In 2012, the IRS raised the “standard business mileage rate” to 56.5 cents per mile, a figure that has kept rising in recent years as the cost of gasoline climbs. However, the deduction rate for charitable driving remains at 14 cents per mile (where it has been for over a decade) because it is set as a fixed rate in federal statute. Guest blogger, Luxiaofei Liis discusses.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that the overall rate of volunteering has dropped by 0.3 percent, with the steepest decline occurring in the age group of 45-67, but is this really the whole story?
High on the list of priorities in the restructuring of public and private institutions in post Soviet Russia, has been supporting civil society and creating non-governmental organizations: a “voluntary sector.” Be careful what you wish for. Apparently the rise in self-help and widespread volunteer initiatives have been threatening enough to Russian officials that they are considering ways control such activities.
We’re delighted to be generating a lot of responses from many different colleagues in various countries to my January Hot Topic, Should We Cap the Number of Hours a Volunteer May Serve Each Week? One of our most active responders to the blog, Hillary Roberts of Blankie Depot, just sent me a direct e-mail and then gave permission to share it. She makes several important points, especially about how often we in the volunteer management field forget the huge all-volunteer world out there and how we are missing the opportunity to advocate more effectively for volunteer value.
The previous posting, "Why Don't Job Banks Include Volunteer Management as a Profession? (Applying My September Hot Topic to Real-Life Situations)," generated some wonderful action. Hillary Roberts, who started the whole thread in the first place,sent a short-and-sweet e-mail to Bridgestar on September 7, including that small word "why." Read on to see their response! (And benefit from a free offer Bridgestar has made to all our readers.)
Nonprofits are governed by boards of directors comprised mainly of volunteers and, as the Penn State scandal proves, they are not always effective. Why are volunteer resource managers so rarely asked to help in recruiting, training, recognizing, or otherwise helping the board to function?
Voluntourism, also known as volunteer vacationing, gives people the opportunity to travel for leisure and pleasure and volunteer in the countries they visit. Ideally, the vacationer gives meaningful service in return for getting the chance to meet local people in a personal way. A great place to learn more about all of this is VolunTourism.org, which has consistently advocated for the highest quality of service while genuinely doing good.
Energize gets asked a lot of questions about volunteers that would never be posed in relation to paid staff. Susan shares some examples of illogic, overreaction, and unthinking policies that hinder volunteer success.
At the end of February, there was a spurt of articles renewing attention to an initiative started a few years ago, “A Billion + Change.” The campaign was launched by the Corporation for National and Community Service and is now housed and managed by the Points of Light Institute. The gist of the current news is how much time has been given and continues to be pledged, as well as how much money the corporate volunteers have “saved” nonprofits. But try as we might, we can’t seem to find interviews or other accounts from the nonprofits actually benefiting from the pledges.