Did you know that the script for the movie, “ET”, was written during shooting breaks for “Raiders of the Lost Ark?” Talk about leveraging resources to get more things accomplished – two hit movies no less!There are ways you can get more accomplished by leveraging your efforts in the community too. As a community financial institution (CFI), you want to give back to your community as much as possible. Ideally, you track your efforts as part of understanding where your money and volunteer hours go, as well as what they accomplished. That data can help inform your future giving and give your institution additional CRA service credits as well. But this data can also be extremely valuable to the nonprofits that you support. It can boost their programs, effectively address the community’s needs, and multiply your efforts in the community too. Here is how nonprofits can benefit from having access to this data:
- Tracking volunteer results. The data can show a nonprofit what kind of volunteers it attracts and how much money or time those supporters offer, on average. That information in turn can help managers decide how many more volunteers are needed and where it might look for them. It could also indicate the success of volunteer recruitment overall.
- Clarifying the cost of program offerings. A nonprofit knows how much money it puts into a program and it may have a good sense of the number of staff hours running a given program. Yet, it may not have such an exact idea of how many volunteer hours support a project. Give a charity your tracked information about volunteer time from your institution and you provide a clearer sense of how much time and money overall supports its efforts. With the additional information, nonprofits can make more accurate cost/benefit analyses and tradeoffs.
- Attracting volunteers consistently. Volunteers need screening, orientation, training, support, and supervision. It’s most efficient for nonprofits to have a smaller number of volunteers log more hours than to have more volunteers logging fewer hours. Gathering this information from you, and other organizations, may allow these charities to optimize their volunteers.
- Meeting requirements for matching grants. Donors are often more interested in helping nonprofits that understand the true cost of their projects and that have resources in place to get a job done. Using the shared data, nonprofits can more easily fulfill those requirements and even attract matching grants.
A matching grant is more likely if a nonprofit demonstrates that it has the staff and volunteer force that can successfully run a program. A matching grant application may also value volunteer hours and add that amount to a nonprofit’s cash donations to reach the matching amount. This would allow the charity to get a matching grant, even if it doesn’t have the cash donations that would qualify it for that grant.Community outreach has always been important to CFIs. Simply sharing data with the nonprofits that you support can boost their programs, uplifting your community as a whole. So simple, yet so impactful.