20 Ways to Get SMART for Volunteers

20 Ways to Get SMART
for Volunteers

SMART is celebrating 20 years of inspiring a love of reading in Oregon’s children. We know that students must learn to read by the 3rd grade in order to read to learn. But, nearly one in four Oregon 4th graders is reading below current benchmarks.

For two decades, individuals, businesses and community partners just like you have played an integral role in our ability to combat this critical issue – simply put, SMART would not be possible without you.

As part of SMART’s 20th anniversary celebration, we’re raising awareness about SMART and the critical importance of reading in a child’s life. And, we need your help to spread the word.

Here’s how it works: In this bookmark, you’ll find a list of 20 Ways to Get SMART. These are ideas for ways you can support SMART and share our mission with your friends, families and acquaintances.

We hope you’ll join us in creating an Oregon where every child can read, and is empowered to succeed.


  1. Make a Difference. SMART volunteers make a difference in children’s lives every day. Thank 20 people who have made a difference in your life. Not a SMART volunteer already? Sign up! Visit www.getSMARToregon.org to learn more.
  2. Be a SMART Friend. Help us share our work through social media by liking us on Facebook. Better yet, get 20 of your friends to like us!
  3. 20 Minutes A Day. Just 20 minutes a day reading aloud with young children strengthens relationships, encourages listening skills, promotes attention and curiosity, and establishes a strong reading foundation. Read 20 minutes a day to a child in your life and see what a difference it makes. Learn more about it here.
  4. Tweet The Cause. Follow SMART on Twitter to keep up on our news and information on childhood literacy. Get 20 of your followers to follow SMART!
  5. Around the Water Cooler. Does your employer support nonprofit organizations, or encourage employees to volunteer?  Ask your employer or business to host a brown bag lunch to share information about how to support SMART through volunteering and donating.
  6. Share SMART With Your Community.  Post 20 SMART volunteer recruitment flyers in coffee shops, community centers, and other spots in your community to share the message – we need more volunteers!  Click here to access a volunteer recruitment flyer on our website that you can customize for your community.
  7. Spread The Word. Help us spread the word about SMART and encouraging your friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances to volunteer or donate. With more volunteers and more funds, we can read with more children!  Visit www.CelebrateSMART.org to learn more about how you can help.
  8. SMART Schools. Is your child’s school a SMART school?  Thank your principal and teachers for having SMART.  Want your child’s school to be a SMART school? Tell your principal and teachers! This directory from the Oregon Department of Education provides a full list of schools and contact information throughout the state.
  9. Tell Your SMART Story! Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about the importance of SMART, or write your local legislators about the valuable service SMART provides. You can find your local legislators using this tool from the Oregon Legislature. Do you have a SMART story to tell? Share it with us at www.CelebrateSMART.org.
  10. SMART Families. Research shows children must learn to read by the 3rd grade in order to read to learn. To read up on this topic, clickhere.  Then, talk to other families about SMART and the importance of reading.
  11. SMART on the Brain. Talk about SMART once a day for 20 days, or share your SMART story with 20 friends.Give
  12. Dine SMART. Convince your favorite restaurant to give 20% of sales to SMART for a night… a week… a month!
  13. SMARTen Your Daily Habits. Buy a cup of coffee each morning? Go out for lunch? Skip the coffee or bag your lunch for 20 days and donate the money you save to SMART! It’ll add up.
  14. Sponsor SMART Students’ Books. Sign up to become a monthly SMART donor.  Just $30 a month buys 14 books for a SMART student – that’s a full year of books for one SMART child!
  15. Give the Gift of Reading. Don’t know what to get for a friend’s birthday gift? Donate to SMART in their honor in place of a gift.  Click here to learn more about this option!
  16. Planned Giving. Consider SMART as you plan your will, trust or other life income planning. Visit this section of our website to learn more.
  17. Dialing for SMART Dollars. Muster up that courage and ask 20 people you know to give $20 to SMART.
  18. SMARTen Your Tax Return. April 15th doesn’t have to be all bad… When tax time rolls around, think about SMART and donate through a tax refund.  SMART’s code is #5.
  19. Turn Books into Dollars. Have 20 used books lying around the house?  Sell them to a book store and donate the money to SMART. Clickhere for search results on where to donate used books in Oregon, or create a tailored search for your community.
  20. SMART Party!  Plan a fundraising event for 20 friends and donate proceeds to SMART.  For example, get 20 neighbors to go in on a yard sale and donate the money raised to SMART.  Click here for a guide from SMART on community fundraising activities.

See 20 ways
to get SMART:

Families Volunteers