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Nonprofits Want Your Time and Money, and You Want to Invest Wisely

  Your inbox overflows with appeals for contributions, invitations to galas, and volunteer projects.  In addition, if you are a business executive or professional with strategic expertise and some financial success, there are nonprofit boards that would love to have you join.  Nonprofits are competing for you.

 

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Your inbox overflows with appeals for contributions, invitations to galas, and volunteer projects.  In addition, if you are a business executive or professional with strategic expertise and some financial success, there are nonprofit boards that would love to have you join.  Nonprofits are competing for you.

 

In my experience in working with corporations that invest in nonprofits, business volunteers, and the nonprofits that seek their support, here’s what I see:

 

The nonprofits that win business volunteers:

  • Create volunteer opportunities that meet organizational needs and appeal to volunteers
  • Create clear position descriptions (for example, tutoring or mentoring)
  • Screen and select qualified volunteers
  • Provide excellent training, mentoring and support to volunteers
  • Recognize and thank volunteers
  • Get feedback from volunteers, and ensure that the experience is rewarding and positive

The nonprofits that win teams of volunteers from businesses:

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  • Ask and understand what the business and their employees want out of the team volunteer experience
  • Create projects that provide value to the organization and its clients, and that will also be rewarding and positive for the business volunteers
  • Provide the staff preparation, materials, and support to make projects successful
  • Recognize and thank volunteers (even providing plaques and/or framed photos for companies to proudly display in their lobby…good public relations for all concerned!)

The nonprofits that get the best board members from businesses:

  • Have effective CEOs to run the organizations
  • Articulate clear and reasonable expectations of board members
  • Can show that other board members are engaged and supportive, especially board leaders
  • Provide relevant information to board candidates, related to board governance, the organization, and financials
  • Conduct business-like board meetings focused on key strategic issues

The galas and special events that are most successful: 

  • Make donors and volunteers feel so inspired about the mission, the programs, and the beneficiaries, that you want to give and do more
  • Are social, meaningful, and uplifting! 
  • Make donors and volunteers feel appreciated

You are most likely to make a personal contribution if:

  • Someone you know makes a personal request  
  • Your friend or colleague invites you to an event to see and experience the work of the organization
  • You are thanked and appreciated, especially in a way that makes you smile 

And in all cases, donors and volunteers want to see how their investment of time and money helps the organization to accomplish results in making the world a better place.

   

About the author

Korngold provides strategy consulting to global corporations on sustainability, facilitating corporate-nonprofit partnerships, and training and placing hundreds of business executives on NGO/nonprofit boards for 20+ years. She provides strategy and board governance consulting to NGO/nonprofit boards, foundations, and educational and healthcare institutions.

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