HELLO HANCOCK: Community calendar now connects nonprofits with volunteers


HANCOCK COUNTY — Those looking for fun ways to support local nonprofits now have a newly revamped resource online.

The Hancock County Community Foundation (HCCF) has partnered with a locally-owned software development company — Betterflye — to revamp and expand Hello Hancock, which for years has been touted as a go-to destination for tracking festivals, fundraisers and other events throughout the county.

Hello Hancock now features not just an event calendar but an online volunteer portal for Hancock County, which officials say will help round up volunteers for community events.

“This is a (free) user-friendly platform for nonprofits to easily connect with individuals interested in volunteering,” said Mary Gibble, the HCFF’s president and CEO.

“With this tool, the community foundation hopes to encourage and increase volunteerism in our community and help nonprofits build their corps of talented volunteers to support their missions.”

Betterflye was founded by McCordsville resident Virginie McNamar, who spent more than a decade working in product management with TRS LLC and assisting for-profit and nonprofit clients with project management, including volunteer management.

“It is a special opportunity to work with the community foundation on the expansion of Hello Hancock,” she said in a press release.

According to Betterflye.com, her company “connects with global causes to turn good habits into extraordinary benefits for companies, communities, and the world.”

The social impact platform allows nonprofits to centrally promote volunteer opportunities, recruit and engage with volunteers, and measure impact in the community. It also allows organizers to check future event dates and avoid scheduling conflicts with fellow nonprofits.

“Nonprofits play such an important role in our community, and the pandemic has significantly impacted their volunteer bases,” said McNamar. “Our goal with Hello Hancock and Betterflye is to streamline connections to individuals interested in giving their time and talents.”

The Hello Hancock concept dates back to 2007, when community activist Nancy King expressed frustration at the number of nonprofit events scheduled on conflicting dates, forcing donors to choose which event they would attend. She spoke with Greg Cross of Cross Creative Marketing to explore a solution, and the Hello Hancock community calendar was born.

In the years following its creation the use of Hello Hancock waned due to lack of maintenance and oversight, according to an HCCF press release. In 2016, the Greenfield Sertoma Club dedicated time and funds to restore it.

“Nancy’s vision brought Hello Hancock to life, and Sertoma’s ongoing dedication has allowed this resource to survive 15 years,” said Gibble, who expressed gratitude for Sertoma’s support.

In 2017 the community foundation joined the effort to spread awareness and use of the online community calendar.

Once COVID hit the level of need in the community grew exponentially, and so did the need for volunteers, which officials say led to adding a volunteer piece to the Hello Hancock portal.

“We field calls regularly at our office from people looking to volunteer but not knowing where to go,” said Gibble. “Hancock County is a community where the philanthropic spirit is strong, and we know people will step up to serve.”

To check out community events and volunteer opportunities, visit HelloHancock.com.