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Research:Nonprofits Focus on Cash, Not Volunteers

From the Erie Times-News. This story about research showing that nonprofits and funders alike seem to focus on cash and not better utilization of volunteers to help bridge gaps in service.

Poll: Nonprofits focus on cash, fail to capitalize on volunteer expertise

While nonprofits often say they need more pro bono support, nearly 40 percent plan to spend upward of $50,000 on outside consultants this year, according to a recent survey.



The research suggests corporate grant makers and nonprofits are more focused on giving and getting cash rather than making effective use of skilled volunteers to offset falling contributions, said Evan Hochberg, national director of community involvement for consultancy Deloitte LLP, which commissioned the poll.


“The challenges are that businesses and nonprofits are still stuck in the old school thinking when it comes to volunteerism, treating it as simply a nice thing to do,” Hochberg said. “But if we’re serious about making volunteerism a powerful solution, we have to be more thoughtful in how we leverage intellectual capital and value skills and donation of time as currency.”


About a quarter of nonprofit respondents said they have no plans to use skilled volunteers in any capacity in 2009, and about a third said they do not have the appropriate infrastructure needed to successfully deploy volunteers. Meanwhile, 95 percent said there is a great need of pro bono — or no-cost — support, especially in the current economic climate.

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