Volunteer Date or Ongoing Project: Ongoing
Estimated Time Commitment Per Week: Approx. 10 hours/month or 2.5 week
Location/Hours: Remote, flexible hours
Program Coordinator/ Contact Information
Patricia Doyle, email@example.com
NAMI Washtenaw is looking for a volunteer who would be responsible for coordinating the activities of the newsletter.
NAMI Washtenaw publishes approximately three articles by community members per month on the website, and sends a monthly email newsletter to a growing mailing list of 2,000+ people. The monthly email includes event listings, links to articles, information about advocacy opportunities, and links to relevant resources across the web.
The newsletter coordinator role is a collaborative position. You would work with contributors to discuss and schedule stories, a volunteer reporter who will be responsible for writing up current events and interviews with community members, a volunteer copyeditor to ensure that the stories are edited and published on the website, and a volunteer designer to build the monthly newsletter email.
Ideal Skill Set
- Interpersonal skills: The ideal volunteer for this role has a deep commitment to addressing challenges faced by people living with mental health conditions and is able to demonstrate this commitment through treating fellow newsletter volunteers with empathy and generosity, while setting clear expectations.
- Discernment around article topics: The ideal volunteer will also be sensitive to what articles they think might be appropriate or inappropriate for the NAMI Washtenaw newsletter. Most article ideas come directly from the community of contributors, and it will be the newsletter coordinator’s responsibility to meet with these contributors, provide feedback on their ideas, and assess whether an article idea is a good fit for the newsletter. Before sending an article for copyediting, the coordinator should conduct a quick review of a piece to ensure that the contents seem appropriate. The coordinator will also work with a wider communications committee to identify topics that it would be beneficial to cover in the newsletter, and work with the volunteer reporter and other volunteers to plan and schedule these articles.
- Technological skills: The newsletter is managed online using the Google suite. The volunteer coordinator should have a good working knowledge of technology sufficient to manage maintain a simple spreadsheet database of stakeholders and upcoming stories, and using a structured filing system to manage newsletter administration. Ideally the newsletter volunteer would have working knowledge of Zoom or another video conferencing application in order to meet with other volunteers. Familiarity with WordPress or MailChimp are also appreciated but not required.
- Welcome new contributors when they are introduced by the volunteer coordinator and meet with them (remotely or in person) to answer questions.
- Meet with contributors (remotely or in person) and exchange emails to discuss article ideas.
- Meet with communications committee, reporter, and other community members as appropriate to discuss ideas for articles about what is happening at NAMI Washtenaw.
- Manage a calendar of articles with approximately one article per week (excluding the week of the monthly newsletter email), working between contributors to ensure articles are submitted within a week of the publication date, and with the copyeditor to ensure that articles are published within a week of submission.
- Treat contributors with kindness when they are unable to meet a deadline. They are likely living with or living in support of someone with a mental health condition. Collaborate with these contributors to find another date to publish their story, if possible.
- Administer a filing structure that facilitates the process from article submission through the publication of articles and distribution of the email.
- Let the copyeditor know when an article is ready for review, and ensure that the article is accompanied by an image (for the website and monthly email) and one-sentence description (for the monthly email), and that you have a brief biography for a given contributor.
- Use royalty-free stock photo websites to identify images that might accompany articles where the contributor did not provide an accompanying image.
- Collaborate with a team consisting of the newsletter designer and NAMI Washtenaw staff, to assemble the contents for the monthly email. This includes assembling the newsletter contents into a document, and corresponding via email with the team to ensure that content is shared a week ahead of the day the email will be sent.
- Support the newsletter designer by testing out links in a draft version of the email to ensure that they work and direct to the right location.