As the world faces a convergence of social, environmental, and economic issues, it may sometimes seem like the world of non-profits aren’t equipped to challenge them all. But while the difficulty of the issues facing us can’t be underestimated, charitable organizations are making moves to adjust their policies and taking creative new opportunities to better respond to the dynamic complications of a modern world. One of the biggest steps that non-profits can take is by making use of skill-based volunteering. By drawing on the proficiency of specialists in the private sector, these groups can better tackle the problems on the horizon. It’s certainly not a new concept. Many attorneys have long offered pro bono services in furtherance of social justice, but many companies are starting to see the benefit that comes from lending their resources to important social issues, and this move towards social accountability on the part of large businesses could revolutionize how we look at non-profit organizations.
One of the most prominent organizations organizing non-profits and businesses is a Billion Plus Change. Over just a few years, they’ve managed to mobilize 5000 different companies in providing pro bono services, resulting in substantive action totaling over five billion dollars. Particularly refreshing is the scope of industries that they’ve managed to gather under their tent. Their network includes traditional non-profits along with companies from over a dozen industries. From hospitality to manufacturing to retail, a Billion Plus Change’s partners can provide the sort of specialized services that underfunded charitable organizations might not otherwise have access to and mobilizes them for free.
But organizations like a Billion Plus Change can’t solve the problem alone, and properly coordinating volunteers can sometimes be difficult. A strong infrastructure can make all the differences in the world, but there are fortunately a number of resources available for those trying to launch a skill-based volunteer program. The Organizational Readiness Assessment is the gold standard for organizations looking to launch an initiative, but that alone isn’t enough. Proper planning is a necessity, and that means putting together a blueprint that takes place in stages and applies the care of a traditional business proposal. And while volunteer-based organization is all about getting skilled individuals in the places where they can do the most good, a proper managerial structure is a practical necessity.
While the demands needed to put a skill-based program may seem daunting, it could represent a bold new future for how non-profits are run. Charitable giving like that committed to by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates can go a long way, but practical knowledge can sometimes be worth more than wealth alone.
After deciding what charitable cause one wants to support, the next step is to determine whether to give locally or globally. While there are countless organizations around the world that need people to donate to them, there are several nonprofits in a donors local community. How can someone make the right decision?
There are several benefits to donating to local organizations that are already within one’s community.
Local organizations are typically smaller charities than the larger global organizations. With these nonprofits, donors will find that their giving is more actionable and less likely to be used for questionable purposes.
When giving locally, donors can get to know the team members of the nonprofit organization and better understand their mission. By having access to their facilities, local donors are able to reach out to these nonprofits to see what type of work is being done.
While there is a certain level of proximity that can’t be ignored when giving locally, there are a few downsides to donating to local organizations. Some charities, due to their size and lack of resources, end up closing shortly after they’ve opened their doors. These local organizations aren’t as likely to succeed as other international nonprofits.
While local organizations tend to have fewer expenses and overhead costs, it is likely that a larger percentage of their donations will go to keeping their doors open rather than actually helping others. These smaller local charities don’t have the same type of access to funding and grants that other organizations do.
While donors don’t have the same physical access to global nonprofits as they would with global nonprofits, there are benefits to donating to global organizations.
As most of these internationally based charities are committed to helping the poorest nations in the world, donors’ dollars tend to go further than they might with local charities. It costs significantly less to feed children in some of the less developed countries in the world. Moreover, most international charities have been in service for several years, making it easier to determine their level of impact throughout the world.
Many donors that want to give globally are faced with the conundrum of giving an international organization while there are local communities within their own country that need assistance. Similarly, when giving to a nonprofit that isn’t locally based, donors run the risk of encountering fraudulent charitable organizations.
It can be difficult to decide where to donate one’s money. Donors should keep the pros and cons of local and global organizations in mind as they make their decision.
Happy employees are usually more productive, which is one reason employers take steps to make employees as happy as possible. One thing employers can do is promote a volunteering heart amongst employees. The following are several ways business owners can encourage employees to volunteer.
Paid Time Off
Volunteering not only makes the company look good, especially now that being a good corporate citizen translates to effective marketing, but it also helps employees build new skills. Offering paid time off is a good way to get employees to volunteer from time to time. It may seem like employers are losing money by providing paid time off, but the truth is that volunteering can generate publicity and promote the company. It is advisable that employees still wear company clothes when volunteering.
It is hard to keep up with all volunteering opportunities, especially when working. This is the reason employers need to stay on top of all the opportunities within the region. Posting opportunities on bulletin boards or announcing them is a good way to go. Employers should choose various types of opportunities since people are unique and will likely be interested in different types of volunteering tasks.
Volunteering can be a little hard to organize and to engage in. Sometimes, it is a good idea to have leaders who can help ensure everything goes smoothly. It would be wise to see if any potential employees want to take on leadership roles to ensure the volunteering party does what it is supposed to do.
Record and Reward
Workers love to be recognized and appreciated. Employers should take notice of this reality and actually take steps to reward employees who show a spectacular volunteering spirit. Taking this kind of step encourages others to do the same. It is important that only employees who truly deserve to be recognized are given rewards to maintain the integrity of any reward handed out.
When put into practice, these points will make it easier to get employees engaged with their community and foster a philanthropic workplace environment. It may be hard to get employees to get in the habit of volunteering, but a little patience goes a long way. This will encourage that helpful spirit.
Synter Resource Group Cares About Our Community
Synter Resource Group was founded to serve the Transportation Industry with a never-ending quest to build better processes. For over a decade, we have brought that same mindset to our community stewardship. Synter is proud to serve in key initiatives for some of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, and we never stop working toward a better future.
We are always looking for opportunities to improve and preserve all of the great things about our community in historic Charleston, South Carolina.
At Synter Resource Group, we believe that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference. Our passionate staff has participated in all sorts of outreach projects. Some extend off-site to local schools, churches, or community buildings, while others take place right in our own office! No matter what, we aim to bring volunteer work to the forefront of our business and of our wonderful city, so that we can inspire others to get involved as well.
The concept of community has been woven into the fabric of Synter Resource Group since day one. We know that collaboration is crucial — and this sentiment rings just as true when it comes to building our own company culture. We have worked hard to create an inclusive, supportive, and downright exciting place for our staff to work and thrive. We also regularly organize events like employee cookouts, picnics, and outings.
Synter Resource Group is headquartered in a 28,000 square foot facility in Charleston, South Carolina. We are the largest business process outsourcing (BPO) company serving the transportation and logistics industry in North America. Synter was named as one of INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Small Businesses in 2012. We were also recognized in INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Small Businesses in 2016 (list pending) and in the South Carolina Top Workplaces 2017 program.
Organizations Synter has Partnered With:
- United Way
- The Greater Charleston First Tee Organization
- Adopt a Family Christmas campaign
- Angel’s Touch
- St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital