Monday, March 29, 2010

The Urgency of Now

I recently read a blog by Jessica Kirkwood at titled "Right Now Volunteerism." The blog posted detailed a situation when Jessica was approached to give a volunteer a ride to the local food bank because they had received a text message saying they were short on volunteers.

I responded to the blog with this:
"I think the challenge is getting the need out to the people. Just having an
open on-going call to volunteer at the food bank is great, but people get the
sense that someone else will do it.

As technology allows for more real-time needs/alerts to be sent out people
respond quicker. a few years ago the local homeless shelter was on the verge of
closing because funds weren't coming in. They put the word out on the paper and
within a few weeks collected enough donations to keep the doors open (and they
still are). Now why did those donors not come forward before and help prevent
the need in the first place- because there wasn't that sense of urgency or
feeling that a donation would really make a difference.

I'm glad this person responded to the call for the food bank, but the
bigger question might be- why wasn't he already planning on going to help or why
didn't he know about the need for volunteers in advance? "

What are your thoughts as to how nonprofits need to communicate their needs, whether for volunteers or donations? How in this day and age of constant communication can nonprofits better market their needs so that we're not having to send out "panic" calls for last minute volunteers.

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