Why are Volunteers Important?
Volunteers are a vital resource to the nonprofit sector. According to the IRS, 85% of all charitable nonprofits have no paid staff and are run entirely by volunteers. The vast majority of nonprofits are governed by a volunteer board of directors. In fact, many nonprofits would simply not be able to advance their missions without the service of volunteers.
Yet, not every nonprofit has the need or capacity to successfully organize and operate a volunteer program. Appreciating the resources required to successfully integrate volunteers into a nonprofit’s operations is key to a sustainable program. Success is not ensured simply by finding a few people willing to spend a few hours helping out your nonprofit. Resources for recruiting, screening, training, supervising, and evaluating teh contributions of volunteers are necessary.
How Can Nonprofits Connect with Volunteers?
Visit the links below whether you are a nonprofit looking for assistance or an individual seeking to share your time and expertise:
- Volunteer Match brings potential volunteers and causes together
- Find your State Association. State Associations frequently offer workshops and webinars on topics relating to volunteer management and may know of local nonprofits looking for assistance.
- The state offices of the Corporation for National & Community Service can connect your nonprofit with local entities that manage and administer volunteer programs in your state. You can also list or find volunteer opportunities at their site dedicated to service, Serve.gov.
- Your community may have a volunteer center that matches volunteers with nonprofit service projects.
- Interested in micro-volunteerism? Check out Sparked, a site connecting nonprofits with short-term project needs and individual experts.
- Pro bono engagements can be helpful to address longer term projects or projects requiring specific expertise. Catchafire can help assess needs, find the right pro bono expertise, and ensure that the pro bono engagement is a positive experience for both nonprofit and volunteer.
- Concerned that your nonprofit is not ready to manage a pro bono volunteer? Learn how to become "powered by pro bono" through the TapRoot Foundation's resources and the book, Powered by Pro Bono.
- VolunteerMatch has connected more than 5 million volunteers and nonprofits since 1998 and has thousands of opportunities currently listed. Find one in your community or check out their virtual opportunities to help from home.
- Legal considerations when engaging volunteers (CharityLawer Blog).
- Tax considerations for volunteers and volunteer programs (IRS Phone Forum recording)
- Model Volunteer Policies Handbook (National Wildlife Federation).
- Sample Youth Volunteer Waiver and Publicity Release (Asante Africa Foundation).
- Sample Minor Waiver (Habitat for Humanity, San Antonio, Texas).
- Sample Adult Volunteer Waiver (Habitat for Humanity, San Antonio, Texas).
- Compendium of free software tools for volunteer management.
- Energize, Inc. offers a variety of resources on volunteers and volunteering, including Satisfying Staff First, an article by Ivan H. Scheier that presents an analysis of the complexities of the relationship between volunteers and staff.
- Tracking Volunteer Time To Boost Your Bottom Line – A Complete Accounting Guide (Blue Avocado).
- Volunteer Risk Management (online tutorial - Nonprofit Risk Management Center).
- Powered by Pro Bono: The Nonprofit s Step-by-Step Guide to Scoping, Securing, Managing, and Scaling Pro Bono Resources
- Resources on Nonprofit Internships (National Council of Nonprofits)
Volunteers and Volunteering: