Celebrate 21 years of Volunteer Today
the Volunteer Today 21st Anniversary Page
to relive those exciting days of 1983, learn something about the history
of volunteer management, and find bargains on books. We're celebrating
all year and there is more to come.
Source as Model for Volunteering in the Future
Source is a community of computer programmers from around the world
who have created free software. No doubt, the most notable of their
efforts is Linux, an operating system that is free and drawing attention
from computer makers. In the April 2004 "Topic of the Month,"
Mary Merrill compares the way Open Source functions and the rewards
it provides people to how we might think about organizing volunteers
in the future. Titled, "Being a Gatekeeper," the article
is an excellent read for those of you struggling with the wave of
episodic volunteers. It is positive and up-beat with excellent ideas.
You can read this short article at: http://www.merrillassociates.net/topicofthemonth.php?topic=200404.
National Council of Nonprofit Associations recently released a report
titled, "The United States Nonprofit Sector 2001." It is based
on data provided to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the 990 form.
Here is a snapshot of that report:
was a 70% increase in nonprofit organizations from 1991 to 2001.
were 264,674 reporting charitable nonprofits in the United States
(US) in 2001.
nonprofits in 2001 had expenditures of $822 billion.
of the revenue for nonprofits comes from such things as fees for services
and goods, grants and contracts, and investments; 14% was provided
by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations.
sector consists of organizations in the following fields:
Services - 30%
Care/Mental Health - 13%
Culture, Humanities - 10%
related (churches/synagogues/mosques not required to register
with the IRS) - 5%
Improvement, Public/Society Benefit - 5%
Related - 4%
science, technology, social science - 1%
others combined - 10%
- In 2001,
6.5% of nonprofits had annual expenditures greater than $5 million;
82% had expenditures under $1 million.
were 56,582 foundations in the US in 2000.
Volunteer Management Capacity in the U.S .
Urban Institute, the Corporation for National and Community Service,
and the UPS Foundation joined forces to examine volunteer management
capacity among a random sample of nonprofit organizations and 541
religious congregations. The study was conducted in the fall of
2003. Grapevine reports on the study in its March/April edition,
stating that the overall conclusion is, "The greatest challenges
that charities and congregatons face is an inability to dedicate
staff resources to and adopt best practices in volunteer management."
are some tidbits from this research:
2000, approximately 215,000 charities filed IRS tax forms. Of
these, 81% engage volunteers in some way.
- 83% of
380,000 religious congregations have some type of social service, community
development, or neighborhood organizing project.
- The percentage
of time a paid staff volunteer manager devotes to volunteer management
duties is positively related to the organization's capacity to increase
the number of volunteers enrolled.
- The best
prepared programs and most effective programs are those with effective
volunteer programs with paid staff who dedicate a substantial portion
of their work day to the management of volunteers.
charities and 1-out-of-3 congregations reported having a paid staff
person to work on volunteer coordination.
- Of the
paid staff managers of volunteers, 1-in-3 have received no training
in managing volunteers and they spend less than 30% of their time on
- Less than
half the charities and congregations use volunteer management practices
advocated by the field. For example, only 33% of the charities have
a formal type of means of recognizing volunteers.
- Only 1-in-8
nonprofit organizations have someone who devotes 100% of his/her time
to the management of volunteers. Only one congregation in the study
had a full time coordinator of volunteers for its social service outreach
- The professionalization
of volunteer management lags behind the professionalization of other
disciplines, such as fund raising. For example, 55% of the nonprofits
surveyed have a full time fund development person as paid staff or consultant,
while only 39% of nonprofits have a paid coordinator of volunteers,
and the person spends less than half their time on managing volunteers.
- 91% of
nonprofits and 96% of congregations with social service programs said
they need additional volunteers. The mean number of volunteers needed
was 20. This type of demand means 3.4 million more volunteers are needed
just for nonprofit organizations of a size large enough to file with
the IRS. (Such organizations must file with the IRS if their income
exceeds $25,000 annually.) This number excludes the 400,000 nonprofit
organizations run primarily by volunteers.
Want to learn
more? Visit: http://www.community.ups.com/community/downloads/pdfs/briefing_report_2004.pdf.