnight PST.

Position Requirements:

Pursuing and/or recently obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Design, Design Strategy, Visual Communications, Fine Arts, or a related field. Strong verbal and communication skills. Interest or basic experience with socially-oriented design. Entrepreneurial spirit and attention to detail. Must have own computer (preferably Mac) and Adobe Creative Suite.

To apply, please send your cover letter, design portfolio and resume to info@verynice.co with the position you are interested in indicated in the subject line.

Meet Our verynice Summer Interns!

This summer our interns have done an incredible job honing their design skills and supporting our creative team in the visual design process for various client projects. 

It's always exciting to welcome new talent to our verynice family! Meet our newest design intern in the brief interview below:

Hey there! Tell us a bit about yourself.
F: My name is Fran, I'm a student going into my fifth and last year at Cal State Long Beach pursuing a BFA in Graphic Design. I grew up in Chile and moved to the U.S 8 years ago so my home is split between California and Santiago, Chile.

What have you learned as a verynice design intern?
F: I've loved working and learning from a team of talented young people who come from different backgrounds. It's been fun to learn not just about the important role that design plays within non-profit organizations but also learn how we as designers can help have a positive impact in the community. 

What is your favorite social cause?
F: One of my favorite social causes is an organization called People to People. Their mission is to create connections between people from different cultures and all around the world with the goal of exploring global issues, enhancing international understanding, and building friendships through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities. The end goal of this cause is to create a cross-cultural network of engaged and knowledgable everyday citizens in order to sustain a peaceful world.

What passions and interests do you have outside of work?
F: I love anything that has to do with music, such as learning about new artists, reading about music history, digging for new records to add to my collection, and going to live shows. I love the outdoors and being outside in general. I love the visual arts and like to collect art and design books. I also love traveling, learning about new cultures, and love going to new places whenever life allows.

Who is your biggest role model in life?
F: My biggest role models are probably my parents because they have both worked their hardest throughout their lives to get to where they are today and have always emphasized the importance of growth through persistency, kindness, focus and hard work (while also making time for a little fun).

Click below to see verynice's latest opportunities, including our Fall Visual Design Internship!

verynice Volunteer Spotlight: Aldis Ozolins

At verynice, we’re proud to have an incredible network of 500+ volunteers dedicating their time and diverse skills to pro-bono projects as a part of our Give Half model and pro-bono movement. By taking on pro-bono and collaborating with our team, volunteers are able to create meaningful and impactful work for thousands of organizations across the globe.

Meet Aldis Ozolins, one of verynice’s talented volunteers helping nonprofit’s visions come to reality. We wanted to get to know a little more about his perspective as a volunteer and recent experience working pro-bono.

Hi Aldis! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up knowing I’d always be in the creative arts. I was fortunate to have a very supportive family who fostered my creative inclinations. I attended Art Center College of Design for my undergrad in graphic design. After school I spent some time freelancing at Troika, TBWA/Chiat Day, and LA  Outpost before finally landing at Google. I’ve spent the past four years working with clients such as Nissan, Disney, Warner Brothers, and Lowes. I recently joined the Area 120 team at Google to develop an experimental product.

Was there an aspect of the project, client or mission that inspired you to volunteer?

I’ve always loved music so volunteering for this project was a natural fit. The integrated nature of Austin Civic Orchestra into the community was really inspirational for me. I’m a big believer in the public necessity of making the arts accessible to everyone.

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Can you touch on your volunteer experience and project(s) you worked on?

I first Met Matt Manos in Art Center and have always been inspired by everything verynice does. verynice has been the catalyst for a lot of my volunteer experiences. One of my favorite collaborations with verynice was the side project I worked on at Google for the non-profit Billion Acts of Peace. The challenge was to rebrand the organization including rebuilding their website.

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How does engaging as a volunteer differ from your other work experience?

To me volunteering changes my relationship to the work. Because there is no money involved, I feel an even greater responsibility not just to the project but also to fulfill my needs as a creative. Working with a community of volunteers always feels extra rewarding since you know everyone is there because they believe in the project. Additionally I’ve noticed collaborating with organizations on a volunteer basis often affords me more creative freedom.

In what ways has the volunteer process helped to shape your work and the projects you take on?

I would say it’s given me a broader sense of just how many places, people and organizations can be positively affected by good design. The volunteer process has made me see value in the projects I take on in a very different light, I put an even greater stock in the values and goals of the organizations I work with. 

To learn more about our volunteer network, or get involved, please get in touch!

Celebrating Impact Holidays in August with Desktop Wallpaper

It's August! We'll be featuring the artwork from one of verynice's volunteers each month. The prompt was to pick a holiday(s) that inspire us to give back. This month we feature the work of Roxy Morataya! Download our wallpaper and celebrate the spirit of giving back with us. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Roxy Morataya

I choose to utilize which qualities I thought were the best of each of these holidays in August, specifically the holidays, National Women's Equality Day, National Minority Donor Awareness Day and Purple Heart Day. My illustration celebrates the often proven but disregarded fact that there are millions of women, women of color, out in the world everyday making a difference. As a Latin American woman and an artist, I believe that if there is more art of positive and inclusive imagery of women of color, it will not only reflect our reality, but it will inspire women everywhere to find fulfillment in any walk of life. 

 

 

Click here to download

Why I Give Back

What made me want to contribute to this project was its unique take on calendar design. By asking a variety of talented artists to create artwork celebrating holidays that put the focus on remembrance, fighting injustice and equality, it takes a calendar's typical focus off of the often commercialized holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. This uniqueness, plus the goals on this calendar and this company, is what made me want to contribute artwork.

My wanting to give back comes from my upbringing. Being a Mexican and Salvadoran American woman, and a part of a working class family, I was always taught to be thankful for what I have, to work hard, and to always stand up for yourself and your beliefs. I believe in being a fighter and an ally of fairness and justice for those who have been marginalized, abused or shamed simply for the color of their skin, body type, gender identity or sexual preference, and physical or mental ailments. I constantly strive to show representation of human beings who don't fit into the pale, thin, blue-eyed, monstrous mold that is still constantly portrayed as the only acceptable beauty standard. Even people who posses these traits fit into that mold. Anytime I can utilize my talent towards a good cause, even when it's for free, I try to make time for it. Those who have been able to work hard for their artistic ability as I have, should follow suit.

Check out more of Roxy's work below!

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Women's Design Salon Recap

We had a blast last month at the verynice Women's Design Salon for the Los Angeles Design Festival. As the closing event for the festival, the creative energy was high, and a number of new faces joined the Salon community. Piecing together the experiences of our panelist revealed their truths, their lessons, and passions as they applied to every one of us. 

There is never a space when you aren’t collaborating or compromising or working within a framework.
— Anne Burdick
A lot of leadership and success comes from showing up and saying yes to things!
— Celina Pereira
Thanks to Amy Nadeen Wilson who created this visual recap for our event. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (#amydrawsstuff).

Thanks to Amy Nadeen Wilson who created this visual recap for our event. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (#amydrawsstuff).

Download this wallpaper for your desktop, and for your phone!


We played games to understand what a path of success looks like and discussed the perception vs. the reality. Our panelists told us what inspires them and how they keep the momentum and creativity going. We even did a group tarot reading to help us make sense of it all. Overall, we filled the room with bad-ass boss ladies with good ideas and very real aspirations. 


A very special thanks to all that contributed to the inspiration.

Our friends and partners:

Los Angeles Design Festival

Our amazing panelists:

Anne Burdick, Media Design Practices MFA Chair at Art Center

Celina Pereira, Creative Director at OSSO

Our wonderful volunteers:

Diana Molleda, Photographer

Florencia Di Sarli, Samantha Cabrera, Isabelle Gioffredi, and Samantha Becker, Group Facilitators

Amy Nadeen Wilson, Visual Recap


Please follow WDS on Instagram to stay in the loop! Interested in getting involved with the Women's Design Salon? Please get in touch at info@verynice.co

verynice Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Olimpio

Since our inception, giving has always been at the core of our mission. Through our Give Half model and pro-bono movement, we’ve successfully taken on over 1,200 projects and initiatives, and donated services and resources worth over $10M.

How does a small company make such a great impact in the nonprofit world?

Our amazing network of volunteers allows us to do meaningful pro-bono work that extends across the globe. By taking on pro-bono clients, volunteers are able to collaborate with our team to create impactful work.

One of our talented volunteers is Steve Olimpio. As a multi-disciplinary designer and art director, Steve has worked at a handful of design studios, branding agencies, and creative shops in Boston and LA. With an interest in new ways that digital platforms connect designers with clients, and participating in work that matters to his personal practice, Steve found these passions intersect at verynice.

Recently, Steve worked with our team as a volunteer to design a new logo for Trade-Works that better embodies the organization’s mission of empowering individuals with real life trade skills. As the sole Founder and force behind Trade-Works, Andrea Pezzillo carried the challenge of wearing many hats within the organization. We were excited to take on this project and leave her with more time to focus on building the mission.

The logo was inspired by the company’s core values of unlocking people’s potential around the world through experts who hold the key to someone’s future. Through the iconic key and lock, we exhibit opportunity in the Trade-Works community. An evolution of the existing logo, this design showcases both the lock and the key, representing the reciprocal relationship and adventure that awaits both the mentor and mentee. The color treatment serves to highlight special pieces of the logo.

“Engaging as a volunteer is unique because it demands a personal commitment and connection to the work that paid work sometimes doesn’t. You have to believe in it.”

This authentic intention is what drives our volunteer process and creates captivating and impactful work. Our volunteer network is presently comprised of over 500 professionals around the world who team up with us on a per-project basis. These professionals from transdisciplinary backgrounds such as business, law, and engineering exemplify that there are individuals apart from designers who are drawn to verynice’s mission of giving back.

“This process has taught me to evaluate my own work more effectively-what should I be spending my creative energy on? Who can I be helping. Why do I do what I do?”

People like Steve are what makes giving back a reality at verynice. Hats off to you, Steve, and your willingness to donate your time to projects that make this world a better place! To learn more about our volunteer network, or get involved, please get in touch at info@verynice.co.