Last April, I blogged about the value of volunteers from a financial statement standpoint, and there is no doubt that volunteer engagement is crucial to most nonprofit organizations. Volunteers increase capacity, are cost effective and extend a nonprofit’s reach by getting the word out, engaging their networks and becoming advocates. And of course volunteers are more likely to become donors.
As many of you readers know, I serve on the Board of the Downtown Women’s Center, which is a nonprofit that has deeply integrated service into its work and infrastructure, enabling it to reduce its budget and scale its work in new ways. I learned recently from our Chief Operating Officer about the following volunteer trends and challenges that I thought I’d share with you:
- Talent Matching: 3 out of 10 volunteers can’t find the right nonprofit to match their cause or needs
- Skills-Based Projects: 44% say if an organization cannot take advantage of their specific skills, they will volunteer elsewhere rather than do menial work
- Impact Measurements: 33% agree they want to see immediate results when they volunteer
- Group Opportunities: Millennials often prefer to volunteer in groups with people with whom they already have a connection through their social network
- Flexible Options: 50% cited lack of time as the reason they do not volunteer
Food for thought as you engage your volunteers in 2014.