Energize is celebrating its 35th birthday this month! What has changed since 1977 in how we do business, and also in the volunteer world? On the surface, a lot. But maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same. Take a look back with Susan and share your thoughts, too.
Some citizens in the UK are choosing to spend their extra time this 2012 Leap Year volunteering in their communities. The company EasyFundraising launched a campaign “urging companies, employees and the all people of Britain” to designate February 29 Leap Day to supporting a good cause.
In June 2011, Paula Beugen wrote a guest Hot Topic for Energize titled, “Is the Corporation for National and Community Service on the Right Track for Volunteerism?” She cogently cautioned that CNCS’ proposed budget was not supportive to the vast majority of volunteer-involving organizations in this country, particularly by the programs they slashed or reduced. We are once again on the brink of eliminating what some of us feel are the most important elements of the 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (Serve America Act).
Volunteering England has just announced the launch of its new Employer Supported Volunteering Resource Hub, an outgrowth of work done last year for a European Year of Volunteering project. This site has all sorts of resources for employers wanting to sponsor employee volunteering and for volunteer-involving organizations receiving those business volunteers. They have posted free practical guides and tookits to implement or develop an ESV program. Good stuff! (And applicable wherever you are.)
As serious as our work is, it is also frequently very funny. So why is it so hard to find witty stories, cartoons, and other forms of humor focused on life in nonprofits, government, and volunteer management?
Energize has been finding links to humor and sharing funny stories from our site visitors for years and we can always count on board development expert Carol Weisman to make us laugh with her great newsletter, but we all now have a really wonderful, regular humor resource!
The United States is at the start of a contentious presidential election year in which candidates with widely differing views each attract thousands of volunteers. We see election volunteering as a political act but any type of volunteering is inherently “political.” What does this mean for your organization?
On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, VolunteerSpot launched a “Tiny Cars” campaign to fight for support of H.R. 387: Charitable Driving Tax Relief Act of 2011. Passage would mean an increase of the measly $.14 per mile tax deduction rate for charitable driving unchanged by the U.S. Congress since 1997. That’s compared to the 50 cents per mile deduction for business use of a personal vehicle in 2011. And the new bill would also no longer count such reimbursement to volunteers as gross income.
Thanks to Nonprofit Spark, an online radio show for new or emerging non-profits, volunteer resource managers have a new tool for garnering attention to the importance of volunteer involvement in their organizations. The January 23rd show, “The Case for Strategic Volunteerism in Your Non-profit,” makes a compelling case for being as strategic about involving volunteers as nonprofits are about other management issues such as fundraising.
Increased migration – by choice or by force – throughout Europe has created economic and social concerns in many countries. Last year, through the impetus of the European Year of Volunteering, Portuguese academic Henrique Pinto invited a range of scholars and practitioners to write articles about the connection of volunteering and migration for a special theme issue of Migrações Journal, “Migrantes e Voluntariado.” It was published in December 2011 with half the chapters in Portuguese and half in English.
Situated on a small side street off of a busy commercial lane is an unassuming warehouse. Inside, however, one finds a bustling scene. Community members, such as libraries, publishers, authors, and individuals, drop off donations of unwanted books, while volunteers sort them and shelve them. Everyone is welcome to come during open hours to take as many as they’d like, for free.