Volunteering Changes Lives

April 21, 2020

Posted In: Business News, Elevate Magazine

April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month.

Helpline Center’s Volunteer Connections program is the critical link between great community volunteers and the nonprofit agencies that need them. Volunteer Connections serves as the volunteer center in three South Dakota communities – Sioux Empire, Black Hills, and Brookings County. In addition to providing and maintaining a database list of hundreds of volunteer opportunities, Volunteer Connections also provides resources and information to non-profit organizations and businesses.

Research shows that companies that encourage employee volunteerism get more than they give. In fact, employee volunteerism can raise staff morale, improve office relationships, increase productivity and lead to greater job satisfaction. Studies show that companies with volunteer programs have higher staff retention rates and are more attractive to people seeking employment. Employee volunteerism also serves as an opportunity for staff to learn new skills and develop leadership qualities. In fact, 91 percent of Fortune 500 company human resource managers felt volunteerism built necessary skills among their employees. Help your community. Help your business. Help your employees. The Helpline Center has available resources for your business, like the Day of Service Planning Guide which can be accessed online.

Volunteering and seeing a lasting impact in community nonprofits, creates sustainability in our community. Many organizations, function on volunteers; from sorting donations to mentoring, to large scale volunteer roles like board members and funders.

Volunteers, your staff, will have a sense of accomplishment and community. Volunteering can open up opportunities to have a shared experience with someone they may not have known before. Above all, volunteering changes lives. It truly makes a difference in our community. The Independent Sector analyzes the estimated value of each volunteer hour. In South Dakota, this value indicates that the value of a volunteer's time is estimated to be at $21.91 per hour in 2018, a 2.9% increase from 2017* (https://independentsector.org/resource/vovt_details). Your business can have an impact, right here, right now, whether, by manpower or money, you are putting back into the community by providing volunteer hours for your staff to utilize, or to coordinate a group project for one afternoon a year.

From a survey conducted by Black Hills Knowledge Network on behalf of the Helpline Center Volunteer Connections program, findings indicated that “volunteers contribute significant value and time to Black Hills nonprofits. 5,500 volunteers contributed 166,000 volunteer hours with an estimated value of $3,637,060 to local nonprofits in 2018 (in the Black Hills). Volunteers were motivated to volunteer by a desire to feel gratified by their giving, and to learn more about their communities and their diverse needs. Nonprofits, in turn, have strong positive feelings about the volunteers who contribute to their mission, feeling that they are not only worth the time it takes to train and oversee volunteers, but also play a critical role in staffing their programming and events.”

For business volunteer programs, volunteer opportunities and more information you can call 211 and ask for Audrey Nordine or visit volunteer. helplinecenter.org