How To Create Your Own Create the Good Do-It-Yourself Project Guide

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1 How To Create Your Own Do-It-Yourself Project Guide All the information you need to create and submit your do-it-yourself service project

2 Table of Contents Page About Do-It-Yourself Project Guides 3 How to Create a Do-it-Yourself Project Guide 6 The Submission Process 37 Have Questions? 38

3 About Do-It-Yourself Project Guides What is a Do-It-Yourself Project Guide? A Do-It-Yourself ( DIY ) Project Guide provides simple, step-by-step instructions for planning and implementing a successful community project. Guides currently featured on cover everything from holding a food or school supplies drive to starting a walking group to caring for a caregiver. To see all current DIY Project guides, visit createthegood.org/how-to-guides. How do DIY Projects help members? Many people want to give back to their community but struggle to find volunteer opportunities that match their schedule and interests. Do- It-Yourself Project Guides enable individuals to engage in community projects they care about in the time they have, creating more meaningful ways for members to get involved. Help a cause you care about in a time and manner that works best for you. How do DIY Projects help authors? DIY Project Guides are a great way to introduce members of the Create the Good community to your cause or organization and educate them about how their efforts can make an impact on your mission. offers free and easy to use tools to create a project guide and the team is available every step of the way. A little bit about the community CreateTheGood.org attracts 50,000-70,000 visitors per month Community members have contributed thousands of volunteer opportunities to the site - 10,000+ of which have been vetted and approved by the team and made available on the site and other volunteer listings 3

4 What makes for a good DIY project? s goal in offering these free tools is to gather a diverse collection of service projects that provide meaningful opportunities for individuals with a wide range of causes, time commitments, and skill sets. The team reviews and approves all guides prior to publication, so you can be sure your project will be in good company. enforces just a few ground rules: The success of the project cannot depend on you or your organization s involvement or availability. Put another way, Create the Good users must be able to plan and execute your project according to their schedule and availability. The project does not involve fundraising or ask participants to collect monetary donations for your organization. The project does not involve political advocacy for a particular candidate or political campaign. 4

5 Frequently Asked Questions I work for a nonprofit. Can I create a guide on its behalf? Absolutely, we love to help nonprofits reach the community. Do I have to be associated with a nonprofit to author a guide? Not at all. If you are a passionate individual with a great idea for supporting a cause you love, this is the perfect project for you. My idea is really short, is that appropriate for a project? Yes! Such projects are particularly helpful for our members with limited time. My organization has an existing document that outlines the steps of our project. Still, we would love a way to get the project in front of the audience, how can we participate? When creating a project guide you can upload any related documents and materials you think will be helpful in completing the project successfully. In these circumstances, we suggest uploading your existing document and referring to it within the project instructions. For example, Get started by reviewing the XYZ.PDF file in the supplemental materials section. 5

6 How to Create a Do-It-Yourself Project Guide Step 1: Sign in or Join Only community members may create Do-It-Yourself project guides and submit them for publication on the site. But fear not, registration is free and AARP does not share your information with anyone. Follow the steps below to register for free. Already registered with? Wonderful! You can skip ahead to page 10 to learn how to create and submit a project guide. 1.1 Visit CreateTheGood.org 1.2 Click the Log in or Register button in the top right of the screen 6

7 1.3 Log in with an existing account, use an existing social account or create a new account To create a new account, you can either register through this site by clicking the Register button, or use a social media account by clicking the social account icon you prefer. You can simply log in if you have previously registered with AARP.org or. 1.4 Log in if you have already registered with AARP.org or If you have registered previously for AARP.org or, enter your address and password, click Log In and continue to step Register using the site Click the green Register button and enter the information requested in the AARP.org registration form A green circle with a check mark appears if you ve entered acceptable information. 7

8 A red box appears if something isn t quite right. Instructions below the box will let you know what changes need to be made To ensure you re a person (and not a robot seeking to fill inboxes with spam) you will need to type the jumbled letters into the box provided. NOTE: Are the words illegible? It happens all the time. Click the circular arrows icon on top to get a new challenge. You can also click the speaker icon to get an audio challenge and type the phrase you hear Just a bit of legal work to finish things up. Check the box under User Agreement to accept AARP s Terms and Service and Privacy Policy Click the green Register button to complete the process. NOTE: Look for an welcoming you to. You will now be logged in upon your return to the website. 8

9 Now you are ready to create a project guide and submit it for consideration into s online database. NOTE: Once logged in you will notice the Log In and Register options in the main navigation no longer appear. In their place are a My Profile button and a Logout botton. 9

10 Step 2: Access the Project Guide Builder 2.1 Go to the Do-it-Yourself Project Guides page and click the button that reads Have an idea for a DIY project? Post it on! Alternatively, you can click the Create A Project Guide link that appears in the footer. 10

11 2.2 Click the Create New Project Guide button on the Create & Manage Do-It-Yourself Project Guides page. This page is where you can access all the guides you have created or create new project guides. 11

12 2.3 Welcome to the Project Guide Builder page. This is the page where you can enter all information needed for your project guide. 12

13 Step 3: Provide General Information about your Project General Information section of the builder page 3.1 Project Title: Your project title is the first opportunity to gain a member s interest in your project. Titles should have at most 50 characters, so you will need to keep yours short and to the point. Project titles as they appear to visitors browsing projects 13

14 3.2 Project Image: Adding an image to your guide is optional but strongly encouraged because it will help your initiative stand out within the larger list of projects. However, if it s not possible to attach an your own image, a default image will appear with your guide on the Browse Guides page. If an image is uploaded for a guide the image is seen by visitors as they browse for projects If no image is uploaded for a guide a visitors see a default image associated with the guide 14

15 To add an image to your project guide, click the red Browse button within the dotted box entitled Project Image. Images may have any of the following file types: jpg, gif, or png and must be less than 2MB in size. We suggest the use of high resolution images with a size of 800px wide by 600px tall. This will launch a window that allows you to select a file from your computer. Find the image you would like to use and click the Open button in that window. Alternatively you can drag the image into the square box. Voila! You now have an image associated with your project guide. 15

16 3.3 Project Description: The project description provides more detail about your initiative. While it is not visible to members in the published version of the guide; it plays an important role behind the scenes. Specifically, your description is referenced when a member searches for projects that match a specific interest. For example, if someone uses keywords to find opportunities related to financial literacy the site - as well as other search engines - will look for the words financial and literacy within the project description (among other fields such as title). Therefore, we encourage you to create a description that includes keywords and phrases associated with the topics your guide addresses to ensure that your project comes up in the appropriate searches. Descriptions are limited to 255 characters. 16

17 3.4 Project Skills: members love to use their skills to give back. By providing information about any special skills needed to complete your project, you can help us match members with projects that take advantage of their skills. Please select all the skills relevant to your project. If you don t see the skill needed within the list provided, just type it into the field and it will be added. The skill Investing was not in the list provided, typing Investing into the text box and hitting your enter adds it to the list Alternatively, if no special skills are needed select the No special skills required option. 17

18 3.5 Causes Supported: Similar to skills, members prefer to work on projects that benefit causes or issues they find important. This is why we give you an opportunity to indicate which cause or causes your project benefits. You may select multiple causes, and if you don t see what you are looking for, you can add it to the list by typing the name of the cause directly into the text box and hitting the enter key. 3.6 Project Categories: Project categories are attributes that uses to organize opportunities. By selecting one or more categories you again make it easier for members to determine if your project is a good fit for their circumstances and abilities. If none of the categories listed apply to your project select the None of these categories apply option. 18

19 3.7 Time Required: A key piece of information to share with potential users is an estimate of time needed to complete your project. Including the required time commitment helps members make a sound judgment as to whether your project is a good fit for their availability. Time commitment information appears in the summary section of all project guides 19

20 Step 4: Provide Author or Organization Information Author or Organization Information section of the builder page 4.1 Author or Organization Name: In addition to the cause a project supports members also want to know who a project supports. To that end, we collect the name of the organization or individual authoring the guide, along with other supporting information (detailed below). This information appears near the top of the published project guide. 4.2 Author City & State: The location and state of yourself or the organization you represent. This information is optional, if no information is provided nothing appears. 20

21 4.3 Author or Organization Website: You can also specify a website where a member can learn more about yourself or your organization. This field is optional, if no website is provided nothing appers. Author or Organization information as it appears to visitors viewing your DIY Project Guide. 4.4 Author or Organization Image: If you choose, you may upload an photo image here as well, to add more detail to your project. This may be the logo of your organization, a photo of yourself, or any other picture that you think represents the author of the guide. 21

22 To add an image to your project guide, click the red Browse button within the dotted box entitled Author or Organization Image. Images may have any of the following file types: jpg, gif, or png. We suggest the use of high resolution images with a size of 260px wide by 300px tall. This will launch a window that allows you to select a file from your computer. Find the image you would like to use and click the Open button in that window. Voila! You now have an image associated with the author or organiztion of your guide. 22

23 4.5 Author Contact Address: requires an address for the individual responsible for creating the guide. This is where Administrators will send any questions or notifications about your guide (e.g. your guide has been published! ). Your address will not be shared with outside parties or published as part of your project guide. 4.6 Author Contact Phone Number: You may also provide a phone number at which you can be reached. This phone number will not be shared or published as part of your project guide. It will only be used by administrators in the event they have questions about your guide. 23

24 Step 5: Describe your Project The Project Content area is where you describe how to successfully complete your project. It s important to note that your project guide content can be as long or short as needed and you can break down the project however you like (e.g. step 1, step 2, step 3 vs. what you need to get started, how to prepare for your event, measuring your impact ). 24

25 We ve provided a number of style and content options to help make your project guide descriptive and engaging. Text Format There are two general options for formatting text: Heading and Paragraph. The heading format is available to bring attention to the major sections of your guide. The paragraph format applies to all other text. Additional styling options may be applied to paragraph text. How to view paragraph style options How paragraph style options appear to visitors viewing your DIY project guide. Bold, Italic & Underline Highlight the paragraph text you would like to style and click the bold, italic or underline buttons to adjust the appearance of the highlighted text. 25

26 Links Paragraph text may also be linked to other webpages. To create a link, click the link button in the styling toolbar, enter the appropriate URL and click the green OK button. Horizontal Rule These horizontal lines can help mark different sections of your project guide. To add a horizontal rule, place your cursor in the spot where you would like the line to appear and click the horizontal rule button in the toolbar. 26

27 Images Images can be included throughout your project guide. Place your cursor in the spot in your guide where you would like your image to appear and click the Image button in the toolbar. After clicking the button, a window appears to collect the details associated with your image. Please keep in mind that only images for which you have the rights should be included within your guide. 27

28 The first detail you will need to specify is the image you would like to include. Do so by clicking the Upload tab and then the Choose File button. A window will appear from which you can select the image file from your computer. Once selected click the Send it to the Server button. This will make your image available within your guide and you will be able to use it elsewhere without having to upload it again. 28

29 Next, go to the Image Info tab to add more detail to your image. To make changes to an image already added to your guide, double click on the image to reveal the properties window. Image properties include the following: Alternative Text This short description of your image should be included so that screen reading technology used by individuals with visual impairments can describe the image. Width & Height Change these values if you would like to make your image smaller or larger. Changing one value will automatically change the other to maintain the image s original proportions. 29

30 Alignment Change these values to align your image differently with your text. none alignment option left alignment option center alignment option right alignment option 30

31 Caption Image Option Check this box if you would like to include a caption with your image. image with caption image without caption Click the green OK button to save the details for your image. To make changes to an image already added to your guide, double click on the image to reveal the properties window. 31

32 Videos Videos can also be included in your project guide. Place your cursor in the spot where you would like your video to appear and click the video button in the toolbar. In the window that appears indicate the URL of your video on YouTube or Vimeo. Click the green OK button to add the video to your guide. 32

33 Blockquotes Blockquotes allow you to call attention to key snippets of text. To add a blockquote to your project guide, highlight the text you would like to call attention to and click the blockquote button in the toolbar. Lists To add a bulleted list to your project guide click the bullet list button. If you prefer a numbered list, click the numbered list button. 33

34 Step 6: Provide Information About Supplemental Materials In addition to the content you have just added, you can choose to add one or more reference materials to your guide. These can either be a documents you upload or URLs to helpful websites. 6.1 No Supplemental Materials Option: If you would not like to associate any supplemental materials to your project guide, check the No supplemental materials for this project guide option. 34

35 6.2 Add Supplemental Materials: If you would like to add supplemental materials, provide the following for each supplemental item: Title The name of the given item. Description How the this item will help the project organizer. URL If applicable, the link for a webpage containing useful information about the project. File If applicable, a document such as a flyer template, example press release or sample sign-in sheet. Details regarding these materials appear in the Supplemental Materials section of your published project guide. 35

36 Step 7: Saving & Submitting Your Guide 7.1 Save as Draft: saves the latest version of your guide. 7.2 Preview your guide: saves the latest version of your guide and displays the guide as it will appear to those viewing it on the website. Once you re done previewing, you must click the Edit button at the top of your screen to either make further edits or to submit your guide for approval. 7.3 Submit for Approval: sends your guide to administrators for review and approval. 36

37 The Submission Process Once your project guide has been submitted, it will be reviewed within 7 business days by a member of the Create the Good team. You will be notified via the address you provide (and optionally, the phone number) should Create the Good Administrators have any questions about your guide or need more information. When the review is complete, you will receive an indicating whether or not your guide has been approved for publication. During the review process, you are not able to make changes to your submitted guide. If approved and published, your guide will become available immediately to visitors and members of the community. At this point, we encourage authors to promote the guide through social media and/or other means. Some example tweets and posts: Our Do-it-Yourself project was just published Try it out and let us know what you think [URL] Want to but can t find a way that fits your schedule? Problem solved with our DIY project [URL] Want to at your next family gathering? Learn how with our DIY project [URL] If your guide is not approved for publication, you can expect an to let you know, along with a short description of why your guide was not approved. At this point, your guide will return to a Draft state where you can make changes and re-submit for approval. 37

38 Have Questions? Please get in touch should you need more information about any of the topics of this guide or about DIY project guides in general. We can be reached as follows. Phone:

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