GuideStar Blog

Is Pro Bono Service More Accessible for Your Nonprofit Than You Think?

An IT guru, a brilliant graphic designer, and an HR sage walk into an executive director’s office in a downtown nonprofit, and the IT guru says, “You asked for support from experienced business professionals like us, at no financial cost to you?”

While this could be the start of a bad joke, it’s not a joke at all. It’s pro bono—short for pro bono publico, meaning “for the public good.” Pro bono service is the donation of professional services to social change organizations. And, right now it’s Pro Bono Week, which celebrates and activates pro bono service around the world. So October 23-29 is the perfect time to consider what pro bono service can do to help you move your mission forward.

Volunteering vs. Serving on a Board vs. Donating – What Nonprofit Role is Best for You?

As New York’s leading personalized nonprofit board matching service, BoardAssist is approached daily by New Yorkers who want to make a difference in the nonprofit world but don’t know how to get started. For many, the decision has been made to give back, but they aren’t sure if they want to do so by joining a board, or just volunteering, or simply being a generous donor. For others, they want to join a board but are unclear on what the difference is between a full governing board seat, an advisory board role or a junior board position.

We hope this week’s post explaining the many different ways folks can serve the nonprofit community will help you on your journey. Thanks for considering any of these roles – the nonprofit community needs you!

When It Comes to Fundraising, Volunteers Get It Right ... and Sometimes Wrong

Not all volunteers are alike, of course, but many share misconceptions when it comes to fundraising. I could point to several dozen as I do in my book, The Busy Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising. But here, I’ll focus on three that rear their heads time and again in my training sessions with boards and committees across America. 

The Top Three Things Volunteers Need to Know about Fundraising

In my new book, The Busy Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising, I discuss a range of truths that must be understood and taken to heart by the dedicated volunteers who help us raise money for our worthy causes. Here I’ll single out just three of the many truths. 

Four Volunteer Predictions for 2014

Technology and demographic shifts are changing how nonprofits engage volunteers. If you're not ahead of the curve, then you may be missing out on golden opportunities to expand your volunteer network.

How to Attract Volunteers from Abroad and Develop Your Organization

Michael, 25, flew from Germany to the U.S. this summer to put his accounting background to good use at a non-profit focused on homelessness and housing in New York City.

Donor and Volunteer Research for Nonprofit Internet Strategy

Donor and volunteer research conducted by GuideStar, Network for Good, and Volunteer Match can help you understand the changing dynamics of these two important groups of supporters. Learn how the Internet has affected volunteerism and donor behavior by viewing these PowerPoint presentations:

April 2004
© Philanthropic Research, Inc.

Are We Really a Nation of Volunteers?

I don't volunteer enough of my time to charity.

There, I said it.

I've got a whole list of good excuses—I just moved to a new community, I simply haven't found the right organization yet, I've been real busy lately. The bottom line, however, is that I need to stop making excuses. I need to get out and get more involved.

Volunteerism on the Rise: President Bush Renews Call to Service


A New Age of Volunteerism?


In his State of the Union address this past January, President Bush called on all Americans to "commit at least two years—4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime—to the service of your neighbors and your nation." In particular, he touted the U.S. Freedom Corps and its four branches: the Citizen Corps, the AmeriCorps, the Senior Corps, and the Peace Corps. The speech drew a strong reaction, and many high-profile institutions, including the various Corps, reported a dramatic increase in volunteer inquiries. But has this initial surge in enthusiasm matured into a new spirit of volunteerism in the United States? And more important, will it translate into community support for the small struggling charities that need it the most?