A Helpful (Unofficial) Digital Training Guide for New AmeriCorps Members


Just to be clear from the beginning of this guide, Whole Whale is not directly affiliated or funded by AmeriCorps (though there are alumni on our staff), but we ARE huge fans of the program. As an independent agency of the Government, their work engages over 5 million people in service across  AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps State and National, and AmeriCorps Seniors.

AmeriCorps offer amazing training for new members before they embark on their service journeys, their online course catalog covers an amazing breadth of content. However, over the past two years of the pandemic, there has been a massive shift to digital outreach that nonprofits now rely on to increase impact. These nonprofits then, in turn, have begun to need digital marketing/analytics/content and other digital-first work done by staff and AmeriCorps members. 

Whole Whale has over a decade of experience as a nonprofit-focused digital marketing agency and has developed a robust digital training program through WholeWhale.com/university. When a volunteer or new employee jumps into a new role that requests digital expertise, there is a natural learning curve that must be climbed. 

Ahhh, I was just thrown into a digital role and I don’t know where to start

Regardless of whether you’re a volunteer, new hire, AmeriCorps member, or anywhere in between, it can be stressful and confusing to figure out where to start. 

So here is a 7 step road map to get started:

  1. Find and study the data
  1. Establish digital goals 
  2. Put out any fires
  3. Start at the top of the marketing funnel (steal this chart)

Begin with work that will increase traffic and the digital footprint of the organization starting at the top of the funnel. Steal this chart and use it to frame where your digital work/investments are going.

  1. Turn on or tune-up the Google Ad Grant
  2. Establish the digital communications drumbeat across email and social media
  3. Work down the digital marketing funnel as the end-of-year approaches

What’s in it for you?

Stipends are fun but what about a future career? By focusing on the training and strategy to make the organization’s digital numbers go up, you will be in a better position for future employment opportunities. What’s also nice is that by understanding the data, you’ll be able to make the case for ROI of continued digital work (assuming it is working :).

Many of the resources on WholeWhale.com are free (like rainbows), some cost some money (like affordable gluten-free cupcakes with sprinkles). If you are a part of the AmeriCorps network please reach out through our contact us form for a discount on any course or a subscription.

Thank you for the work you are choosing to do with your time, it matters.