2.3 Volunteering

The previous lectures in this section had been about giving your money or assets. This lecture is about giving your time and knowledge, your time and knowledge may be more valuable to an organization than your money. Organizations are staffed very lonely so they can often use the help of volunteers. experts in marketing finance, business operations or law can greatly help organizations reach more donors deal with regulations and run a more effective organization. popular ways to volunteer include helping provide services that are the mission of the organization or helping with administrative tasks. Remember what I mentioned in an earlier lecture that some people judge organizations almost solely on how much they spend on administrative and fundraising expenses. organizations can reduce the amount they spend on those tasks by using volunteers. Organizations are frequently looking for the right people to serve on their board of directors or advisory boards. What are they usually looking for? The National Council of Nonprofits summarizes the roles of boards as foresight oversight, insight. board members represent the community served by the organization, its supporters and potentially its beneficiaries. They provide guidance to the organization and set direction for it. They also have an oversight role. Making sure the organization follows laws has proper controls in place to deter financial losses and accurately reports financial and operating results to the IRS and funding sources. I volunteered at organizations that couldn’t find a place for my skills. And I’ve worked at organizations where we struggled to find ways to include volunteers in our operations. Don’t be discouraged if it takes time to find an organization that needs your skills. Keep trying because organizations need your help and expertise. We all have something to give.