826 Valencia Recruitment Campaign
Design Lead:
Jonah Wise
Jonah Wise, Douglas.Barron
826 Valencia

Based in San Francisco, 826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students who live in under-resourced communities with their writing skills. They offer free writing, tutoring, and publishing programs for youth ages six through eighteen. Volunteer tutors are at the core of how they serve thousands of students in San Francisco every year. Their trained volunteers provide individualized writing support to students at our Writing Centers and in public schools across the city. You don’t need to be an expert writer. You do need a deep belief in the students they serve and an eagerness to learn together. The majority of their students are youth of color, and they especially seek volunteers who are bilingual or identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).

We helped 826 Valencia create a volunteer recruitment campaign to increase the number of volunteer signups and the number of BIPOC and bilingual volunteers (mainly Spanish and Arabic speaking). We focused on several avenues for reaching potential volunteers in the Bay Area. 826 Valencia is often active at community events such as SPARK social, Sunday Streets, local colleges/universities, and more. We focused on organizing and updating their current pop-up environment to emphasize the need for volunteers and how rewarding the experience is. We considered what is important to show at the pop-up events, and how we can synthesize the necessary information about volunteering as well as tell a compelling story about the experience of volunteering. As well as pop-up events, there is a need for applications that serve as advertising and reach a larger number of people. We utilized social media ads, BART/MUNI ads, and flyposting ads to speak directly to potential volunteers in the Bay Area. Ultimately, the system we created is flexible and malleable so that 826 Valencia can adapt it to their specific needs and use it across a wide variety of applications.