The Wethos Collective -- Blog

5 Trends to Rock Our Nonprofit World in 2019

Posted by Amber Smith on Feb 4, 2019 9:28:40 AM

In 2018, nonprofit rockstars helped their communities navigate hurricanes, scandal, and violence. “Justice” was declared the word of the year, according to Merriam-Webster, and a lot of good things happened, too. As we always do, we went into the fray, built up our collective muscles for change-making, and led the charge to make the world a way better place because we know it can be. In 2019, we’ll see some of the foundations we’ve been building sprout results and spark movement. Here are 5 trends we predict will impact our impact-makers in 2019:

 

1. More people will see the awesome power of nonprofits and step up to serve.


At the time of writing this article, the United States government is in Day 29 of a partial shutdown, the longest in the nation’s history (Update: 2019 government shutdown lasted a total of 35 days). Public faith in government is at a historic low, and people are generally uncertain what the future will hold -- who will take care of peoples’ critical needs, security, and our environment?

We will, of course. We, meaning the American people. At our best, it’s what we do: We step up, in one form or another -- whether that means taking on challenging but fulfilling careers in the nonprofit sector or getting up early with your kids to go pick up litter on the trail because park staff were sent home during the shutdown.

Lily Tomlin famously said, “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” People are starting to realize they are somebody, too. And if they’re smart, nonprofits can funnel this energy into greatness.

What this means for Nonprofit Marketing, Volunteer, and Development Pros:

I know. Nonprofits have been coming to the rescue, filling gaps in the market since the dawn of our existence. But now is the time for those critical efforts to be seen. Really seen. So get ready to capitalize on your community’s can-do spirit! Offer unique opportunities to get involved that give people a sense of power. If you work for an organization serving a cause impacted by the shutdown or its aftermath, rally a group of volunteers (like these awesome folks) and give them the chance to work out their frustrations with the current situation through service. Then, send out a press release and post on social media to showcase your efforts and use the interest in the stories of the shutdown to get a light shining on your amazing work. When you empower people and show them they have the capacity to control what happens here, they’ll become your greatest allies, volunteers, and donors.

 

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Topics: Impact, Nonprofit Leaders, Capacity Building, Trends, Remote Work

Building Capacity: Utilizing Both Paid Staff And Volunteers To Double Impact

Posted by Amber Smith on Jan 2, 2019 5:33:31 AM

Just out of high school, I still hadn’t shaken my teenage awkwardness and lack of confidence. Though a fire to change the world burned bright within, it burned aimlessly. I was unsure how or where to direct this passion and energy until I started volunteering. I cooked meals for the families of chronically ill children, built habitats for tigers, and served at soup kitchens. But throughout these experiences I was also growing. I learned to communicate my passion with clarity, practiced public speaking, and gained skills in marketing, fundraising, and more.

These experiences also taught me about the needs of my community and, within a few years, I launched my own nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire others to serve their community and help all of the wonderful causes I’d come to know and love.

I volunteered as the organization’s President and de facto Director for eight years and throughout that entire time, I knew the cause was depending on me. But I needed to make a living so I could pay my bills, and I so worked a number of jobs while running the organization on the side, from data entry, to quality control for clinical studies, to bartender. Everyone else in the organization was in the same position; we all volunteered, working extraordinarily hard out of love for the cause, but most couldn’t put in more than ten or so hours per week to progress it.

The organization stagnated. We were never able to serve more than a small handful of people or causes at a time, though the need was still great and demand for our help was growing. I knew we were going to have to invest more in building capacity as an organization if we were going to be able to meet this need, so I rallied our board of directors and we developed a business plan, bit the bullet, and hired our first paid team member.

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Topics: Freelance, Tips/Tricks, Impact, Capacity Building