To Have a Volunteer Committee, or Not…THAT is the Question!

One of my former nonprofit employers had 18 committees, yep, 18! Now, keep in mind, it also had 90+ board members, 1,000+ volunteers, and a multi-million-dollar budget. That’s an overload for the vast majority of nonprofit organizations, and thankfully so. It takes a lot of time, energy, and patience for staff members (and volunteers) to manage everyone effectively and to have the committees produce effective work to benefit the organization’s mission.

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The Elegant No

Ever heard a less than fabulous fundraising idea from a board member? Or your Boss? We all have. I’ve spent years of my fundraising life gently batting down bad fundraising ideas from extremely well-intentioned volunteers and staff. 

I’ve also worked with scores of inexperienced fundraisers, who, not understanding the need to say “no” to poorly conceived fundraising suggestions, politely said, “Yes! I’m happy to execute a (fill in the blank here with BAD fundraising event concept)!” Then our dear baby fundraisers experience the agony of development defeat…and that failure falls squarely at their feet. Ugh!

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The Value of One. The Power of Many.

This month we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month, recognizing the contributions that volunteers to our organizations make. They volunteer because they care about our missions, the positive changes our organizations are having on the world. They believe you matter, often showing that by not only giving of their time but of their philanthropy.

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