The United States has one of the largest groups of volunteering adults in the world. That may not surprise anyone, given our wealth and American character of lending a helping hand. But when you consider the percentage of those who volunteer — more than one-quarter of American adults — you may spot a major source of potential non-cash support for your nonprofit.
How to recruit volunteers and what to do with them once you get them excited about the work you do must be tailored to the individual cause, situation in your field, and contacts in your community. But a great way to develop those links that lead to volunteer support is to get out and meet people engaged in similar endeavors. Local service clubs, fraternal organizations, business groups, and conferences provide opportunities for networking that may land you a valuable volunteer.
Even if your organization isn’t a provider of direct services, you can benefit from someone with skills who’s motivated to lend their expertise — writing, accounting, fundraising, administrative — to your cause. And every hour volunteered is an hour you don’t have to pay for a salary, benefits, and taxes. It’s a real source of funding that, with luck and careful planning, can provide significant support for any nonprofit.
Check out this report on volunteering in America at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts originally launched in 2002 by the 9/11 nonprofit MyGoodDeed with wide support by the 9/11 community and leading national service organizations. This effort first established the inspiring tradition of engaging in charitable service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks. Visit the 9/11 Day of Service website for more information on how you can get involved.