Tis the Season to Grow Your Organization by Olivia Goodheart

The number of volunteers almost always increases during the holiday season

The number of volunteers almost always increases during the holiday season

No matter what tradition a family celebrates during the holiday season – gift giving or charitable giving – is at the top of the list. Nonprofits can get a bad name during this time of year, as a few scammers use the spirit of the season to prey on the good will of others.

But you can protect your good name and even increase your most valuable resource, the labor of volunteers.

Be open and share.
Almost all reputable nonprofits are registered with the Secretary of State’s office. If soliciting donations, please don’t hesitate to urge possible givers to visit the agency’s website and review your information. Let them know what efforts their funds will be used to support. And, provide them with the “red flag” tips that show them what to look out for when giving. Trust goes a long way towards building a positive image for your nonprofit organization.

The number volunteers almost always increases at this time of year too! Be sure to let volunteers know that they are appreciated. Have simple refreshments on hand and don’t forget to send a heartfelt “thank you” afterwards. They may decide to become long term supporters if they feel needed and valued.

Don’t be a ‘Grinch’
As individuals are looking to spread the holiday cheer, so should organizations. Find a cause to support, one that is in line with your mission and goals. Toy drives, canned food drives and even providing staffing for a shift in a soup kitchen are all needed projects and do a lot of good in your community. Work to get your full staff behind whatever project you chose. Make it fun and exciting from them too (i.e. an extra something in the stocking of the worker who brings in the most can goods).

While you don’t have to have a press conference to announce your gift giving efforts, don’t be afraid to blow your own horn.Post pictures of your event on your organization’s web site and even do a write up for the local news paper and your internal newsletter. It is an excellent way to let others see you as a community partner. Those whom you help will remember your generosity long after the season has ended.

Happy Holidays!

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