Nonprofit Partner | Hands On Help

What is a First Serve Opportunity?



Love Out Loud First Serve Opportunities Non-Profit Questionnaire


Dear Fellow Non-profit Partner,


Love Out Loud’s new Pathways program helps volunteers find their best service matches.  We help people assess their gifts and find meaningful volunteer opportunities through a highly personal and intentional navigator process.  As you know, finding and matching volunteers to projects can be difficult. And it requires valuable time and energy. Love Out Loud, in partnership with HandsOn NWNC, can help you recruit volunteers and match them to your volunteer needs. As part of the Pathways process, your sharing with us how potential volunteers can support your organization helps us recruit those who best fit your needs.


This brief survey will help you identify potential First Serve opportunities within your organization.  Love Out Loud, in partnership with HandsOn Northwest North Carolina, will develop and publicize a complete list of done-in-a-day initiatives within your organization.


First Serve Opportunities (FSO) engage volunteers in one-time volunteer projects that allow individuals to “try out” volunteering with specific nonprofits.  If the volunteer opportunity is a good fit, the hope is that a First Serve experience will lead to further engagement with your or a similar organization and develop ongoing volunteerism.


Converting a one-time volunteer into an ongoing volunteer depends on the volunteer having a meaningful and rewarding experience.  Love Out Loud’s trained navigators will help support volunteers in their First Serve experiences. Love Out Loud will be surveying these volunteers on their FSOs. This feedback will help us all to strengthen our overall volunteer engagement. Ultimately, we will rely on you to post your FSOs on HandsOn Connect. But, both the HandsOn and Pathways teams stand ready to support you in that process.


First Serve volunteer opportunities are:

  • Done in a day

  • Short term

  • Allow for interaction with people in a group volunteer setting

  • Foster a sense of the nonprofit’s organizational culture and mission

  • Can be seasonal or summer opportunities


Examples of First Serve volunteer opportunities:

Crisis Control - Hope Du Jour, Food Drive at Dixie Classic Fair, Holiday Honor Card Sales  

Family Services - reading to children, supporting teachers, supporting families alongside court advocates

H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem – packaging and delivering food over the weekends for children in food deserts

Love Out Loud

  • Christmas for the City - serving food, facilitating game stations, providing entertainment

  • Joy Prom - provide members of the special needs community with an annual prom experience - opportunities range from serving food and drinks to hosting participants.  

  • Gift Mart – (Dec) – A store set up for parents/guardians to purchase reduced priced toys for their children

City with Dwellings (overflow shelter) – additional shelters opened during the winter season (generally Dec – March).

Pivot Ministry – Mentor low income women working toward a better life and income-producing opportunities

Second Harvest Food Bank - sorting and inspecting food, golf tournament volunteer

SECU House - meal preparation, assemble care bags, musical performances.

United Way of Forsyth County – LIVE UNITED

  • Point In Time Homeless Count (January/July) - participate in an annual count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless in Forsyth County with the United Way

HandsOn Northwest North Carolina

  • MLK Day of Service Read-In Reading Buddy - guide children through each of our "service" stations, leading to a reading station where you and the child will read a book



Please complete the First Serve Non-Profit Questionnaire


HOW TO: Post Volunteer Opportunities on Hands On Connect

Once your organization has a Hands On Connect profile (if you're unsure, please view this blog) this blog will teach you how to post volunteer opportunities. 

1. Login to Hands On Connect with your organizations contact - through the "login" link in the top right corner

2. This will take you to the "Sharing Portal" your dashboard for the site (below)

3. To post volunteer opportunities click "Volunteer Opportunities" in the left sidebar.

4. View existing opportunities and their status here. 

5. To create a new opportunity click "Create Volunteer Opportunity" in top right. 

6. Fill in your opportunity details (* denotes required field)

  • Opportunity Name: choose something that describes your opportunity well. This is the title volunteers will see on the main page, "service day" is less desirable than "Pack Lunches for Hungry Children with Love Out Loud" (or something with more details)
  • Choose which Schedule Type works best: 
    • Date & Time Specific - Sign Up: ie. We need volunteers for these shifts, on specific days - volunteers can sign up specifically for opportunity. 
    • Date & Time Specific - Express Interest: ie. We need volunteers for these shifts, on specific days - volunteers can express interest in working shifts, you will need to approve volunteer before they are confirmed for the opportunity.
    • Individually Scheduled - Express Interest with Schedule: ie. We need a volunteer from 9 - 12p every workday, volunteers can express interest for certain time periods (I can work from 9a - 11a on Tuesday and Thursday). You will have to approve volunteer before they are confirmed. 
    • Individually Scheduled - Express Interest Only: ie. We need a volunteer to help us sort t-shirts anytime. Volunteers can express interest as a whole, but not for specific shifts. (I can help!). You will have to approve volunteer before they are confirmed. 
  • Description: Describe your opportunity, in detail. 
  • Default Opportunity Coordinator: if your organization has more than one opportunity coordinator, choose that here. (HOW TO: Set up multiple opportunity coordinators within my organization)
  • Location: your organizations past used locations will be saved here, if you need to add a unlisted location click "add a location (next step)". The next step will prompt you to add a location. Note: Volunteers will not receive opportunity location until they are signed up for opportunity.
  • Choose Primary Impact Area that best fits your organization. (You can also choose a secondary impact area if you'd like)
  • Optional: Choose Population Served  & Age Group Served
  • Choose Minimum Age to volunteer without an adult & Minimum Age (w/adult) - this allows potential volunteers to search for your opportunity to be able to serve with their children/service groups. (Note: If the ages are the same, enter the same age in both boxes)
  • Maximum Attendance: Choose how many volunteers your organization can host, HOC will cut off registration after this number is reached. 
  • Check boxes if your organization is suitable for groups, court ordered volunteers RSVP/senior volunteers. If additionally information is require, please put that in the description box. (ie. Court ordered volunteers must contact volunteer coordinator before signing up)
  • Check if an orientation and/or background check is required
  • Disaster Opportunity type: use only if this is a disaster opportunity
  • Program Area: function is not used yet. 
  • Registration Cutoff Hours: Check how many hours before the event you would like registration to close. (ie. My event is at noon Friday and we're serving lunch, I need final number of volunteers by noon Thursday, so I would cut off registration 24 hours before event).  Note: this number can be 0 if you would like to keep registration open through the beginning of the event. 
  • Volunteer Event: To be used if your opportunity falls under a larger umbrella of opportunities (such as Christmas for the City). For information on how to get a Volunteer Event set up contact Liz Kaiman.

7. Create Location for your opportunity

  • Location will be sent to volunteer after they sign up with a map
  • Special Directions: "ring bell on arrival", "address will take you to blue building, please park across the street at the green building", "don't forget to wear closed toed shoes!"

8. For Date/Time Specific Opportunities: 

  • If opportunity occurs on a regular schedule (ie. Every tuesday, every second Friday) - choose "Yes" and follow steps. 
  • If opportunity does not occur on a regular schedule choose "No" and set date/time (or first date) of opportunity below. Click Create.
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9. You will be taken to page below, where you can review and edit details. 

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10. If you need to add a new date/time for the same opportunity - scroll to bottom of page and click "add new occurrence"

  • Here you can also:
    • View signed up volunteers
    • Confirm volunteers that are signed up for opportunity
    • Email all volunteers that are signed up
    • Print a sign in sheet for opportunity
    • Confirm volunteers that attended your event

Please email Liz Kaiman with any questions. 





HOW TO: Create a Nonprofit Profile on Hands On

Hands On Connect is a site where organizations are able to post volunteer opportunities for volunteers to search and sign up for.

Love Out Loud is continually using this platform/database to point volunteers to widely, and through our Pathways program, to engage volunteers in volunteer opportunities in their area of passion. 

To create a profile please follow the steps below. Contact Liz Kaiman with any questions. 

1. Go to

2. Check to see if your organization has an existing profile by clicking on "For Volunteers" > "Browse Organizations"

- If your organization is not listed, please proceed to step 3
- If your organization is listed, but you are not aware of the login, please contact Liz Kaiman to reset your contact record

3. If your organization does not have an existing profile (is not listed under "Browse Organizations" - click on "For Nonprofits" in the top banner, then "Set Up a nonprofit account"

4. Fill out the requested information
- once your profile is submitted, it will need to be approved, please allow 2 business days. 
- "Mission Statement" box can be used for as much information as you'd like about your organization (including pictures, links, service areas)


5. Once your profile is created you will be able to post volunteer opportunities and connect with volunteers. 

Learn how to post volunteer opportunities here.