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YPW ServeUp team web 2015

April 17, 2015

YPW’s First ServeUp Team Was a Success

By Carly Farr, Ambassadors Action Team Volunteer

Meg Foreman - YPW Program & Marketing Manager

Last November, the first YPW ServeUp Team was launched and members were determined to benefit Dress for Success Wichita. ServeUp is a program designed to pair a team of young professionals with a nonprofit organization to help plan and implement new ideas for the organization that they may not otherwise have the capacity to achieve. It is very similar to service learning and YPs work on a project for about three months. Projects can range from marketing to event planning to business plans. A request for proposals (RFP) process began and of the many non-profit organizations that applied, Dress for Success Wichita was chosen. Dress for Success Wichita submitted a proposal requesting help with improving their brand recognition within the community.

Within the last few months, the ServeUp team met several times to come up with ideas and a plan to achieve the goal in the submitted proposal. The team came up with a two part plan consisting of a month-long awareness campaign and a networking event. The team also wanted to have a sustainable impact allowing Dress for Success Wichita to benefit from this partnership well into the future.

Throughout the month of March, companies were invited to participate in Dress Down Days, which was an opportunity for employees to wear jeans to the office in exchange for $5 to show their support for Dress for Success Wichita. There were a total of 16 companies that participated, raising a total of $5,920 to benefit Dress for Success Wichita. It is estimated that the ServeUp team helped increase brand recognition for over 1000 employees from the Dress Down Days campaign.

The second component of the plan was a networking event which took place at Rock Island Live on March 30 and invited companies that participated in Dress Down Days and anyone else that wanted to show their support for the non-profit. Attendees received information about how to volunteer and further support Dress for Success Wichita. Between the networking event and the connections of the ServeUp team, Dress for Success Wichita has gained an additional 20 volunteers for upcoming projects.

In addition to the Dress Down Days campaign and the networking event, the ServeUp team has made a long-term impact for the nonprofit. Team members were able to introduce Dress for Success Wichita to several companies that they will maintain a working relationship with for years to come. The ServeUp team also developed flyers, stickers and email templates that can be re-used to continue the Dress Down Days on an annual basis.

Portia Portugal, Executive Director of Dress for Success Wichita, explains what the ServeUp team did for the non-profit. “The ServeUp team helped to broaden the network of Dress for Success Wichita and build deeper connections in the community beyond this one event. Together we were able to put a fresh spin on something that has been done annually by including the Networking Mixer at the conclusion of Dress Down Days. This was a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with those who have supported us and are interested in supporting us in the future. I’m confident that the positive improvements made with and by the ServeUp team will continue to benefit Dress for Success Wichita in years to come.”

YPW is currently seeking out members that would like to volunteer on the next ServeUp Team. This is an excellent opportunity to “Serve” your community while developing your professional skills relating to “start-Up” and the entrepreneurial experience.

Learn more and sign up for ServeUP

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