The Ripple Effect: Shannon O’Donnell, Volunteer Superstar, Part Two

Shannon at the Great Wall of China

Image source: Shannon O'Donnell

Welcome back part two of our Ripple Effect interview with Shannon O’Donnell, a travel blogger, speaker, and author of The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook. She regularly volunteers and in 2011 launched her passion project, a community sourced database of local, sustainable organizations all over the world. She is the founder of the website and tweets at @ShannonRTW.

Attracting Volunteers to Your Organization: Grassroots Advertising

Baby Lion

Image source:

I was shopping at my neighborhood co-op yesterday when I noticed a flyer pinned to the bulletin board. I don’t usually stop to read the apartment listings, tutor wanted signs, and ads for used kitchen items, but this flyer was different. It was bright yellow and it featured a picture of the cutest lion cub the world has ever seen being fed from a baby bottle. I was so taken with the cub’s expression (he was almost smiling!) it took me a minute to notice what the flyer was advertising. When I did (it was a flyer for Amanzi Travel, a wildlife and community improvement-based voluntour company) I had something of an epiphany. Why aren’t more volunteer companies using local community meeting places to advertise their programs?