Holiday wish list ... everyone wants something: what members will expect of their associations.Soon most of the nation will a winter wonderland Wonderland
See also Heaven, Paradise, Utopia.
land of joy and beauty without disease or death. [Welsh Lit.: Mabinogion]
fabulous and prosperous island; legendarily in Atlantic Ocean. [Gk. Myth. , blanketed in snow and good wishes for the holiday season. The final weeks of December bring the gift of anticipation for the new year On the following pages, some of the nonprofit sector's thinkers share their thoughts, aspirations and expectations for 2007.
What Members Will Expect Of Their Associations
BY JOHN H. GRAHAM John Hugh Graham (April 1, 1835 - July 11, 1895) was a U.S. Representative from New York.
Born in Belfast, Ireland, GrahamImmigrated in 1836 to the United States with his parents, who settled in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the public schools of Brooklyn. IV, CAE (1) (Computer-Aided Engineering) Software that analyzes designs which have been created in the computer or that have been created elsewhere and entered into the computer.
Associations face a great deal of competition for their members' time and involvement. Our roles as brokers of information and professional knowledge are being challenged by a growing number of outside resources--many of which the Information Age has brought to the members' or prospective members' doorsteps, no matter where they are geographically located.
In this environment, individuals increasingly expect their associations to stake out a unique position in the marketplace, to look beyond good, basic membership practices and deliver value that consistently exceeds expectations.
One of the ways associations can tackle this challenge is to customize the members' experience--to sweeten sweet·en
v. sweet·ened, sweet·en·ing, sweet·ens
1. To make sweet or sweeter by adding sugar, honey, saccharin, or another sweet substance.
2. To make more pleasant or agreeable. the traditional incentives for joining or renewing by delivering a personal experience for each member. We need to understand that our members have different reasons for joining and different expectations for what the organization will deliver. It is increasingly up to the association to listen to the members' expectations and put a system in place for delivering a focused, customized return on investment.
This is a pretty big change in culture for associations, where the benefits of skills training, knowledge resources and professional networking have in the past been fairly standardized for all members. It's no longer enough to offer a learning curriculum for CEOs. You have to consider an individual's experience; whether they work for a small-staff or large-staff organization; whether the program could be in-person or needs to be online; and so on. As associations, we have to foster achievement and growth among our diverse members in ways that no other organization or resource can match.
It is worth remembering that people will pay for what they value. We too often focus on reducing the price of a service or program when the problem is not that the price is too high, but that the value is too low. Keep your focus on value.
The truly exceptional associations of the future are also going to be successful at building community and an emotional connection in their membership. As alluded to earlier, the explosion of online resources and virtual communities, in particular, threatens the value proposition associations provide their members. There is still a need for in-person interaction, but there is also evidence that people are increasingly comfortable making connections and fufilling their need for community online. What we can do is take a hard look at our value proposition and make sure we are still providing an "experience" for our members. Do they feel like they are part of something bigger? Let's hope so, because that community connection is a big reason people belong to associations.
Associations also need to make it easier for members to access tools and information and to plan a path of involvement in the organization. As members progress down this path and become more engaged, the association will have more opportunities to define and influence their experiences within the organization. It makes sense for associations to implement a continuous feedback and evaluation process to assess their progress and to stay on target in delivering an exceptional member experience.
Of course, the biggest challenge in all of this lies not in identifying new membership strategies, but in executing the plan. This means making sure your staff and volunteers believe in the plan, and ultimately are living the plan on a daily basis. It also means integrating the plan into everything the association does, including decisions about new programs, resource allocation resource allocation Managed care The constellation of activities and decisions which form the basis for prioritizing health care needs , and budgeting.
Laying this foundation will probably require increased resources initially, but the future return on investment is increased membership, participation and market share.
John H. Graham IV, CAE, is president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of the American Society of Association Executives The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) is a non-profit professional organization for executive directors and executive vice presidents of professional societies both in the United States and abroad. in Washington, D.C.
Tell Them You Need More Operating Income Operating Income
The profit realized from a business' own operations.
This would not include income from things such as investments in other firms. Also referred to as operating profit or recurring profit.
BY RICK COHEN cohen
(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male.
Donors come in all shapes and sizes. While they might not generate the bulk of charitable giving, working people and middle-class families tend to be far more generous than their more affluent counterparts, whether measured against annual income of household wealth. The evidence?
While foundations, corporations, and really wealthy people cut back their giving as the economy sours and the stock market goes south, working people keep on giving and give even more. They know that those people in need could be them. They identify with them and the charitable giving that results is an expression of compassion and solidarity, not noblesse oblige noblesse o·blige
Benevolent, honorable behavior considered to be the responsibility of persons of high birth or rank.
[French, nobility is an obligation : noblesse, nobility + .
Prescriptions for and demands of individual donors, particularly those incredibly generous working people, are hard to issue. An astounding a·stound
tr.v. a·stound·ed, a·stound·ing, a·stounds
To astonish and bewilder. See Synonyms at surprise.
[From Middle English astoned, past participle of astonen, thank you is what most of us ought to convey. Their persistence is one of the few certainties the nonprofit sector can anticipate.
But for other donors, the wealthy donors in the top quintile quin·tile
1. The astrological aspect of planets distant from each other by 72° or one fifth of the zodiac.
2. Statistics The portion of a frequency distribution containing one fifth of the total sample. of income and wealth who give less than 1 percent of both, for corporations that advocate for increased charitable giving incentives while they still hover An option in Microsoft Internet Explorer that removes the permanent underline from hypertext links. The underline displays automatically and only when the cursor is placed over (hovers over) the link. Hover is available in Tools/Internet Options/Advanced/Underline links. below 2 percent, usually below 1 percent of pretax income pretax income
Reported income before the deduction of income taxes. Pretax income is sometimes considered a better measure of a firm's performance than aftertax income because taxes in one period may be influenced by activities in earlier periods. for charity, for foundations sitting on their assets converting the 5 percent minimum spending requirement into a ceiling, there's lots to be said, and it's not simply a message of "give more."
Beyond question or doubt. See Synonyms at authentic.
un·question·a·bil , some major donors have laid down competitive yardsticks for their superwealthy peers and in other cases fell short of their potentials in 2006, both to be addressed looking forward to the 2007 fundraising climate. The combined Buffett and Gates announcements should be a role model for donors and funders to put some big money into the nonprofit sector to tackle deep-seated societal, even international problems. Remember that Warren Buffett's annual capital infusions Capital infusion
Often refers to the cross-subsidization of divisions within a firm. When one division is not doing well, it might benefit from an infusion of new funds from the more successful divisions. are by his own mandate to be spent in the calendar year that the donations are made, not to be used as toys for investment managers to calculate returns and earn bonuses.
The Google.org announcement of $1 billion and the Branson pledge of $3 billion, the latter in response to former president Bill Clinton's annual Global Initiative convening, constitute wake-up calls to philanthropy not only to better mobilize their capital, but to be creative and risk-taking and visionary. It is hard to read those announcements without sensing that deep down, Clinton and his Global Initiatives partners see mainstream philanthropy as just a little too tired and hidebound hidebound
said of skin that is not easily lifted from the subcutaneous tissue. Occurs in emaciated animals because of the absence of fat and connective tissue rather than absence of fluid. compared to our societal challenges. Do note that these new versions of philanthropy don't have much or anything to do with the nonprofit sector, with both sides of the philanthropic dynamic structured as for-profits.
At the same time, the Buffett, Branson, and Google initiatives do almost nothing to strengthen the nonprofit sector and increase the voice of nonprofits to advocate on behalf of disadvantaged and disenfranchised populations disenfranchised population Social medicine A group of persons without a home or political voice, who live at the whims of a host Examples Homeless, refugees of war and natural disasters. See Homelessness, Refugee. . Increasingly, the big donors are voting with their wallets, and it's not in favor of supporting grassroots nonprofits, social change organizations, and their community organizing The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. and policy advocacy activities.
Here we sit having crossed yet again new stock market high points, foundation assets have easily passed the half trillion mark, but many nonprofits, particularly those small local groups on the front lines of promoting social change, civil rights, immigration reform Immigration reform is the common term used in political discussions regarding changes to immigration policy. In a certain sense, reform can be general enough to include promoted, expanded, or open immigration, but in reality discussions of reform often deal with the aspect of , environmental justice, and others report continuing stresses and strains in their financial pictures. Despite statistics that suggest that some foundations have been savvy enough to reclassify Verb 1. reclassify - classify anew, change the previous classification; "The zoologists had to reclassify the mollusks after they found new species"
class, classify, sort out, assort, sort, separate - arrange or order by classes or categories; "How would you their grants as "general support," most smaller nonprofits find themselves still hamstrung if not hog-tied by program grant restrictions.
No one should expect changes in the grantmaking patterns of large philanthropists and most foundations if nonprofits don't speak up. Just look at the recent summary of town hall meeting comments prepared for the Nonprofit Congress this past October; nary nar·y
Not one: "Frequently, measures of major import . . . glide through these chambers with nary a whisper of debate" George B. Merry. a peep about foundation grantmakers, not a scintilla A glimmer; a spark; the slightest particle or trace.
"Scintilla of evidence" is a metaphorical expression describing a very insignificant or trifling item of evidence. of comment about the problems of insufficient general operating support grants. Even with the Branson and Google announcements targeting their "philanthropy" to for-profit vehicles, not even a question about opening up the investment possibilities from foundations and other charitable institutions for mission-related investments.
If nonprofits acted like a market barometer and told the big corporate, foundation and individual donors what they want and need in 2007, or even better, if nonprofits strongly advocated for the giving they need, they might announce a campaign for a vastly increased proportion of grants devoted to general operating support, a mobilization of tax-exempt endowments for use by nonprofits sometime sooner than the never-never land nev·er-nev·er land
An imaginary and wonderful place; a fantasy land.
[After Never-Never Land, fictional setting used in the play Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. of foundation perpetuity perpetuity n. forever. (See: in perpetuity, rule against perpetuities)
PERPETUITY, estates. Any limitation tending to take the subject of it out of commerce for a longer period than a life or lives in being, and twenty-one years beyond; and in case of a , a deployment of endowments in nonprofit-controlled, mission-related investments, and a new level of donor commitment to the historically valuable social change functions of nonprofit organizing and public policy advocacy. If that began to occur in 2007, it would be the start of a transformation that donors need and nonprofits need even more.
Rick Cohen is the former executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. He is now the national correspondent for Nonprofit Quarterly magazine.
Convening Communities Will Focus New Philanthropy
BY STEVE GUNDERSON Steven Craig (Steve) Gunderson (born May 10, 1951, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin), is the President and CEO of the Council on Foundations and a former Republican congressman from Wisconsin.
Gunderson grew up in Whitehall, Wisconsin.
By the time this column is published, the mid-term election will be just behind us and we should all have a much better idea of where the new Congress may focus their energies in the philanthropic sector in 2007. Regardless of those specific political outcomes, I'd like to share with you three recent experiences that I believe begin to articulate the future of philanthropy.
First, our politics have become so polarized A one-way direction of a signal or the molecules within a material pointing in one direction. that our political process is paralyzed par·a·lyze
tr.v. par·a·lyzed, par·a·lyz·ing, par·a·lyz·es
1. To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.
2. To make unable to move or act: paralyzed by fear. . And as such, we now must look to philanthropy as the new convener for communities seeking to consider difficult issues in ways that might achieve an appropriate civic response. It's no accident the Council on Foundations The Council on Foundations is a membership organization of more than 2,000 grant-making foundations and giving programs worldwide. They provide leadership expertise, legal services and networking opportunities and other services to participating members and the general public. now has a laser-like focus on leadership and public policy. We host a government relations plenary plenary adj. full, complete, covering all matters, usually referring to an order, hearing or trial.
PLENARY. Full, complete.
2. at each of our annual conferences. The Council not only plans to have a seat at the table, the Council intends to be a voice and vision for philanthropy.
Second, earlier this year, the Council had been requested by the Bush Administration to provide a platform for Chairman Don Powell Donald George Powell (born 10 September 1946 in Bilston, Staffordshire, England, UK) is a drummer who founded the English glam rock group, Slade.
As a child Don Powell joined the Boy Scouts where he became interested in the drums after being asked to join the band on a , who heads their Gulf Coast Rebuilding Authority, to speak to our sector. But even as a former Republican member of Congress, I must admit to a real disappointment in his remarks. For he told the assembled audience that morning that he would "be calling Steve Gunderson within three months and demanding a full accounting of philanthropy's response to the Gulf Coast rebuilding needs" It was inappropriate for him to suggest that he would hold the philanthropic sector accountable for our response to the desperate needs of this region.
Third, at our last annual conference we heard from Sen. Max Baucus Max Sieben Baucus (born December 11 1941) is the senior United States Senator from Montana and is a member of the Democratic Party. Baucus is currently chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and 10th Longest-serving current Senator. of Montana, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee that has led new efforts to enact charitable reform legislation. After brief comments about the present state of these negotiations in the Congress, Sen. Baucus addressed the issue of "the philanthropic divide." The "divide" he raised high-lighted the deep concerns of rural America about the lack of philanthropic resources within their communities--especially when public resources for domestic needs are in retreat.
In short, these three different stories further confirm:
* We are living at a time of the polarization of political discourse that presents new civic responsibilities to our sector.
* The retreat of government in the face of growing domestic needs presents new, and often inappropriate, pressures on our sector to respond to what is more appropriately public responsibility.
* There is a growing competition for philanthropic dollars. And as philanthropy plays a bigger role in society this competition will only increase.
The reality is that government is in retreat on the domestic front. That is not a political statement; it is reality. And this retreat has no relation to the emerging needs of our society. Our domestic needs are as great as at any time in our history.
Legislatively, it remains our intent to partner with sector leaders to craft a set of recommendations for the philanthropic sector regarding governance that the sector could introduce next session--allowing us to frame the discussions rather than reacting to the proposals of a senator or congressman.
These three short stories might best project the near-term realities of 21st century philanthropy.
For the longer-term, it's clear the philanthropic sector will welcome an even more robust century of philanthropy than we have witnessed before. We will grow in size. We will grow in service. We will grow in scrutiny. We will seize this opportunity and welcome all of these.
Steve Gunderson is president and CEO of the Council of Foundations
Giving Donors What They Want: A Relationship With Results
BY ANGIE MOORE
As the end of the year approaches, we are reminded of setting our personal goals and creating our "wish list" for the coming year. For some of us it's a daunting daunt
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.
[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin task. For others, it's simply a carry-over from last year's list. Which brings me to my next question....
As we move into a new fundraising year, what's on What's On (Traditional Chinese: 熒幕八爪娛) is a weekly half-hour TV series that airs on Fairchild Television. Format
Originally started in 1996, the show is currently the longest-running program in Fairchild Television history. the wish list of charitable donors? Is it the same list from 2006 just carried over to 2007? My opinion is that it is the same list. Simply put, I think charitable donors are going to be more focused on what they needed and expected from charities during 2006--but with a growing persistence and insistence. And, in true "wish list" fashion, some donors came closer to getting what they asked for in 2006 than others.
I have the advantage of seeing multiple sides since I'm a nonprofit employee, a marketer, a charitable donor, and volunteer. And from my perspective, it's pretty simple ...
The 2007 Donor Wish List ...
1. To connect and align with a great cause
2. To make sure action on the goals is being taken
3. To have relevant options & play a part in the mission
4. To have a dialogue ... to be "known"
We are all aging and life is getting busier. Add to that fact the continued growth in charities in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and you have a very complicated situation for charities to find the right people with whom to build the most loyal and long-lasting relationships of involvement and support. Individual time and money are highly-prized commodities, and as supporters of charitable missions, donors are making decisions with more precision than ever before.
Donors still want a connection with a charity--an alignment of views and values around the charity's mission or vision. In the end, it is an exchange between the donor and what they expect and the charity which needs the donor to realize its goals. Very few charities exist in a space that is not challenged by a competitor and donors are keenly aware of that fact.
With limited discretionary dollars and time available, donors have the ability to truly research and fined the best charity to fulfill their needs. That bond between the charity and the donor must be on various levels to ensure both parties are truly fulfilled by the relationship.
But, it's not just about how the donors "feel" about their relationship with a charity. The charity must "seal the relationship deal" by proving its performance through actions. Donors will continue to assess and reassess reassess
to reconsider the value or importance of
Verb 1. reassess - revise or renew one's assessment
reevaluate their decisions relative to their philanthropic relationships. They want results and want to feel as though their participation in the mission is making a difference. If they don't see impact on the mission or progress towards a goal, the alignment of what the donor wanted from the relationship and what the charity was trying to accomplish comes into question.
It doesn't stop there. Just as donors want to hold their chosen charities accountable for commitments and goals, they also have high expectations about how their relationship develops and changes over time. Donors want relevant options that can only happen if there is a dialog between the charity and the donor. This has been extremely difficult for many charities to master outside of the 1-to-l/high-donor relationships. Donors want to be actively involved in relationships with charities; they want to be in the driver's seat driv·er's seat
A position of control or authority. relative to how they engage with a charity, how they are communicated with, and what types of opportunities they are offered. They want access to information from the charity and they want to inform the charity of their interests: what they consider important and what needs they have.
The 2007 wish list is not much different than what I believe was on the 2006 wish list. But as years come and go, donors are gaining a clearer vision of how they best fit into the mission and goals of various charities. The relationship between a charity and its donors is a real one. It is business and personal. It is emotional and physical. Donors expect charities to understand that and expect to be seen as a pivotal part of the mission. As charities, we owe it to those we serve and the missions we pursue to help our donors "check off" their wish list.
Angie Moore is managing director, constituent relationship management, for the American Cancer Society American Cancer Society,
n.pr established in 1913, this national volunteer-based health organization is committed to the elimination of cancer through prevention and treatment and to diminishing cancer suffering through advocacy, scholarship, research, and is based in Atlanta.
Leveraging Technology To A Completely New Level
BY SHEERAZ HAJI
The year ahead presents extraordinary opportunities for nonprofits to leverage Web-based tools and applications to be more innovative, creative, and effective in fundraising, advocacy, and community-building efforts. There have been several trends this year that are expected to intensify during 2007:
Social Networking See social networking site.
social networking - social network . Nonprofits are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. new and creative ways to engage their constituents, grow their list, and interact with supporters. The increasing popularity of YouTube and MySpace has attracted many nonprofits to leverage these sites to extend their outreach. Oxfam's late October Rock for Darfur is a recent example of this use.
With social networking Web sites Following are the most popular social networking sites on the Web along with many innovators. There are many more, and sites emerge and wither away all the time. For more on social networking sites, see social networking site.
www.myspace. competing with nonprofits for constituents' attention, organizations must be more vigilant in focusing on killer stories and clever campaigns to intercept their current and future supporters.
Personalizing Web and Messaging Content. Nonprofits are realizing the tremendous power of unifying their Web site content with their email campaigns to deliver a targeted, personalized per·son·al·ize
tr.v. per·son·al·ized, per·son·al·iz·ing, per·son·al·iz·es
1. To take (a general remark or characterization) in a personal manner.
2. To attribute human or personal qualities to; personify. experience and consistent brand. Having content and constituent information in one system allows organizations to deliver content customized to a supporter's interests, giving history, demographics, and participation in advocacy campaigns and live events.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) A syndication format that was developed by Netscape in 1999 and became very popular for aggregating updates to blogs and the news sites. RSS has also stood for "Rich Site Summary" and "RDF Site Summary. . If your Web site says "Keep Checking Back for New Updates," it's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to join the growing trend among nonprofits of using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to deliver the latest Web content and news summaries to constituents and other organizations with common interests and increase your search rankings.
RSS makes it simple to provide a consolidated list of news headlines, press releases, fundraising and advocacy campaigns, etc., so supporters can track the issues and information they care about without having to go to the organization's Web site. Join Together, the International Rescue Committee, and the Union of Concerned Scientists The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is a nonprofit advocacy group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The UCS membership includes many private citizens in addition to professional scientists. provide an RSS feed Summaries of Web site content that are published in the RSS format for download. See RSS. on their Web sites as an additional channel to get the right information to the right person at the right time.
The 360-degree view. More nonprofits are committing the resources to consolidate their constituent data from offline and online participation and transactions to have a comprehensive profile for personalized outreach. Detroit Public Television, The Child Welfare League of America, Alliance for Justice, Leadership Council for Civil Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights streamlined the complex and time-consuming task of manually synchronizing synchronizing,
n a technique that a therapist uses to coordinate his or her breath with that of the client; builds trust and establishes relationship. individual profile and donation records by implementing automated solutions.
Peer-to-peer fundraising. People are more likely to trust the advice of friends and family members, which is why there's an explosion of peer-to-peer fundraising events. Nonprofits are using Web-based tools for marketing and registration to increase the attendance and fundraising success of their face-to-face events, such as The Humane Society A humane society is a group that aims to stop animal suffering due to cruelty or other reasons. Examples
Examples of humane societies include: The Humane Society of the United States, Peninsula Humane Society, American Humane which was founded in 1877 as a network of of the United States' recent Walk for the Animals, a local event that registered more than 900 participants and raised over $65,000.
Application Mash-ups. The big push in 2007 will be application integration, using flexible APIs, to enable organizations to compile data from multiple sources to meet their engagement goals.
Many applications are springing up across the Web that nonprofits can use but strategic organizations recognize that the resulting data from these specialized applications need to be a part of their constituents' existing online history so the information can be used effectively for targeted outreach.
Next year, we'll see the beginning of a trend to consolidate these isolated actions with existing constituent information. This requires tools that allow seamless sharing of both data and applications. This is the future of software.
Sheeraz Haji is CEO and co-founder of GetActive Software, a provider of online relationship management solutions that help nonprofit organizations Nonprofit Organization
An association that is given tax-free status. Donations to a non-profit organization are often tax deductible as well.
Examples of non-profit organizations are charities, hospitals and schools. easily recruit, engage, and retain constituents.
Nonprofit CEOs need A Mind Shift In 2007
BY ROBERT K. GOODWIN Robert Kingman Goodwin (May 23, 1905 - February 21, 1983) was a U.S. Representative from Iowa.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Goodwin attended the public schools. He was graduated from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, in 1928 and later attended the law school of George
Volunteer mobilization clearly has taken on an added dimension of importance since the tragedies of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. and other major events on our national landscape. With increasing focus on the importance of volunteering, we as a society are learning that volunteering benefits not only the recipient but also the providers of service and the larger community.
That awareness has reached elected officials and corporate executives at all levels. More than 50 percent of companies responding to a survey in 2004 stress a commitment to community service in their corporate mission statement to help build a cooperative corporate culture.
Adding to this growth in the volunteer industry is the increase in volunteering by particular segments of the population such as the Baby Boomers See generation X. , teenagers and the previously underserved. All of these factors suggest that nonprofit organizations need to experience a mind shift to recognize that volunteers can help achieve strategic mission objectives.
Simply put, the days of the nonprofit CEO pigeonholing pi·geon·hole
1. A small compartment or recess, as in a desk, for holding papers; a cubbyhole.
2. A specific, often oversimplified category.
3. The small hole or holes in a pigeon loft for nesting.
tr. the role of volunteers to some back room stuffing Room stuffing is the practice of putting more people in a hotel room than the law or the rules of the hotel allow, usually as a way to get out of paying for lodgings. envelopes are in the past. Therefore, the alignment of work to be performed by paid versus unpaid employees is more critical than ever.
Workplace volunteer programs, especially collaborating through a local Corporate Volunteer Council, are one way that the corporate and the nonprofit sector can work to mutual advantage. Successful workplace volunteer programs help meet core business goals and address issues that affect a company's ability to operate. A company's commitment to civic engagement initiatives deepens relationships with employees, customers, shareholders, and community leaders.
Workplace volunteer programs can also attract and effectively utilize employees from other companies that may share the same area of focus, specialized training or even the geographic location of a company and there need to be thought of strategically. A nonprofit in the healthcare arena, for example, might get special benefit from working with employees of a pharmaceutical company that is in the same industry. As the pool of prospective volunteers grows, the corporation can stratify strat·i·fy
v. strat·i·fied, strat·i·fy·ing, strat·i·fies
1. To form, arrange, or deposit in layers.
2. the volunteer workforce according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the mission-critical objectives of the organization.
Experience has shown that having a person who is primarily responsible for the recruitment and management of the workforce volunteer is essential, because volunteers want to see the same kind of structure, sophistication so·phis·ti·cate
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.
2. and preparation as in any paying job. They need feedback and evaluation, and they want to see that the organization is serious about the value that volunteers bring to the table.
What role should the CEO play in promoting workplace volunteering? This is largely a matter of resources. Organizations with a large budget should have someone who can focus on the management of volunteers to the exclusion of other responsibilities. As in all things, however, the CEO has to demonstrate a commitment to the concept that volunteering is an essential part of the workforce.
We have succeeded in the past two decades in elevating the importance of volunteering beyond that which is "nice," to something that is truly necessary. The civic engagement movement is now a growth industry. Therefore, there will be more--and more committed--volunteers. The organizations that attract and utilize volunteers more effectively than others are likely to have more to show for it.
Robert K. Goodwin is president & CEO of Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network. He plans to retire from that position in 2007 to pursue opportunities in the private sector.