CASE STUDY: INVESTING IN VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT

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1 CASE STUDY: INVESTING IN VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT Are you a funder interested in investing in nonprofit capacity? Read how a Colorado foundation has invested in the volunteer capacity of its grantees to help them achieve greater community impact. PIKES PEAK VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE The Pikes Peak Volunteer Engagement Initiative seeks to increase the effectiveness of nonprofit volunteer engagement strategies in the Colorado Springs, CO area. The goal is to enhance organizational missions thereby increasingly meeting community needs. The Leighty Foundation, a small family foundation, serves as the lead convener of this initiative. Fundamental to The Leighty Foundation s approach is a core belief that volunteerism is not a program, but a critical strategy for achieving community impact. Based on this belief, the foundation has led an 18-month initiative to increase the volunteer capacity of 27 participating nonprofit organizations. Key elements of the Pikes Peak Volunteer Engagement Initiative include: CONVENING: Through focus groups of nonprofit executive directors, organizational needs and issues related to volunteer engagement were identified. This process also reenforced the power of funder-sponsored convenings to foster peer exchange and seed ongoing commitment to significant new endeavors. The convening of executive leadership created a new appreciation for the potential of volunteer energy and expertise when effectively led. PARTNERSHIPS: To expand their support of this effort, The Leighty Foundation partnered with other organizations in the community, including Pikes Peak United Way Volunteer Center, and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. These partnerships have added value to the initiative by leveraging organizational expertise and staff time as well as identifying nonprofits that would be strong candidates to participate in the initiative. TRAINING: Nonprofits participating in the initiative attended a Volunteer Engagement Symposium that included education, assessment, and action planning to expand, enhance and institutionalize their volunteer engagement strategies and practices. All organizations were also given extensive resources to guide and support their new volunteer initiatives. Reimagining Service: Pikes Peak Volunteer Engagement Initiative 1

2 LEADERSHIP: Because organizational leadership plays a critical role in creating a culture where volunteering can thrive, organizations participating in the symposium attended as a team of three individuals that included the executive director, volunteer manager, and a board member. INVESTMENT: Following the symposium, participating nonprofits were invited to apply for a Volunteer Impact Grant of no more than $5,000 to assist them in further developing their volunteer initiative or enhanced infrastructure. To date, The Leighty Foundation has invested approximately $15,000 in expenses, and an additional $40,000 in grants to support this initiative. The foundation plans to invite these grantees to apply for future funding based on the impact they can demonstrate during this initial year of funding. EVALUATION: The foundation will continue to follow, support and evaluate this initiative and will develop criteria for evaluation in partnership with their grantees. Both significant long- and short-term return are expected on this investment. NEXT STEPS The Leighty Foundation has reconvened participating nonprofits to discuss implementation of new strategies as well as needs for future training and support. Attendees were in agreement for their need for additional training on the following topics: gaining staff support for effective volunteer engagement, recruiting and placing Baby Boomers as volunteers, retaining and recognizing those who volunteer, measuring volunteer impact and success, and effectively engaging corporate volunteers. A follow-up training on gaining staff support for effective volunteer engagement will be offered in the near future, and additional sessions on the other identified topics will be organized in the months to come. In the future, executive directors and volunteer engagement staff members will jointly share their stories both successes and challenges in institutionalizing changes in their organizational volunteer engagement practices. Their experiences will be shared at local conferences and other venues to encourage additional nonprofits to re-think their volunteer strategies. INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE? Visit the Reimagining Service website, or contact Reimagining Service Executive Director, Kaira Esgate to access additional information, including research briefs, as well as tools and other resources, regarding the impact strong volunteer engagement practices can have on organizational outcomes. Upcoming resources featured on the website will include this case study of the Pikes Peak Volunteer Engagement Initiative, in addition to others of nonprofit organizations that have achieved impressive community outcomes due to their investment in and commitment to utilizing effective volunteer engagement practices. Reimagining Service: Pikes Peak Volunteer Engagement Initiative 2

3 PIKES PEAK VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE FUNDER INVITATION TO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOCUS GROUP Greetings! I hope this finds you all doing well, and enjoying the rest of your summer. Most of you know that one of the major funding areas for The Leighty Foundation is building the capacity of our community and local organizations to expand their impact through the effective engagement of an increased number of volunteers. The attached article that I wrote for the Colorado Nonprofit Association journal will explain our philosophy in more detail. We're realizing, however, that there's a lot that we don't know about the roles we might play in helping this happen. In order to increase our understanding, we have made a commitment to spending a good portion of this year learning from the executive leadership of non profits in our community about their interest in, and needs for enhancing volunteerism and civic engagement for their agencies and organizations. In April, we met with an initial group of Executive Directors and had a very enlightening conversation. The input and ideas we received were so valuable that we decided to convene two more Focus Groups (September and November) that will include conversations and dialogues to gain a sense of how we might better leverage our investments in building stronger non profits and a healthier community. Because of your expertise and commitment to volunteer resources within your organization, I d like to invite you to join me and several of our colleagues in this twoand-a-half hour facilitated conversation about "reimagining service" by leveraging the renewable resource of volunteers and their skills to advance the social mission of our agencies. I hope you will be able to attend, and look forward to this opportunity to learn and expand our thinking together. As a thank you for your time and input we will be providing each of you with some training materials including the electronic version of a book written for Executive Directors titled, Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement. Best, Foundation Executive Director name and contact information

4 Our Impact High-Impact Volunteerism: Colorado s Most Valuable Renewable Resource Jane Leighty Justis, Executive Director, The Leighty Foundation, Member since 2004 Since 2008 we have found ourselves facing a perfect storm comprised of a crippled economy, escalating needs and dramatically shrinking financial resources. Business as usual and a worthy cause will not see us through these times. To weather this storm and meet these growing needs, Colorado, as well as our nation will require a dramatic increase in the number of people willing to give their skills as well as their money. However, the challenge may be less about increasing the number of people who want to volunteer, and more about building innovative new platforms which Deploying large connect people with worthy numbers of volunteers opportunities that will empower them to make a meaningful impact. does not necessarily n n n A recent survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting found that even if Americans respond to the myriad of national and local calls for service, 30 percent of nonprofit organizations do not currently have the infrastructure to effectively deploy additional volunteers. Highly successful and sustainable organizations are most often ones whose board and executive leadership recognize the valuable role volunteers play in accomplishing their mission, and are willing to invest in empowering them. The return on investment in effective citizen engagement will impact not only individual programs but the sustainability of the whole organization. Engaged volunteers share their circle of influence. A 2009 study conducted by Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund reported that volunteers donate 10 times more money to nonprofits than those who don t volunteer, and most donate to the organizations in which they are involved. The result is value added to organizational sustainability, mission accomplishment, and community strength. 18 January/February Nonprofit Colorado translate into success for the nonprofit or the community. Rather, success results when an organization mobilizes and manages its volunteer Colorado Youth Corps Association Nonprofit organizations and funders will be required to engage communities in new ways. Nonprofits at all levels will need to actively commit to volunteers as a critical component in addressing the challenges before us. This commitment will include; reengineering positions to match the talent offered by today s volunteers, and providing a culture that supports volunteers, empowers them to offer their best skills, and integrates them as partners in the accomplishment of the strategic mission. RSVP of Boulder County resources for the greatest possible impact on a problem or need. Metro Volunteers A Guide to Investing in Volunteer Resources Management, Evern Cooper, former president of UPS Foundation Funders must recognize that volunteerism and civic engagement are not programs in themselves, but rather cost effective strategies to assist all organizations and community groups in accomplishing their missions. Our investment can provide the staffing, training and resources needed to support the effective management of volunteer efforts within a community. Now is the time for us to seize this unique opportunity to offer the financial support necessary to equip leaders to cultivate and empower these valuable renewable resources. The mission of The Leighty Foundation is to carry on the family legacy of service and stewardship by leveraging our time and talents, as well as our financial resources, primarily in the areas of Earth Protection, Education, Volunteerism & Civic Engagement, and the promotion of Philanthropy. For additional resources and information regarding this topic, visit to reimaginingservice.org and Leightyfoundation.org.

5 PIKES PEAK VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE FOCUS GROUP SUMMARY HIGH IMPACT VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT: COLORADO S MOST VALUABLE RENEWABLE RESOURCE THEMES FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOCUS GROUPS CONVENED BY THE LEIGHTY FOUNDATION 2011 In this country we find ourselves facing a crippled economy, escalating needs, and dramatically shrinking financial resources. Meeting these growing needs will require a major increase in the number of people willing to give their time and skills as well as their money. However, the challenge may be less about increasing the number of people who want to volunteer, and more about building innovative new platforms which connect people with worthy opportunities that will empower them to make a meaningful impact. The Leighty Foundation is committed to building the capacity of the nonprofit sector to effectively engage volunteers. Because Executive Directors create and sustain the culture of their organizations, we chose to gather input directly from them about their needs and challenges, as well as the potential they saw for accomplishing their missions more effectively through volunteer engagement. During 2011 we convened three focus groups totaling 27 executive directors from the Pikes Peak region. The conversations were very productive and inspiring, and gave us a good foundation on which to begin to discern how we might be helpful in supporting the local sector. Although the Executive Directors and their organizations were very diverse, many common themes emerged. A summary of their comments follows. It was helpful to compare our conversations with the principles created by Reimagining Service a national coalition of multi-sector representatives from nonprofit organizations, government, education, faith-based, funders and corporations. All seek to explore new ways to increase social impact through volunteer engagement. These principles guide the work of the coalition. We encourage you to visit the resources and research on their website (www.reimaginingservice.org). REIMAGINING SERVICE PRINCIPLES NOVEMBER 2011 PRINCIPLE I The volunteer ecosystem is more effective when all sectors participate in its evolution. PRINCIPLE II Make volunteering a core strategic function, not an add-on. PRINCIPLE III Focus volunteer engagement on true community needs. PRINCIPLE IV In order to get a return, you have to invest. Organizations that make volunteers central to their work and manage them well are able to generate as much as three to six times the community value from volunteers as the cost to manage them. This is a smart way to maximize impact, but it requires up-front and ongoing financial investment in volunteer engagement in all sectors. And we need funders, who believe that funding volunteer engagement helps organizations achieve their broader social missions, to raise their voices so that the funding community can learn from their stories. BENEFITS OF EFFECTIVE VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT: 1. When opportunities in organizations are matched with the skills, expertise and interests of those who want to volunteer, an increased accomplishment of the mission can be realized. 2. Volunteers can be effective ambassadors and participate in recruitment and outreach on behalf of the organization. 3. Volunteers offer increased financial support; research shows that people usually give their money where they give their time.

6 NEEDS OF VOLUNTEERS: 1. Volunteers need to be empowered to see themselves as community trustees, advocates and invaluable renewable resources. STAFF NEEDS/ROLES: 1. Volunteer managers need ongoing training, coaching and mentoring in order to be effective in their work. 2. Staff also needs training and support on how to utilize and engage volunteers. They need to discuss and determine what the value added is for both the organization and those who volunteer. 3. Staff and leadership need to honor the impact and accomplishments of volunteers as it is critical to their retention. To be effective, it must be done in a way that is meaningful for them as individuals and collectively. LEADERSHIP NEEDS/ROLES: 1. The Executive Director s first role with the Board and staff is to share with enthusiasm the value of volunteers and learn to articulate the need for capacity building. Organizations can begin with an assessment of their current strengths and challenges related to volunteer engagement. 2. Those in leadership positions need to challenge their organizations to think creatively about how the expertise of volunteers can be utilized in high level leadership functions such as volunteer training, marketing, technology, human resources, legal and financial. 3. Build relationships with in-kind and corporate donors that can lead to deeper levels of volunteerism and donor support. 4. Provide clear expectations, job descriptions, and communication which set the stage for volunteers successes. 5. If those who donate their time are treated as those who donate their money they will remain enthusiastically engaged. 6. Become educated on the legalities of accomplishing the mission through the work of volunteers. This must be carefully handled when the work was once done by paid staff. 7. Empower their organizations to identify and create volunteer opportunities that parallel or support their main activities. The time for strategic planning and the development of creative models is often lacking in the busy day to day operations. 8. Establish volunteerism as a strategic focus throughout the nonprofit structure. 9. Report to their Boards regularly on what volunteers have accomplished as well as invite volunteers to Board meetings, highlight them in newsletters, track and share their impact in the community as well as the value of their hours. 10. Encourage and enable the organization to distinguish between problems and symptoms as they assess agency needs and capacity building strategies. 11. Ignite strategic conversations with their Boards regarding new ways of looking at volunteer engagement and capacity building: a. What is our philosophy regarding the value of volunteers to the accomplishment of our mission? b. What might we imagine our organization accomplishing with an increase in engaged volunteers? c. How could we improve quality of life and do more of what we do best? d. Articulate a vision and then make it a strategic goal with tactics. e. Heighten the role of volunteer manager or director as part of the leadership team of organization. f. Create a volunteer recruitment committee comprised of staff, volunteers, and possibly Board. g. Invite those who volunteer to become financial donors. h. Develop a quantitative analysis of the value added for volunteer utilization, i.e. mission impact and organizational sustainability. CHALLENGES: 1. Educating and inspiring staff and creating a vision for the value of volunteers. 2. Engage diverse groups of volunteers. For instance, youth, professionals, baby boomers, retirees and minorities. TESTIMONY: Thank you, thank you, thank you for inviting me to participate in the Focus Group. What a valuable time this was for Family Life Services and for me personally. Thank you for giving a space to work through so many great ideas. I was honored to be a part of it. Julie Abel, Executive Director

7 PIKES PEAK VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE VOLUNTEER IMPACT GRANT APPLICATION The Leighty Foundation Volunteer Impact Grants One of the major funding areas for The Leighty Foundation is building the capacity of our community and our local organizations to expand their impact through the effective engagement of an increased number of volunteers. In an effort to support this capacity building, we plan to invest up to $40,000 in the form of Volunteer Impact Grants, offered to select organizations that were represented at the Volunteer Symposium. These funds will be given in the form of grants ranging from approximately $1,000 to $5,000. Requests should be for the purpose of capacity-building and/or innovation in volunteer engagement, based on plans resulting from the symposium. Organizations will be chosen for grants on the basis of the potential for community impact. Funding requests may be submitted by individual organizations or collaboratively. Requests should be sent to The Leighty Foundation in the form of a letter outlining the following: What real change will this grant allow you to make? What is the impact you expect? What will it take to sustain this gain over time? Letters will be due and grant selections will be made in the next few months. The Foundation will appreciate the opportunity to evaluate your efforts with you as we expect to pass on our learnings to other funders as well as nonprofit executive leadership.

8 PIKES PEAK VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE 2012 VOLUNTEER IMPACT GRANT RECIPIENTS Care and Share: Food bank for Southern Colorado region - $5,000 Create and support a cross functional volunteerism task force including board, staff, and volunteers Update recruiting and training materials for staff and volunteers Develop volunteer recognition process Host volunteer engagement training sessions with regional member agencies CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children - $4,000 Support creation of a new program to recruit and train Generation Y adults to mentor older youth in foster care to prepare them to emancipate successfully out of the foster care system Cheyenne Village: Serves adults with developmental disabilities - $3,500 Create and implement action plan to increase utilization of retired health care professionals as volunteers to conduct home care visits and provide support services for caregivers Focus will also be on recruitment of pro bono volunteers with expertise in areas such as technology, human resources, infrastructure design and succession planning and community awareness Energy Resource Center: Helps income-qualified residents stay efficiently warm and safe - $3,000 Expand volunteer opportunities to include painting crews, electricians and information systems professionals Train volunteers to take leadership positions on projects thus freeing staff to work more closely with clients, and act as advocates for community sustainability Leadership Pikes Peak: Fosters the vision and courage of citizens to lead - $1,500 Support Board Connections initiative which focuses on the development and facilitation of connections between young professionals and nonprofit organizations, to enable them to serve in significant volunteer positions including nonprofit boards Partners in Housing: Transitional housing and supportive services for homeless families with children - $5,000 Shift organizational culture to one that whole-heartedly integrates, embraces and empowers volunteers to make a critical difference in the mission Actions will include cultivation events for those new to PIH, revised orientation for volunteers, expansion of volunteer opportunities, and strategy to increase community awareness, and training of staff to increase competency in working with volunteers Pikes Peak United Way and Volunteer Center - $3,500 Assess, strengthen and reshape internal infrastructure to support volunteer involvement in order to increase capacity and serve as a model and educational resource for all area nonprofits and community corporate partners TESSA: Works toward building a community without domestic and sexual violence - $5,000 Support for a new Neighborhood Advocates program to increase accessibility to TESSA s services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims by strategically placing volunteer Confidential Victim Advocates at sites already utilized by other community agencies This new group of volunteers will allow TESSA to offer confidential advocacy, systems education, court support, and community resource referrals to victims who are often the most vulnerable and in the greatest need of support Tri-Lakes Cares: Provides emergency assistance, self-sufficiency programs, and other social services in the Pikes Peak region - $1,500 Support to upgrade technology to allow for formalized structure and universal documentation regarding volunteers and their services Develop training to equip volunteers to lead specialized projects Develop criteria for future measurement of impact of volunteer efforts Urban Peak: Assists young people to overcome poverty and homelessness by offering services and support to become self-reliant adults. - $4,000 Support to act on a revitalized vision for volunteerism which includes staff training and performance evaluation, placing the Volunteer Services Coordinator on the executive management team, reviewing and expanding volunteer opportunities, updating technology supporting volunteer service Women s Resource Agency: Empowers girls and women to attain and maintain personal self-sufficiency and economic independence - $4,000 Based on planning done by the team at the Symposium and an evaluation of organizational volunteer empowerment conducted by a volunteer doctoral student, funding will support two identified goals: creation of leadership teams of volunteers to manage individual programs, and improvement of retention of volunteer career coaches and workshop presenters

9 SUPPORT STRATEGIES FOR FUNDERS Support for volunteer involvement can take many forms, depending on the structure and culture of the organization. Use this checklist as a benchmarking tool or as a springboard of ideas on how you might support effective volunteer engagement in an organization or a community. Grantmaking: Articulate your values and beliefs about volunteerism in the foundation s mission statement and other written materials. Inform prospective grantees that evidence of a strong volunteer component, where appropriate, will be considered favorably in grant proposals. Request basic information in funding applications about a prospective grantee s volunteer program and how volunteers will be involved in the project. Discuss who will be managing and supervising volunteers and meet with appropriate staff during site visits. Welcome a budget line item to fund a volunteer resources manager. Ask for feedback in written reports or evaluations about the successes and challenges of involving volunteers. Work closely with local volunteer centers, corporate volunteer councils, nonprofit management assistance programs, and networks of directors of volunteer resources (DOVIAs), to support volunteerism and effective volunteer resource management in the community. Collaborate and share information with other grantmakers in the community to leverage support and services for local nonprofit organizations. Review the list of organizations and projects you currently fund. Are there coalitions or community-based collaborations on the list? If so, your funding is already supporting an important type of volunteer program because successful coalitions and collaborations utilize volunteer resources extensively. Check to see whether these projects are supported by staff with strong volunteer management or community organizing skills. Research, Training, and Recognition Facilitate or convene dialogues in the community on nonprofit and volunteer management principles and best practices. Involve grantees in developing measures to assess the impact of investment in volunteering. Share those measures with colleagues. Sponsor a survey or case study on current management practices and/or challenges among nonprofit organizations. Create innovation awards for managers of volunteer resources who demonstrate unique approaches that address common management challenges. Support existing professional development, training, and networking opportunities for managers of volunteer resources. Provide scholarships to enable those managers to participate. Partner with other grantmakers and corporations to pool financial resources that provide professional development opportunities for volunteer resource managers. Invite volunteer resource managers to attend inhouse training programs or conferences. Encourage academic centers to improve their curriculum on volunteer or nonprofit management and corporate philanthropy. Provide applicable support. Provide grants to local libraries and volunteer centers to build their volunteer management collections. Provide training on different generations of volunteers and pro bono volunteers and how to effectively engage them. Support the creation of a corporate volunteer handbook, model and training, with corporate partners. These materials could be shared with local corporations to enhance employee involvement as volunteers in the community. Support the development of videos or webinars to bring the latest training to more nonprofits through technology. This approach could exponentially expand outreach to nonprofits. Fund strategic planning sessions, with facilitators, to focus on assessing needs, developing and/or strengthening volunteer engagement and capacity building. The attendees could be members of the board of directors, executive director, volunteer manager, resource development manager/director, and program managers. Adapted from A Guide to Investing in Volunteer Resources Management: Improve Your Philanthropic Portfolio (http://www.leightyfoundation.org/volunteerism.php).

10 WHAT IS REIMAGINING SERVICE? Building on the work of the champions of effective volunteer engagement, Reimagining Service is a national coalition of multisector representatives from nonprofit organizations, government, education, faith-based, funders and corporations. We seek to increase the impact of volunteers through: PRACTICE: Inspiring organizations to leverage volunteers more fully and strategically, and engage volunteers as part of their core operations. RESEARCH: Supporting and disseminating research aimed at highlighting effective volunteer engagement practices and policies and their impact on the core mission of the organization. FUNDING: Engaging funders in recognizing that volunteerism and civic engagement are cost effective strategies that help community organizations accomplish their missions, and therefore merit their financial support. REIMAGINING SERVICE PRINCIPLES The Reimagining Service coalition has established four principles to guide its work: PRINCIPLE 1: The volunteer ecosystem is more effective when all sectors participate in its evolution. Volunteerism doesn t exist in a single sector and the responsibility of successful volunteer engagement resides beyond nonprofits alone. We are interdependent when it comes to this work and together we can increase the impact of volunteerism by working to improve the system across all sectors (i.e., nonprofit, private, faith-based, education, government). PRINCIPLE 2: Make volunteering a core strategic function, not an add-on. Volunteers fundamentally increase our ability to achieve our objectives and advance the social mission of our organizations. Engaging volunteers effectively can help an organization serve more people in the community as well as change the core economics of an organization, which can allow it to scale more quickly in a cost effective way. PRINCIPLE 3: Focus volunteer engagement on true community needs. Rather than responding to the supply of volunteers, identify key priorities in the community then purposefully seek out volunteers with the core skills needed to address those priorities. We should also strive to communicate the value of volunteers to the community by measuring their impact, not just the hours they serve. PRINCIPLE 4: In order to get a return, you have to invest. Organizations that make volunteers central to their work and manage them well are able to generate as much as three to six times the community value from volunteers as the cost to manage them. This is a smart way to maximize impact, but it requires up-front and ongoing financial investment in volunteer engagement in all sectors. And we need funders, who believe that funding volunteer engagement helps organizations achieve their broader social missions, to raise their voices so that the funding community can learn from their stories. Reimagining Service: Investing in Volunteer Capacity 1

11 HELP YOUR GRANTEES DO MORE WITH YOUR INVESTMENT IN THEM. Research conducted by the TCC Group, a program and evaluation firm, shows that nonprofits that strategically leverage volunteers outperform their peers on all measures of organizational capacity and have greater impact. But less than 15 percent of nonprofits nationwide demonstrate these characteristics. Visit Reimaginingservice.org to download the research summary. How can your grantees be among them? Consider investing in their volunteer capacity. Funding volunteerism is not a program investment, but rather a cost-effective strategy to support the causes you already invest in. Deploying large numbers of volunteers does not necessarily translate into success for the nonprofit or the community. Rather, success results when an organization mobilizes and manages its volunteer resources for the greatest possible impact on a problem or need. Evern Cooper, Former President of UPS Foundation HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? To leverage significant volunteer engagement, nonprofit organizations need to invest in recruitment, training, management and recognition just as they would for qualified paid staff. Additionally, leaders of nonprofit organizations benefit from training on how to build volunteer programs best suited for their missions. But no matter the impact area, for every dollar a nonprofit spends on volunteers, they get a return. Reimagining Service has seen returns of three to six times the amount invested. WHAT CAN FUNDERS DO? SHIFT OUR CONTEXT: Effective engagement of volunteers is about achieving mission and making volunteerism core to a nonprofit s strategy, not about engaging volunteers as an after-thought. INFLUENCE THE FUNDING DIALOGUE: It s not about investing in a new cause; it s about supporting the cause you care about. FUEL THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT: Well-supported volunteers can create significant value, but we have to invest in effective management to unleash this potential. WHY SHOULD FUNDERS INVEST IN VOLUNTEER CAPACITY? Volunteer engagement is a critical component in helping nonprofit organizations deliver on their core mission by boosting human capacity cost-effectively. Funding volunteer capacity leverages your existing investments in the community across all impact areas and aligns with every type of grantmaking strategy. Research shows nonprofits are stronger in all measures (leadership, management, sustainability, scaling, adaptability) when they successfully integrate and manage more than 50 volunteers throughout their organizations. HOW TO GET STARTED? Fund a volunteer management audit to understand a nonprofit s current practices. Convene dialogues to better understand your grantees needs and challenges in effectively engaging volunteers. Fund volunteer management positions. Support training for capacity building and to improve volunteer management practices. Provide funding to evaluate the impact of volunteers activities, and to activate recommendations for improvement. Make volunteer involvement, and demonstrated effective volunteer management practices, a condition for larger funding. Reimagining Service: Investing in Volunteer Capacity 2

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