Archive for May, 2012


Posted on May 19, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

When we were children our books usually had more pictures than words.  In fact, it was through pictures that we often learned to read books like Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat.  Our little minds could only recognize and process a few words.  The pictures, however, stimulated our creativity and helped us tell the story.  And sometimes we made up our own story.  As we grew older, the pages of our books lost their beautiful, colorful pictures and were filled with alphabets, punctuation and symbols.  We could now read the story but the pages weren’t nearly as attractive or stimulating.

Now we’re all grown up.  Many of our bookstores have gone out of business and daily news papers and monthly magazines have jumped on the online bandwagon.  But in jumping on the online bandwagon, purveyors of information have resorted to their childhood training and resorted to copious and colorful images.  They seem to have adopted the proverbial saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Paul Sciarra, Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp obviously knew this when they founded and launched Pinterest in March 2010.

As a child, entomology was one of Silbermann’s hobbies.  He collected bugs!  But as an adult he realized that people collected lots of different things.  “Even the books on people’s bookshelves say something about who they are” says Silbermann.  The idea behind Pinterest was for people to express themselves and to discover things through their friends and families by attaching images and links to their very own online pinboards.

Many nonprofit organizations like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( ) and Operation Smile ( have harnessed the power of Pinterest.   Beyond providing another way to connect and share messages with a mass audience, “Pinterest also symbolizes our aspirations, displaying not [only] who we are, but who we want to be”, says Bianca Bosker, a technical editor for the Huffington Post.  Bosker also points out that Pinterest’s success may lie in its ability to change the social media conversation from “look at me” to “look at this.”  For nonprofit organizations “look at this” is a necessary part of the conversation.  Pinterest is another way for nonprofits to ‘talk up’ their causes, events and activities and to keep donors and supporters informed through the wonderful world wide web of pictures.  And Pinterest is a way for nonprofit organizations to make an indelible imprint on the minds of a highly visual society.

For a free consultation and more information on marketing and promoting your nonprofit organization call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at 630.830.4443 or visit our website at Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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School’s Out And Students Are Looking For Opportunities!

Posted on May 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

It’s commencement season at colleges and universities.  Graduates are looking for employment in their chosen fields of study.  And rising sophomores, juniors and seniors are looking for summer employment.  In addition to looking for paid employment, many graduates and students are looking for volunteer opportunities.  Securing the talents of college students as volunteers is a mutually beneficial relationship.  The organization has the benefit of youthful creativity and energy, and an opportunity to develop future leaders.  And students have an opportunity to gain important knowledge, skills and experience that can ultimately help them in their future vocations.

But similar to the personal benefits that students gain with volunteer opportunities are the responsibilities they must uphold.  Linda Lysakowski, President and CEO of Capital Venture in Las Vegas, Nevada ( ) and author of Nonprofit Essentials – Recruiting and Training Fundraising Volunteers states that “volunteers should be expected to maintain confidentiality of information provided to them, complete assignments on time, present the organization in a positive manner and present any conflicts of interest.”  Lysakowski proposes the following guidelines for successful management of fundraising volunteers:

  • “Develop clear expectations for all fundraising volunteers, including the obligation to make their own gift first.”

Encouraging volunteers to make their own gifts teaches them the value of leading by example.

  • “Remain sensitive to the needs and motivations of volunteers.”

Joseph Albert, Ph.D., of the Department of Organizational Leadership at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington says that volunteers who are internally motivated “exhibit greater levels of motivation, effort, creativity and persistence in accomplishing a task.”  Albert adds that internal motivation can be increased by ensuring that the job includes some level of autonomy, providing growth opportunities and feedback, and recognizing accomplishments and progress.

  • “Always act in a professional manner when working with volunteers.”

Modeling the appropriate behavior in front of volunteers is a hands-on way of demonstrating to volunteers how they should interact with the organization’s staff, donors and other supporters.

  • “Schedule meetings and activities at times and locations that are convenient for volunteers.”

Accommodating volunteers’ schedules is a way to show that you respect their time and that you appreciate the work they do for the organization.

  • “Provide volunteers with the information that they require.”

Remember that the volunteer represents your organization.   Their success is the organization’s success.

  • “Never ask a volunteer to undertake a task that is unethical or illegal.”

Just as the volunteer’s success is the organization’s success, the same holds true for failures.

  • “Provide training and education about the entire philanthropic process.”

Along the same lines, Joseph Albert, Ph.D., adds that conveying the importance of the job and its connection to the organization’s vision can be a motivator for volunteers.

  • “Teach volunteers that their highest responsibility is to the donor.”

Volunteers need to know that without donors, the organization’s vision cannot be realized.

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