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Treasured Social Butterfly

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 1 of 15
trailsnet wrote:
I have been on two Board of Directors since I retired including my current stint as Executive Secretary for the Great Plains Trail Alliance.
Both experiences have been enjoyable & educational. I am considering starting my own trail information non-profit business but the process of getting non-profit status has gotten extremely expensive over the past few years.

Why do you feel it's necessary to start your own non-profit, rather than expanding the mission of the existing one? I think it's misleading/confusing to refer to it as a "non-profit business". As someone who supports a lot of causes, I resent solicitations from overlapping/competing charities in each specific area; it makes me wonder whether there's really a need for another non-profit or not .. it's not efficient.


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Bronze Conversationalist

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 2 of 15
I have been on two Board of Directors since I retired including my current stint as Executive Secretary for the Great Plains Trail Alliance.
Both experiences have been enjoyable & educational. I am considering starting my own trail information non-profit business but the process of getting non-profit status has gotten extremely expensive over the past few years.
Trailsnet is a huge fan of trails: trail travel, trail commuting, trail recreation & trail building.
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Info Seeker

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 3 of 15

Volunteer means to provide assistance without expecting/getting paid for you service.  Pay is the satisfaction that you helped others.

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Treasured Social Butterfly

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 4 of 15
2Papa wrote:

How much do these jobs pay?


Which jobs are you referring to? "Volunteers" don't typically get paid.


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Super Social Butterfly

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 5 of 15

How much do these jobs pay?

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Treasured Social Butterfly

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 6 of 15
KSDragon wrote:

Since I retired in September 2011, I have become very involved in various non-profits and programs. 

..

The one thing I have noted about all the organizations of which I am a member or in which participate, that most people aren't involved in activities any more.  For instance, our local ACS elections, we had 22 out of 324 people respond with their email vote for the officers.  I recently attended the local community theater board meeting for members to elect the slate of new board members, and outside of those related to current or future board members, I was the only season ticket member to attend.  It seems people will pay dues or membership fees and that is the extent of involvement. 

 

If anyone has ideas of how to get more people to be engaged in their non-profits or social organizations, I would love to hear from you.

 


 

It is very difficult, especially if other members are still working, or are already involved with children & grandchilden. When I was involved with a local cultural group, 3 of the 6 or so officers were 80+.

It's true of other organizations, not just non-profits. I'm an officer in a large women's group, and even when members volunteer to be on committees, when they're contacted to actually do something for an event, only maybe 25% make themselves available!
My local community college has a certificate program in non-profit management; I think there are 5 or 6 short courses. You might check into that & see if it would be helpful.
 

 


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Info Seeker

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 7 of 15

Since I retired in September 2011, I have become very involved in various non-profits and programs.  The first was becoming a member of a Citizen Review Board (CRB) for reviewing cases of children in need of care.  It can be very disturbing to see how our society forgets about helping some families until they are in total disarray, and then expecting a very limited few to try to put things back together again, but often leaving the cycle in place.  But when you do see some children either reunited to parents that have made major changes in their lives, or being adopted by caring families, the reward is worth the time and angst. 

I have also become a Board member of the Peace Center, and because of my past experience in writing by laws and policies (former position with the state was Quality Assurance Officer), I am helping a committee to rewrite our bylaws and to create and write policies so that we have them in place as we start to really grow again.  This will help when we start to get grants and help us to make sure that our programs run smoothly and are financially secure for the future.

Now I am also a board member of my local Temple.  And learning to sing the songs for the High Holy Days.  I also am the chair of the Social Action Committee of the Temple. 

Now that I am retired, I have the time to serve on the local chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) as secretary.  I no longer am working in chemistry, but now can work for its advancement in the local chapter and area.

The one thing I have noted about all the organizations of which I am a member or in which participate, that most people aren't involved in activities any more.  For instance, our local ACS elections, we had 22 out of 324 people respond with their email vote for the officers.  I recently attended the local community theater board meeting for members to elect the slate of new board members, and outside of those related to current or future board members, I was the only season ticket member to attend.  It seems people will pay dues or membership fees and that is the extent of involvement. 

If anyone has ideas of how to get more people to be engaged in their non-profits or social organizations, I would love to hear from you.

I still judge high school debate and forensics, but now I can do the early Friday rounds as well. 

I can now do what I love and about which I care, but it seems, there is so much more to do still.

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Conversationalist

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 8 of 15

Keep up the good work!  Recycling is a most worthy cause & one of my favorites.  Hadn't heard the George Carlin quote yet & got a much needed laugh.  Good to know I'm not alone.

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Treasured Social Butterfly

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 9 of 15
Prosecco62 wrote:

I really don't need to keep busy...I have enough going on in my life to keep me very busy.

 

When I was in my late thirties and forties, I had strong feelings about volunteer activities and board memberships and felt the need to demonstrate my commitment to issues I cared strongly about.  I still volunteer on a regular basis and donate money to organizations I believe in.  I decline board membership requests because I don't feel that I have the energy reserves to take on that degree of commitment.  

 

I think, also, that since I have been widowed, I miss having someone to bounce ideas and opinions off of and an active listener in case I am involved in issues I might not feel comfortable with.  That was the norm in our marriage and both of us were involved with many volunteer activities and board positions.  Naturally, issues would arise where we would consult each other and elicit opinions or alternative ways of thinking and both of us felt secure in the knowledge that our conversations were private and we trusted and valued each other's opinion.

 

I hope this doesn't make me seem like a "crochety senior citizen" but these days, with all of our kids' educations many years behind us, I'm better able to make donations of $$ than of personal time.  For a lot of the organizations, the $$ are very important.  For others, not so much, since they are more about education, policy and influencing public opinions.  Usually there are grants to help those agencies.

 

That said, I really don't feel I need to justify my decisions not to become so closely involved in a voluntary agency any more.  I support them and I have "paid my dues" earlier in my lifetime.  I just know that there are some commited energetic people out there who are only too happy to take a seat on the boards and I will leave it to them.

 

~  Mimi


I can relate to what you've said. Sometimes I see food banks having a drive where everyone drops off a can or two of food in a bin at the supermarket or local realtor, and then the food bank collects from all the drop-off locations. It seems to me, that if everyone gave them the money spent on their food donation, collectively the organization would be able to buy a lot more at bulk rates. So it seems like an exercise to make donors feel they're "doing something", although it's not the most cost effective way to do anything .. since they also have to go to dozens of locations collecting everything.

I also volunteer for the social aspects, although sometimes things aren't set up for that to happen.

 

I've gotten involved on boards, because I felt they weren't as organized as they could be, and I tried to help. Then I realized that sometimes the individuals don't want to be all that organized .. even though it would help the organization .. and anyone trying to organize feels like they're "shoveling sh.it against the tide."


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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Taking Volunteerism to The Next Level

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Message 10 of 15

Been there, done that, very active, got the T-shirt (s) and I don't want to do it any more.  Mostly, it is for reasons very much like Astraea stated.

 


ASTRAEA wrote:

I was just thinking about this topic, and the need to know how many other people are committed to help an organization, as I'm involved with an upcoming fundraiser. I am very demoralized, that people have become so lacking in courtesy.

 

People either forgot what "RSVP" means, or just don't care. Even when they say they'll attend weeks before an event, they want to "pay at the door", even though there's plenty of time to mail in a reservation & payment. Last year we had more than a dozen people say they were attending this event & would pay at the door .. and were no shows. Since this event is catered at a private home, the food order is calculated based on the expected head count .. and pre-paid .. so long-time attendees know that. How can we raise money, if we pay for food & those people don't show up with their checks?! We have more than a dozen volunteers on the events committee, and 1/2 of them "haven't been available" to attend a single planning session, actually attend an event, or volunteer to help with any facet of an event.

 

Sigh ...


I really don't need to keep busy...I have enough going on in my life to keep me very busy.  

 

When I was in my late thirties and forties, I had strong feelings about volunteer activities and board memberships and felt the need to demonstrate my commitment to issues I cared strongly about.  I still volunteer on a regular basis and donate money to organizations I believe in.  I decline board membership requests because I don't feel that I have the energy reserves to take on that degree of commitment.  

 

I think, also, that since I have been widowed, I miss having someone to bounce ideas and opinions off of and an active listener in case I am involved in issues I might not feel comfortable with.  That was the norm in our marriage and both of us were involved with many volunteer activities and board positions.  Naturally, issues would arise where we would consult each other and elicit opinions or alternative ways of thinking and both of us felt secure in the knowledge that our conversations were private and we trusted and valued each other's opinion.

 

I hope this doesn't make me seem like a "crochety senior citizen" but these days, with all of our kids' educations many years behind us, I'm better able to make donations of $$ than of personal time.  For a lot of the organizations, the $$ are very important.  For others, not so much, since they are more about education, policy and influencing public opinions.  Usually there are grants to help those agencies.

 

That said, I really don't feel I need to justify my decisions not to become so closely involved in a voluntary agency any more.  I support them and I have "paid my dues" earlier in my lifetime.  I just know that there are some commited energetic people out there who are only too happy to take a seat on the boards and I will leave it to them.

 

~  Mimi

“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
War With Honour, 1940 ~ A.A. Milne
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