Most non-profit organizations’ purpose is to improve the local community and society. The purpose of a small business is to make a profit by providing a service or selling a product. This purpose is what drives the employees/volunteers and usually there is a difference in how we work when we are just earning a paycheck as compared to when we work toward a cause we believe in.
During the summer after I graduated from high school, the pastor of Pine Grove Baptist Church, Pastor Ron Barber, and his wife, Mary-Beth, approached me about committing to their ministry full-time. After a few weeks of thoughtful consideration, I decided that this would be a wonderful opportunity to improve my musical abilities and gain experience. For just over two years, I’ve been Pine Grove’s only full-time pianist. Over the course of this past semester, I volunteered an average of three hours per week at Pine Grove Baptist Church; and I was overwhelmingly grateful to receive credit for my time.
In addition to logging my hours each week, I wrote a brief description of what I did and included a few extra comments on attendance for that service or if I played a special arrangement that day, etc. About halfway through the semester, I calculated my accumulated hours and was surprised by the sum. Until this point I hadn’t considered how many hours I contributed to Pine Grove’s ministry. This realization of the number of hours I’ve invested in my local church gave me a sense of importance and value.
I believe volunteerism is an extremely important part of society; unfortunately, I have discovered many people do not share my convictions. For example, only three of my co-workers volunteer on a regular basis, and there are twenty people within my department ranging in ages from 21 through mid-60s. A few coworkers have expressed their reasons for not volunteering by claiming they “don’t have time” or “don’t think they can make a difference” or “cannot due to physical disabilities.” Some of these reasons are simply excuses, so that the individual feels like they are doing non-profit organizations a favor by not becoming more of a hinderance than a help. Everyone knows that we make time, come up with enough money, and find some possible way in order to do the things we truly want. If it is someone’s dream to go to Disney World, he or she will work diligently and pinch pennies to save enough money for their dream vacation. There are countless stories of physically disabled people accomplishing amazing feats. For example, a blind man climbed Mount Everest, as did a man after both of his legs were amputated. Regardless of one’s situation, it is always possible to volunteer; and our community is always worth the time and money spent on improving it.
The book, Forces for Good, listed six things that non-profits should do to be successful, they were: advocate and serve, make markets work, inspire evangelists, nurture nonprofit networks, master the art of adaption, share leadership....