Last April, I blogged about the value of volunteers from a financial statement standpoint, and there is no doubt that volunteer engagement is crucial to most nonprofit organizations. Volunteers increase capacity, are cost effective and extend a nonprofit’s reach by getting the word out, engaging their networks and becoming advocates. And of course volunteers are more likely to become donors.

As many of you readers know, I serve on the Board of the Downtown Women’s Center, which is a nonprofit that has deeply integrated service into its work and infrastructure, enabling it to reduce its budget and scale its work in new ways. I learned recently from our Chief Operating Officer about the following volunteer trends and challenges that I thought I’d share with you:

  • Talent Matching: 3 out of 10 volunteers can’t find the right nonprofit to match their cause or needs
  • Skills-Based Projects: 44% say if an organization cannot take advantage of their specific skills, they will volunteer elsewhere rather than do menial work
  • Impact Measurements: 33% agree they want to see immediate results when they volunteer
  • Group Opportunities: Millennials often prefer to volunteer in groups with people with whom they already have a connection through their social network
  • Flexible Options: 50% cited lack of time as the reason they do not volunteer

Food for thought as you engage your volunteers in 2014.

Wilson Donella halfbody

Donella Wilson

Donella Wilson, CPA, leads GHJ’s Nonprofit Practice and is also President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of GHJ Foundation, GHJ’s vehicle for purposeful and proactive giving to the community. A leader in both the nonprofit and accounting communities, Donella was named a finalist in the 2021 Los…Learn More