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Food for Thought: Technology and the Future of Volunteer Management

At VolunteerMatch we learn so much from other experts in the fields of volunteer engagement and nonprofit management, and we want to help you stay up to date on the latest news and trends. Here’s some food for thought to keep your February going strong. 

Volunteer Engagement Roundup

What Does it Mean to Engage Tech Talent in Pro Bono?
From Taproot Foundation:
There’s a huge push for tech companies to “do good” and give back to their communities by volunteering. And by understanding the roles of employees within the tech industry, we can better understand the pro bono possibilities they can bring to our nonprofits.

Could a Robot Do the Job of a Volunteer Manager?
From e-Volunteerism:
Over the next 20 years, 35% of jobs in the UK will be taken over by robots, according to a study. What about volunteer managers? This article examines the difference between what tends to be in a volunteer manager’s job description vs. what they actually do.

Cost, Value, & Austerity: The Challenge for Volunteer Managers
From Third Sector:
When money is tight, is volunteer engagement training one of the first things to get cut? This article explores the unique issues volunteer managers face, and what you can do about it.

Looking to gather new volunteer management skills without spending money? Check out our free webinar series.

Great Mission. Bad Statement.
From Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR):
Are volunteers not engaging with your organization because of the words you use to communicate your mission? That is very likely, according to this article. Learn what you can do to increase the effectiveness of your language, and keep volunteers excited about your cause.

For more tips from experts, check out the VolunteerMatch book that brings together 35 experts.

Catching up: New fundraising effort to help faith-based programs awards $120000 in grants –
Catching up: New fundraising effort to help faith-based programs awards $120000 in grants
The Rev. Tia Sierra, principal of Lighthouse Christian School in Madison, leads her kindergarten class in a morning exercise. The private school was one of 22 recipients of grants this year from the Madison Christian Giving Fund. The school will use

Treatments that reduce knee buckling may help prevent falls in older adults

Symptoms of knee instability in older adults may indicate an increased risk of falling and of experiencing the various physical and psychological effects that can result from falling, according to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know About the New BRIDGE Numbers

What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know About the New BRIDGE Numbers FacebookLaunched on February 4, the new BRIDGE Registry is a database of more than three million nonprofits, NGOs, and charities worldwide and each one of them has been assigned a new BRIDGE Number. This new numbering system is a huge leap forward for global philanthropy and may one day enable individuals to donate online to any nonprofit with a BRIDGE Number – not through the BRIDGE Registry itself, but rather through an online or mobile giving service that uses the BRIDGE numbering system. Here’s what your nonprofit needs to know about the new BRIDGE Numbers:

1. Odds are your nonprofit has a BRIDGE Number.

There are estimated to be more than 10 million nonprofits, charities, NGOs, ONGs, and CSOs worldwide, but the majority are not yet online and do not have a digital footprint. If your reading this now, then your nonprofit is likely online and does have a digital footprint and therefore is likely to have a new BRIDGE Number. Conduct a search and take note of your number:


Then subscribe to the BRIDGE e-newsletter and watch how the new system evolves. The need for this system is decades in the making and it will likely take a few years for it to start to ripple into the daily lives of nonprofit fundraising and management.

2. Chapters of nonprofits are assigned their own unique BRIDGE Number.

In the United States nonprofits have EIN numbers and in many cases chapters and partner organizations share that EIN number for fundraising. It’s a messy system that makes it challenging to capture information about organizational operations and fundraising for multi-chapter nonprofits. The new BRIDGE system, however, randomly generates BRIDGE Numbers for chapters and even in some cases fiscally-sponsored projects – and not only for nonprofits in the United States, but for nonprofits, charities, NGOs, ONGs, and CSOs worldwide.


3. The BRIDGE Registry is database built with data from other databases.

The BRIDGE Registry is sychronized with the databases of the Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, GuideStar, and TechSoup. If your nonprofit is not currently listed in the BRIDGE Registry, these are the current ways to get listed and obtain a BRIDGE Number:

  • Foundation Center assigns a BRIDGE Number to each organization in its databases (institutional grantmakers and the nonprofits that have received their grants). Grantmakers may use Foundation Center Updater to submit information about itself and its grantees.
  • GlobalGiving assigns a BRIDGE Number to any organization that submits an application to become a GlobalGiving partner. Begin the GlobalGiving application process.
  • GuideStar assigns a BRIDGE Number to all organizations with a GuideStar Nonprofit Profile. Organizations without a BRIDGE Number can have one automatically issued to them when they claim or update their profile.
  • TechSoup assigns a BRIDGE Number to any organization that registers through its donation program. Begin the TechSoup application process.

4. The BRIDGE Registry is a work in progress.

In time other databases may be synchronized with the BRIDGE Registry and in time BRIDGE Numbers may become widely used. Or they may not. The system is in its infancy and will take shape over the next few years and likely decades. We’re all going to have to be patient, but the potential for this new database to finally breakdown international walls in giving and information sharing is huge and funders, governments, social entrepreneurs, and nonprofits worldwide would be wise to assist in helping build this system and making it a success. It’s a significant undertaking and its founding partners are to be commended. To learn more about the BRIDGE Registry, see their FAQs.

BRIDGE Registry Social Change

The 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report
2,780 NGOs • 133 Countries • 6 Continents

Report Cover JPG 99A collaborative research project by the Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good, the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report is based upon the survey results of 2,780 NGOs from Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America. The research is unprecedented and provides valuable insight into the global NGO sector and its use of online technology.

[Infographic] The 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report

Kivi Leroux Miller, the award-winning author and trainer behind Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog and the Nonprofit Marketing Guide site, has released the sixth edition of her annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Report (33 pages, PDF). The report, which is available for…

The political money in Super Bowl 50

Super Bowl 50 sign at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Super Bowl 50 sign at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

With the veteran Denver Broncos matching up against the youthful North Carolina Panthers at Super Bowl 50 this weekend, one story line is about the quarterback matchup: newly minted MVP Cam Newton versus Peyton Manning, a five-time winner of that honor who is rumored to be retiring after Sunday.

Of course, it’s also all about the money. The Super Bowl as a brand is reportedly the most valuable sports event in the world and is expected to generate $620 million in revenue this year. CBS, which is carrying the game, is charging advertisers $5 million for a 30-second spot. The American Gaming Association expects the public to bet a jaw-dropping $4.2 billion on the faceoff, 97 percent of it illegally.

There’s another kind of cash involved, too — much smaller, but critically important political investments by the National Football League and the teams, who play an aggressive offense in the nation’s capital.

The NFL’s playbook is strategically bipartisan. In the last three cycles, the league has hiked nearly $2 million into political coffers, splitting it evenly between Democrats and Republicans, Center for Responsive Politics data show. Most of that money — almost $1 million dollars — was given in the 2012 presidential election cycle.

As for lobbying, between cold footballs and player domestic violence making national headlines and concussions getting continued attention not only in the news but in movie theaters, the league has had a lot of damage control to do. In 2015, the NFL spent close to $1.2 million to make its case on various issues in D.C. Player health, domestic violence and radio and tv broadcasting rights were among the most dominant issues — but antitrust was in the mix, too, with Congress threatening the league’s longstanding exemption from monopolization laws.

The most the league has ever spent on lobbying was $1.6 million in 2011 — the year the league’s collective bargaining agreement was settled after a four-and-a-half month player lockout imposed by the teams — followed closely by the $1.45 million it spent the year before that. 2010 was also the year the National Football League Players Association paid out its historic high for lobbying, $450,000. Labor issues dominated both groups’ lobbying agendas. In 2015, the players’ group spent just $240,000, with an emphasis on labor and health.

The only player from either team to get involved in politics with his wallet this cycle so far is Manning, who gave presidential candidate Jeb Bush $2,700 back in August. Manning’s spending is historically conservative. He donated $5,000 to Mitt Romney in 2012 and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) in 2013. Lamar sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee. Newton, as controversial as he may be, hasn’t graced any federal-level politician with a share of his considerable purse — though he does have his own charity foundation.

While the NFL bleeds purple, the Broncos and Panthers bleed bright red, with the Broncos bleeding more. Since 2012, the Broncos have given $112,475 to conservative candidates and committees, Center for Responsive Politics data show. During that same time period, they’ve contributed just $3,500 to liberals. The Carolina Panthers have given just over $21,000 — $17,201 to conservatives and $4,000 to liberals.

Pat Bowlen, the Broncos owner who originally made his money in oil, gas and real estate, has held his political cards close to the vest, giving only to the National Football League PAC — a total of $10,000 during the past two cycles. Panther owner and Carolina native Jerry Richardson has given $54,601 to the league PAC, Republicans and Democrats over the past four years, though notably favoring the GOP. His only contribution in the 2016 cycle so far is $5,400 to his home-state Sen. Richard Burr (R), who sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. Richardson’s wife, Rosalind, maxed out to the NFL PAC from 2011-2014 for a total of $20,000.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, whose net worth is estimated at $75 million, and his wife also give generously. Since 2012, the New Yorkers have contributed $50,100 to the league PAC, more than a few Republicans and a couple of Democrats. Last year, they divided their contributions between GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie (who’s a Cowboys fan and doesn’t have time for debate questions about regulating fantasy football), Sen. Orrin G Hatch, (R-Utah), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and, of course, the league’s PAC. Both Bennet and Hatch are on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, clearly an important one for football; Hatch is also on the Judiciary Committee, which oversees antitrust law.

Outside the stadium, football isn’t just about concussions or domestic violence or political leverage; it’s also about partying. And a party there will be this year. San Francisco is hosting a week-long all-out theme park, reportedly angering San Franciscans but giving Silicon Valley the best of both worlds. The 15 organizations partnering with the NFL have thrown Washington a 35 million-dollar bone since 2012. Alphabet (formerly known as Google) is by far the most liberal, contributing over $6 million to liberal candidates and committees. Chevron tackles the other side of the political spectrum, giving practically the same amount to conservatives over the same time frame.

Senior Researcher Doug Weber contributed to this story.

She’s Ushering Youth in Need Toward College as She Finds a `Higher Purpose in Life’

After getting her career on track, Sandra Richardson began volunteering for a local nonprofit, Historically Black College Alumni, to help disadvantaged students – often immigrants – avoid the detours that had plagued her.

#Net2van: Nonprofit Technology Show and Tell

The First ServiceWorks Bootcamp: AmeriCorps VISTAs Help Direct the Future for Opportunity Youth

A bit of ServiceWorks history was made recently as we launched a brand new component to our program. As part of our national effort to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a day of service learning, we debuted a one-day version of our curriculum, centered around a service project benefitting local communities around the country.

5 Questions for…Laurie Garduque, Director, Justice Reform, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Recent opinions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court which hold that imposing harsh sentences on juvenile offenders violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment have transformed the landscape of juvenile sentencing. In December, the John D….

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