Backbone PictureThe backbone acts as the fundamental structural support in keeping us upright. Without it, we would be inoperative. Volunteers are the backbones for community service projects, businesses and nonprofit organizations.  When something is referred to as the “backbone” it is usually the most vital part and necessary for function.

Volunteer work gives businesses an opportunity to make a solid and strong impact in their community. Does this analogy demonstrate the dedication and embody the volunteers within your business?

Increasingly, today’s employees are entering the workforce with expectations that volunteering will be a part of their professional career. In some cases, volunteering can develop career skills, help bolster a resume, make a candidate more hirable, as well as a more effective worker. A large percent of Millennials gravitates toward companies with pronounced Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR for short, is the idea that a company should be involved in its environment. This can range from engaging in nonprofit causes, to bettering the community, or creating stronger connections between employees. Ultimately, a company’s CSR is established to increase overall engagement. It is created to make employees and employers feel more connected with society. Millennials said a volunteer program would be a factor “when choosing between potential jobs with the same location, responsibilities, pay and benefits.” Doing good work in the community is its own reward but there are positives for businesses too. Volunteer programs can help companies integrate themselves with their customers, who in turn, see and respect a business’ efforts to improve their community. In short, everyone benefits from these efforts.

Non-Profit Organizations
Volunteering is about giving BACK. Do your volunteers “bend over backwards” to build a stronger community? Do your volunteers move in many different directions for your organization, performing duties out of care and concern they have for your goals?
Volunteers help with fundraising, administrative tasks and operations, and they help spread the word about the mission of the organization. Volunteers can use their professional skills in different capacities to benefit organizations. Volunteering knowledge and expertise to a nonprofit organization can be an effective way to cultivate critical business and leadership skills. So perhaps the question you should ask is, “does your organization impact and extend your volunteers’ involvement?” Volunteers give in order to get something back, but volunteers also want to know they are making a difference. They want to be appreciated. Likewise, your organization should show appreciation by giving back to them. This is where GIVERS can make a difference in your volunteer program.

G. Growth and Well-Being
I. Increase their sense of purpose.
V. Voice or how volunteers are asked to give their time
E. Easy to sign up. Easy to get there. Easy to get the job done.
R. Recognition. Being thanked, appreciated, and celebrated.
S. Social opportunities like making new friends & working on a team.

Now could be the very best time to take a look at your volunteer program and turn it up a notch so your volunteers will want to come and stay!
The words of Malcom Bane, “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.”

Support and encourage volunteerism. Be Strong for them. Give Back to them.
Serve Wyoming improves lives and strengthens Wyoming communities through volunteerism.
The Serve Wyoming Program is a resource for non-profit organizations to post job openings and gives volunteers an extensive guide to view volunteer opportunities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 – Cathy Drzal for The Align Team