NCVS 2015: Engagement & Impact

Given this year’s conference in Detroit on June 27-29, I wanted to share some additional thoughts from last year’s conference in Houston. In part I, I shared observations on what can be considered volunteering, faith based volunteering, and making the most out of every volunteering opportunity. A second huge component was engagement and impact. Here I’ll touch on how nonprofits engage with volunteers, why capacity building in a nonprofit is important, and what nonprofits can leverage from the for-profit space! Continue reading

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Recap: 2015 National Volunteer Conference

conf_2015_logo_verticalFor the thousands of volunteers, non-profit leaders and professionals that look forward to the National Volunteer Conference, this year’s conference gets underway on Monday June 27th in Detroit, Michigan! Ahead of this amazing event, I wanted to share some thoughts and reflections of last year’s conference. Continue reading

It Takes a Community to Make Change

Together we can change the worldWhether global or local, change originates from one thing: a certain kind of person— observant, selfless, influential. When individuals like this come together, change has a chance. This is why the idea of community, no matter the scope of it, is crucial.

It’s often the case that these passionate individuals become the founders of nonprofit organizations — or communities within communities — to tackle and advocate for various kinds of change. From eradicating hunger to providing shelter for the homeless, the mission statements are as endless as they are admirable. The people of these organizations teach us all the importance and impact of paying attention, being generous, and taking action.

Below are a few model examples of individuals who embody these ideals and the nonprofits they created. Continue reading

Doing Good is Good for You

We love sharing inspiring content, especially about volunteering and its positive effects on individuals and organizations. The following is a gently edited blog post by RealizedWorth from Kate Rubin, Vice President of UnitedHealth Group and President of UnitedHealth Foundation. We hope you enjoy this research on how volunteering can improve your health.

For organizations like UnitedHealth Group, building healthier communities is part of our mission. We’ve invested in research that demonstrates how volunteering is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. In our Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study, we learned that people who volunteer feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Doing good is, indeed, good for you! Here are the findings:

Volunteering Makes a Difference

People who volunteered in the past 12 months told us volunteering has made them feel physically healthier and there was an even stronger connection between volunteering and mental health.Volunteers in the study provided higher ratings than non-volunteers on nine well-established measures of emotional well-being, which included overall satisfaction with life, personal independence, and capacity for rich interpersonal relationships. Participants also cited that volunteering improved their mood and self-esteem! Other benefits like lower stress levels can be viewed in the diagram below:

It’s true: volunteering makes us feel better. And while we’re feeling better, other people who benefit from our volunteer efforts feel better, too.  Everybody wins! Continue reading

The Boomerang Cycle: A Book Spotlight From the Bolt Brothers

BoomerangIn doing good, sometimes we receive so much more than we ever anticipate. Check out this guest post by entrepreneur, Chandler Bolt, and his brother Seth Bolt (from the band NEEDTOBREATHE) on their new book. We’re excited to share their story with you…

The South Carolina heat is oppressive in the summer, when the porch flies cling to sugary glasses of ice tea and women fan themselves on Sunday mornings with their folded church bulletins. We were raised there, kids of hardworking parents who never had much to give except for love, devotion, and an unending supply of encouragement to make something of ourselves. Our parents didn’t have much, but what they gave us was worth more than any fancy house we could’ve grown up in. We learned skills early on that we use to this day, instilling in us a roadmap that has led us both to where we are today.

Through faith, determination, and perseverance, we have been able to do things we never dreamed of back when we were kids. We are a successful businessman and a talented musician. We get paid to do what we love and there is no greater joy than that. How did we do it? We gave, and received far more than we ever could’ve asked for. Continue reading

It’s Not Every Day You Get to Save a Five-Year-Old’s Life

Hudson and ConfidenceBusiness leaders are increasingly faced with the difficulty of providing employees with more meaning at work. Whether its Gen Y workers or Millennials driving change at your work place, nearly all of us desire more meaning in our daily tasks. For Don Fornes, CEO of Austin-based tech company, Software Advice, addressing this concern for his 100 employees came in the opportunity of saving a five-year-old’s life.

After reading a New York Times article about engaging employees via corporate giving and volunteerism, Fornes joined forces with HeartGift Austin, which brings children from developing countries who suffer from congenital heart defects to the United States so they can undergo life-saving surgeries that are unavailable in their homeland.  The children are placed with a host family for the six-week duration of their stay, and are returned home when they have fully recovered. Dan and his employees found their purpose in the form of Confidence: a five-year-old girl from Benin City, Nigeria who needed life-saving heart surgery. Continue reading

Hybrid vs Electric Cars: Going GREEN This Holiday Season

Purchasing a new car around the holidays as a gift for yourself or loved one is not uncommon. A giant red bow on the hood is standard and usual practice is to lead your unsuspecting recipient to the garage where you reveal the ultimate holiday surprise! This season there’s no shortage of vehicle incentives but as fuel costs increase, hybrid and electric vehicles are growing more attractive. With New Years upon us, here are some key considerations as we make 2014 a “greener” year. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Reflections

happy-thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here! This time of year is synonymous with turkey, spending quality time with friends and family, and pausing to reflect on the things for which we are thankful.

From the AltruHelp team, we would like to pause and give thanks to our community, supporters, and all those who have shared in our journey.  We are humbled by those who continue to support our mission of increasing volunteerism! Thank you for using AltruHelp to find new meaningful ways to give back, share your act of kindness with the world,  and inspire others to help us create a lasting culture of service. Together we can strengthen our communities to make a difference!

Interested in creating positive change this Thanksgiving? Here are a few ways to show thanks by giving back:

Continue reading

Inspiring Innovation: Social Good Hackathons

Social Good Hackathon

What do you get when you bring together brilliant people that love to write computer code and program for 24 hours with a common goal of doing good? Well, a Social Hackathon of course!

This Spring, StartLabs brought together nine teams at the Cambridge Innovation Center to create the most socially beneficial, impressively designed, and well implemented websites and applications. StartLabs recruited innovative leaders from the “Social Impact” Space including Mozilla “FireFox” Foundation, AltruHelp.com, RedStar Ventures and Fundraise.com to mentor the participants, providing the newly formed teams with structure & vision in the brainstorming of product development. Continue reading

AltruHelp’s Thanksgiving Reflections

Thanksgiving is here, and for some, this time of year cannot come soon enough!  Turkey, quality time with family and other loved ones, rest and relaxation are just a few of the ways one can enjoy the holidays.

Along with food and happy memories, this time of year also serves as a great pause from the daily hubbub to reflect on the things for which we are thankful.  What are you thankful for?

From the AltruHelp team, we would like to pause and give thanks to our blog readers.  We are humbled by those who continue to show us their support by viewing and sharing our content with others, posting comments, or writing to us directly.  Together we can inspire altruism and amplify our social impact!

Here are three simple idea on ways that you can show thanks by giving back: Continue reading