The Five Things You Need to Know Now

Here are the five most important things you need to know right now:

  1. The digital revolution for volunteer connections has not fully arrived
    • The data is clear that existing platforms (national and community-based) are not making the majority of the connections that lead to engaged volunteers
    • Community sites are far better within their communities than national platforms
    • Use by people with “service requirements” masks how ineffective platforms are for those without a requirement
  2. “Word of Mouth” continues to provide the vast majority of connections that lead to engaged volunteers
    • Nonprofits prefer volunteers who have been recommended to them
    • Prospective volunteers prefer to contact nonprofits that have been recommended to them as well
    • We are facing a potential downward spiral as less volunteers leads to less “word of mouth” recommendations
  3. Philanthropy, companies, and communities are spending $8M to $12M or more annually for national and community sites
    • The majority of the money goes to two organizations: VolunteerMatch and Galaxy Digital
    • We need to ensure these funds are being used to produce the maximum benefit to communities and the nation
  4. United Ways provide the majority of community sites
    • They provide them mainly as a community service and largely on a self-service (by each individual nonprofit) basis
    • Most invest little beyond providing the platform to the community
  5. There are three essential ingredients required for success and few sites have all of them
    • Success requires driving the right people at the right time to the site, providing an efficient and effective user experience, and following up on interest when it is expressed.