Demand is far outstripping supply for one local match-making service.
The Center for Nonprofit Excellence has signed up 300 Kentucky and Southern Indiana individual volunteers to its BoardMatch system, but has only 18 nonprofit organizations to pair them with, says Hannah Clore, director of communications at the center.
“We’ve got a huge untapped resource here in Louisville,” she said. “An inclusive and diverse board across age, gender and ethnicity is a huge factor in organizational success — especially in our sector.”
BoardMatch was created by the center in 2015 to help individuals easily find nonprofit boards in search of new members. Think of it as a dating app (no swiping left or right, though). Volunteers complete an individual account online with a few personal details, some professional information and skill areas. They can select up to three interests or causes, and they can indicate if they want to serve on a board or committee.
Board service has become more inclusive and accessible than it used to be.
“Where, in the past, most nonprofits required minimum gifts to the organization be made by all board members (excluding those without means to do so), many boards are beginning to understand that some groups can contribute in different ways: i.e. time, energy, etc.,” Clore said.
This opens up board service to groups like the much-coveted millennial generation, who are, according to Clore, one of the most generous generations alive and the largest working population in the country.
“A recent Millennial Impact Report showed that over 78 percent of millennials in a group of 2,500 made charitable donations and 70 percent of this same group donated their time and energy to a cause they cared about,” Clore said.
Currently, at BoardMatch, Second Chances Wildlife Center is looking a board member, as is Community Winterhelp and Eastern Area Community Ministries.
Volunteers looking to be paired include Venita T., who “wants to serve with a nonprofit focused on career services,” and Mac B., who wants to serve with a nonprofit, focused on children and youth.
There is a cost for the service for nonprofits if they are not a member of CNPE. It would be $125 per post for an organization. However, if you’re a member — and there are more than 500 individuals and organizations that are members — you get three 90-day posts for free as a benefit.
Another underutilized tool offered by CNPE is a site called DonorsResource, which is basically a virtual warehouse of items awaiting donation. This service is free for both the donor and the recipient. You do not have to be a CNPE member nonprofit to use the resource; you just have to be a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.
Let’s say you’re a business that has an office remodel going on. Instead of carting away all those old desks and chairs to Goodwill (“That’s fine, too,” Clore said), you can snap pictures of the desks and upload them to DonorsResource.
Any nonprofit who has listed “desks” as a need on their DonorsResource profile will receive an email about the available desks. You can also search for a specific nonprofit by name for items needed. If it all works out, a nonprofit will claim your item and contact you to arrange pickup or drop-off of the donation.
Nonprofits also can browse the virtual warehouse and choose things they need, and individuals can browse the needs of nonprofits. Maybe you don’t have a spare coffeemaker to donate to your favorite children’s center who needs it, but maybe you’re willing to buy them a new one.
The site also records your donation history, making it super easy to deduct your donations from your taxes.
DonorsResource is more widely used than BoardMatch. A search of IL’s Zip code, 40202, yielded eight nonprofits under a mile away.
Clore has used DonorsResource herself. She donated three big bags of clothing to a nonprofit in Portland. She said a volunteer drove to her house and picked up the donation and was very grateful. Clore said it felt better to donate that way than to drop the bags into a collection bin.
The DonorsResource website states, “We believe that people want to give, people are in need and that there is more than enough ‘stuff’ to go around.”