As far as I can tell, there’s only way to really get to know a nonprofit organization. You could talk to the board. You could read the mission statement. You might even feel good enough to donate money. But there’s only one way to really “get” an organization. You’ve gotta volunteer.
Volunteering with a nonprofit gives you an intimate understanding of the mission, the commitment of the board and other volunteers, and the energy and interest the community has for what the organization has to offer. It’s no longer a statement on a piece of paper. It’s a living, breathing organism with aspirations, goals, and successes you can see and smell and hear.
In the past, I’ve had initial support of organizations thinking their values aligned perfectly with my own only to discover post-volunteering how wrong I am. I’ve also volunteered with organizations that seem enthusiastic in my participation, but in reality already have a diverse, committed volunteer base. They don’t really need me.
Over the past six months, I’ve become increasingly involved with Austin Creative Reuse, beginning as their web designer and IT support all the way to joining the board.
While we’re still getting on our feet, I can see the Austin community has a real need for what we offer. I’ve seen new faces at our volunteer meetings passionately ask how they can help. We’ve got a long ways to go, but I feel the enthusiasm of the ACR group expand with interest and commitment. It makes me feel good and needed and like I’m going to make a real difference in the Austin community.
Email email@example.com if you’re interested in volunteering with Austin Creative Reuse or sign up for our newsletter.
April 10, 2012 at 6:30pm
Directors Present: Angela, Harley, Rebecca, Kaci
Meeting Minutes Recorded by: Angela
Upcoming Meeting Dates
April 17: Volunteer Meet-up at Twin Oaks Library
April 21: ZeroLandfill (Harley to confirm volunteer needs)
April 28: ZeroLandfill (Harley to confirm volunteer needs)
May 3: Working Session
May 5: Violet Crown Festival
May 8: Next Board Meeting
May 12: Austin Mini Maker’s Faire
Expense/Donations Tracking Worksheet now on Google Docs
Open question: what can we keep with us to show we are tax-exempt for state sales tax?
General Email to go out April 10
Volunteer email to go out each week starting April 16
Send blog posts to Kaci for publishing
Put photos of ZeroLandfill on Pinterest
Angela to file PO Box paper work by April 11
Harley met with Jenny Larson @ Salvage Vanguard (they have a reuse center)
Rebecca and Kaci to propose ACR for Whole Foods Market volunteer day in June (videos created, pictures made for kits, marketing materials created)
Prepare for Working Session (4/26) by reviewing core values
New Board Members
After Mini Maker Faire, we will be extending an invitation to Kami to join the Board