Weekly Roundup – Engaging Volunteers in Creative Ways
Most nonprofit organization would prefer a corporate contribution from a company then volunteer hours. A check can address any need and doesn’t absorb the staff time that managing volunteers can and often does. This preference for immediate income though, can sometimes prevent an organization from utilizing an opportunity to reduce cost or improve the effectiveness of their work.
The New York Times highlighted a partnership between Toyota and the Food Bank for New York City. Toyota was able to utilize engineers to help make the food banks more efficient and allowing the organization to help more individuals at a faster pace. There was an interesting quote in the piece,
“They make cars; I run a kitchen,” said Daryl Foriest, director of distribution at the Food Bank’s pantry and soup kitchen in Harlem. “This won’t work.”
This sort of hesitation is normal for many nonprofit organizations. While nearly every charity needs support from volunteers, managing those individuals to effectively utilize their skills can absorb a lot of staff time. But finding opportunities to think outside of the normal volunteer engagement, can provide innovative advantages for nonprofits.
Just as your communication shouldn’t be developed in a vacuum, your volunteer needs and opportunities should balance your short-term and long-term goals. When discussing where your organization is heading next you have an opportunity to evaluate how volunteers can strengthen your mission.
Below are additional links that might be of interest. As always, follow us on Tumblr for updates throughout the week.
- Facebook is rolling out another tool that can help nonprofits by providing the ability to embed posts. Mashable provides details as they received early access to the tool.
- There were mixed reactions to Chipotle’s fake Twitter hacking. John H.B. gives an interesting perspective on the importance of trust and transparency in social media.
- NPQ covers important tips on reducing risk when engaging volunteers in activities.