I have been lucky enough to work in the nonprofit arena for nearly 20 years. Through the organizations I’ve worked for, I’ve helped find forever homes for pets, lead youth toward graduation day and give tools to those who are disabled to lead full, independent lives.
With all that being accomplished, one of the most vital assets was the value provided by volunteers and board members for the organizations.
While nonprofit professionals are often highly skilled and passionate, there is no way they can know everything. The knowledge brought by those in the business world is key to achieving an organizational mission. Below are three ways that you could bring serious impact to an area nonprofit community:
- Bring your skill!
Are you an attorney? An accountant? An IT expert? A carpenter? Whatever you are, you bring knowledge to an organization that can prove valuable to the mission and allow the nonprofit to receive expertise they might otherwise have to pay for. Volunteering your valuable skills translates into savings that can go directly to the mission!
- Who do you know?
Expanding an organizational mission is all about making connections and building bridges. As Rainmakers, we realize the value of building a network. When it comes to finding strategic partners (whether financial or otherwise), who you know can make all the difference. In the fundraising world (and I’m sure in the sales world as well), there is an adage that people give to people, not to causes. If you can help open a door to an organization and introduce their mission to someone you know, you are connecting them with additional resources that will prove to be valuable as they grow. Perhaps, one more family fed, one more child graduating from school, or one more pet finding a forever home.
- Be a part of the mission!
For many organizations, the volunteer time they receive is nearly as valuable as the financial support they receive. According to the most recent stats, the value of one hour of volunteer time is nearly $24! This helps organizations direct funds to programs instead.
The first step toward creating impact is to find your passion. What moves you? Is it the education of our youth? Getting the homeless off the streets and into permanent employment? Is it seeing that our natural areas are protected and reserved for future generations?
When you find your passions and the organizations serving them, you will also find the drive within you to see that those organizations succeed! You will be ready and willing to provide your expertise, open up doors and give your volunteer time! They need you!
Guest post by Larry Messing
Larry Messing has enjoyed a nearly 20-year nonprofit career working with organizations helping others reach their full potential. Currently, he works for New Hope of Indiana, an organization serving those with developmental disabilities and families involved with the child welfare system. As the Manager of Development, he oversees efforts to expand the organization’s outreach and financial resources. Follow on Twitter @NewHopeIndy