Give and Take
As 2019 draws to a close, I wanted to thank those nonprofit organizations to which I have donated my time, talents and modest financial resources this year. Their work is inspiring and far-reaching.
I would also like to observe that while it is the job of nonprofit fundraisers and staff to solicit donations for their many worthwhile causes, they should also be givers. There is no better way to learn what being a donor is like than by giving yourself. The process is both personally fulfilling and a learning experience. By supporting the work of your fellow social good projects with a financial donation – no matter the size – you are signalling your support for their efforts to address community needs and challenges. By volunteering your time with key tasks and activities, you show you are personally engaged.
When I work in a meaningful way with nonprofits, I make a personal gift. I want them to know my heart is in the right place and that I care. We can all do this. Actions speak louder than words and go beyond employment and consulting contracts.
You may not be aware that volunteer hours have an official value. As of this post, they stand at $25.43 and hour. Independent Sector updates the value of volunteer hours on a regular basis.
“Currently, about 63 million Americans volunteer about 8 billion hours of their time, talent, and effort to improve and strengthen their communities. With the new Value of Volunteer Time, these Americans are contributing approximately $203.4 billion to our nation through nonprofit organizations of all types.”
These are astonishing figures! I wish more nonprofits would capture the hours their volunteers donate, multiply those by $25.43, and brag about the results. This is a powerful way to show how greatly-valued your nonprofit and is mission are to the community.
The National Council of Nonprofits notes, “While it’s easy to see how nonprofits directly improve the lives of individuals, their positive contributions to the U.S. economy are often overlooked. A closer review reveals nonprofit organizations have a very significant, far-reaching impact on the American economy. In fact, nonprofits enhance and bolster local, state, and national economies in multiple ways.”
Did you know, nonprofits employ 12.3 million people, “with payrolls exceeding those of most other U.S. industries, including construction, transportation, and finance.”
My plea to our elected leadership at the community, state and federal levels is to review the impressive statistics on the role nonprofit organizations play in making our world a better place to live and work, and to encouraging healthy, thriving economies. Support their work, and respect them.
In closing, below are links to the nonprofit organizations I supported this year with modest financial and in-kind donations. In truth, my list changes every year. If you would like to make a gift to them also, I am sure they would welcome your support. And if you have questions of me about any of them, use the secure contact form on my blog to reach me. Thank you!
- AARP Foundation
- Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Texas)
- Daughters of the American Revolution, Austin Colony Chapter
- Doctors Without Borders
- Farm Aid
- Omaze (Girls Who Code and Big Green Donation)
- Phi Kappa Phi
- Port Aransas Art Center
- Trinity Church Wall Street
- Venezuela Aid Live
Notes and Additional Resources
- GivePulse is a volunteer management platform that I learned about via our NTEN & NetSquared Nonprofit Tech Club Austin. In fact, I keep track of my own volunteer projects and hours on GivePulse. Putting in a good word here – even companies are starting to use it to monitor employee volunteerism. Check it out.
- Nolo shares on its website, “Remind Nonprofit Volunteers About Tax Deductions for Expenses” by Ilona Bray.” Be sure to share these simple suggestions with your volunteers.
- Follow the link to read, “Volunteers and Charitable Giving” on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog.” Here I share general information about the key link between giving and volunteering, and I illustrate it with a story of my own!