Volunteers in the United States give roughly three billion hours of their time without compensation each year, providing nearly $50 billion of value to society. This makes them an integral part of the solution to issues that society regularly struggles through.
At the same time, only 25% of people over 16 years of age volunteer. This implies $150 billion of value not being realized each year.
Innovative methods of engagement to address people's participation in volunteer activities and how non-profits connect with potential volunteers will be a valuable resource in capturing unrealized volunteer value.
There is a unique element of altruism that motivates many non-profit employees, yet no matter the level of altruism people bring to their jobs, they still need to be incentivized appropriately if an organization expects excellent performance out of them.
Non-Profit Organizations find that they are ill-equipped to employ robust hiring practices and do not have the resources to pay for 'top talent'. This can lead to under-hiring which results in burnout of current employees and high turnover.
Innovative methods around increasing employee appreciation and finding a way for employees to have ownership over the successful results they produce, could save non-profit employers a significant sum of money through increased productivity and reduced turnover.
The financial resources that donors provide to non-profits enable the work of these organizations. The breakdown of giving in the United States is as follows:
Individuals $296 Billion
Foundations $58.5 Billion
Corporations $18.5 Billion
Human Services 12%
In addition to these donations, governments pay non-profits nearly $150 billion each year to provide services. All of these stakeholders are meaningful and charities manage each relationship in unique ways.
Charities should experiment with different target groups of donors to see what messaging works best for particular demographics.
Once they have established someone as a consistent donor, charities should have a way of expanding their networks of donors, giving current donors an easy way to explain to their friends and family why the charities they donate to deserve their attention.
Most beneficiaries have at least one common thread: they have basic needs that are not being met by the market or that they can not afford to provide for themselves. In certain cases, metrics that measure impact are fairly straightforward to implement. In many other cases, however, the most favorable outcomes may take place over the course of many years, making it expensive to measure and not providing any near term benefit.
Frequently, charities have a way of informing donors how the amount of money they gave might be used. For example, $25 can buy a particular amount of school supplies for a student.
Meanwhile, some charities do a better job than others at telling the stories of the beneficiaries' struggles and how donor support helps to improve their lives. As technology advances, charities need to do a stellar job not only of pictorially documenting the stories of beneficiaries, but also realizing the best channels to push that content through.
Also, while charities typically do not allocate specific donor dollars to specific beneficiaries and/or causes, the ability to do this may increase donations as donors would be able to know that their funds were being put towards a specific cause that they are passionate about.