Getting help where it’s needed most

By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer

The idea that less can be more usually doesn’t apply to volunteerism, especially with cash-strapped nonprofits clamoring to augment a downsized workforce and recapture a volunteer base lost during the recession. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



FOCUS

Getting help where it’s needed most

PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
WELL-TRAVELED: Collette Vacations is among the local companies that has made service a priority. Pictured above are Collette volunteers from left: Lauren Pinto, corporate trainer; Josh Picther, outside-sales trainer; Cochetta Horton, call-center trainer and Anna Tajaea, director of training.

By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 3/25/13

The idea that less can be more usually doesn’t apply to volunteerism, especially with cash-strapped nonprofits clamoring to augment a downsized workforce and recapture a volunteer base lost during the recession.

However, that recession also has created a corporate culture of giving back, in which more companies are turning to hands-on volunteering over financial donations to sustain their philanthropic commitments.

Where all these socioeconomic circumstances intersect is a sort of mismatch between the ways in which Rhode Island companies want to give to the nonprofit sector and the ways in which the state’s nonprofit organizations most need help.

Crossroads Rhode Island, which provides, among other things, housing, case management and vocation services to the state’s homeless and at-risk populations, has experienced this predicament.

“Sometimes coming up with a volunteer project for 40 people could be difficult,” said Karen Santilli, Crossroads vice president of marketing and development. “Some might say you’re sending volunteers away.”

Santilli was referring to her organization’s policy of redirecting large corporate groups Crossroads cannot accommodate to Serve Rhode Island, a nonprofit that works to increase volunteerism in the state and maintains an online database of volunteer opportunities for businesses, groups and individuals.

The hope is that Serve RI, which also functions as the state’s volunteer center, will be able to help any business in search of a place to send its group of volunteers.

But that’s not always the case.

In its new strategic plan, released late last year, Serve Rhode Island identified, through a survey of Rhode Island nonprofits, a need to make volunteering easier and more accessible to groups who, as a general rule, prefer project-centered service such as food sorting, tree planting or classroom painting over long-term commitments.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Two Great Programs...One Great Event. PBN's Annual Celebration of Growth and Innovation is now underway. 2014 applications are now available. Deadline August 1st.
  • 40 Under Forty
    We're almost sold out. The 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planni ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    See who the Healthiest Employers in RI are! And save the date - August 14th - at ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement