October 28, 2013
Many nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers not only to administer services but to help run day-to-day operations. And for many nonprofits there is little more they can offer volunteers than their gratitude and perhaps a free lunch.
However, according to a study by Harris Interactive for UnitedHealth Group, nonprofits give back more to their volunteers than they know. The survey of 3,351 adults found that individuals who volunteer report better levels of physical, emotional and mental health than those who do not. Volunteers also reported feeling a deeper connection to their communities and were more informed health care consumers. They were also more engaged in taking care of their own health.
Benefits for employers of volunteers
The study found that philanthropy benefited businesses as well, both those that facilitated volunteer activities and those that hired employees who give their time and services to nonprofits.
"Employees who volunteer also bring more refined job skills to the workplace which provides a significant benefit to their employer," the study states. "Functional job competencies such as marketing, management, or finance skills are honed through volunteer experiences. Volunteering by definition requires strong people and teamwork skills as well as the ability to manage time effectively. Both of those skill categories are in high demand in the workplace."
Volunteers who are out of work may also find that their philanthropy could give their resume a boost. CNN Money cited a 2011 LinkedIn survey which found 41 percent of hiring managers consider volunteer experience as valuable as paid work.
Volunteer work shows hiring managers that workers are motivated and loyal. For workers that have a hard time finding jobs during a recession, skill-based volunteerism can look especially appealing on a resume. Volunteering can help unemployed workers keep their skills sharp and their attitude positive.
Many workplace skills are also improved during volunteer work, such as relationships with colleagues, time management, teamwork and other professional skills. Philanthropic activities are also embraced as large company initiatives to give back the community while bringing coworkers closer together.
While many volunteers may not be fully aware of the self-benefit they receive – and most willing to help despite it – nonprofits can take some solace in knowing that all that hard work does not go unrewarded.
Content presented by First Nonprofit Companies, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.
Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.
Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.
It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.
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The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.