Converting good intentions in to greater impact


Investing in High Impact Volunteer Engagement: A Funder’s Perspective

By Jane Leighty Justis, executive director of The Leighty Foundation and Reimagining Service Council member - The events of the last few years have changed our country’s landscape – at least for the foreseeable future. A crippled economy has caused escalating needs and dramatically shrinking financial resources. Nonprofit organizations will be required to engage communities in new ways to accomplish their missions in the wake of these tsunami-like changes. One of the chief strategies that the Leighty Foundation is seeing in response to this challenging economic climate is a renewed interest from nonprofits to fully engage volunteers to serve as critical resources. The Leighty Foundation, a long-time believer in the effectiveness of volunteer engagement, made a commitment to fund the 18-month Pikes Peak Volunteer Engagement Initiative that aimed to increase the volunteer capacity of 22 organizations.

The Three Roads to Building Volunteer Value

By Nur Ibrahim, Executive Coordinator, Philanthropy New York - In early 2012, Philanthropy New York began working with Reimagining Service to bring its core mission and principles to our members, a mix of traditional grantmakers and corporate philanthropists. As stated in the blog by Gail Gershon of Gap Inc., that initial session generated robust conversations on the value of foundations investing in nonprofit volunteer capacity. Our subsequent meetings continue to focus on the importance of developing that capacity and engaging volunteers strategically. These meetings have highlighted three themes of successful volunteerism: 1) Empowerment, 2) Flexibility, and 3) Connection.

12 Ways to Help Grantees Use Volunteers

By Jane Leighty Justis, The Leighty Foundation and Reimagining Service Council Member - As small foundations, we are always looking for leverage. Where and how can we invest our assets in ways that will produce the best returns? Will organizations we funded in the past survive these times of shrinking resources and growing needs?

We must encourage and support our grantees as they reimagine how to accomplish their missions with fewer resources. The effective engagement of additional volunteer resources is an obvious part of the solution.

Volunteer Energy: A Renewable Resource

By Jane Leighty Justis, The Leighty Foundation and Reimagining Service Council Member - We are faced with new realities. Our world continues to move deeper into economic instability, and needs are increasing exponentially. The time has come to support and strengthen volunteer engagement, which has proven to be a high impact, renewable asset if mobilized and used effectively.

As funders, we have the opportunity to support our grantees’ capacity to reimagine how they can unleash this natural renewable resource to accomplish their missions, strengthen their communities, and increase the return on our investments.