February 26, 2014
If you're nonprofit is having a hard time finding volunteers, it's not because they aren't out there. Likely due in part to the high unemployment rate over the past five years, hiring managers are putting considerable stock in the volunteer service that they see on a candidate's resume. People realize that volunteering when they are out of work shows they still have initiative and a desire to gain new skills. Companies have realized this as well.
According to Forbes, LinkedIn's Volunteer Marketplace had 339 openings for skilled volunteers shortly following its rollout in January, however, more than 600,000 members state on their profiles that they would be interested in more volunteer work if the right opportunity arose. That level of discrepancy between open positions and candidates might be expected in the job market, but not the volunteer one.
While hardly a barometer for the entire nonprofit industry, the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace does suggest a disconnect between those looking to volunteer and the opportunities that nonprofits are offering.
Make volunteering more appealing
When intelligent and skilled people are looking to do more volunteer work, organizations should try and place them in positions that will be more engaging. While many volunteer opportunities are somewhat unglamorous or redundant, give those who give their time a sense of importance about what they are doing. Make sure they understand how their small actions have a large impact on others.
In addition, throw in some marketable skills such as providing committed volunteers the opportunity to fill a leadership position or contribute ideas to the organization. This engagement will not only foster future involvement with the nonprofit, but gives the individual something positive to put on their resume.
Content presented by First Nonprofit Companies, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.
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.
Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.
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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.
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.