By Mitzi Hicks, Fund Development & Government Contracts Specialist
As The Conflict Center’s interim Volunteer & Intern Manager, I was surprised and delighted to discover that April is Volunteer Appreciation month, a time that nonprofits all over the United States pause to express their appreciation for the efforts of volunteers.
In 2011, The Conflict Center served 7,628 youth and adults across the Denver metro area, including over 6,500 youth in 13 schools, providing a total of 2,575 hours of service. Staff and contractor hours represent just 31% of the service hours delivered in 2011. So who stepped up to deliver the rest? That’s right: volunteers. In 2011, an astonishing 69% of service hours were provided by volunteers and interns. If not for our volunteers The Conflict Center would have provided less than a third of the services that we delivered last year.
That’s huge! Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization, and at The Conflict Center volunteers are a priceless resource. They serve as classroom instructors, read to children through the Reading for Peace program, help with fundraising, special events, marketing, and general office support. There are numerous ways that volunteers can and do strengthen our organization.
Independent Sector, an agency committed to supporting nonprofits and advancing the public good, calculates the average value of volunteer hours in the US each year, and they report that each hour of time volunteered to support a nonprofit’s mission is worth $21.36. So in 2011, the 8,273.25 hours worked by our dedicated and generous volunteers at the Conflict Center were valued at $176,717.
That is such a tremendous gift, particularly in these continued difficult economic times. I can say without a doubt that it is our volunteers, supported by interns from a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, who have enabled us to continue providing violence prevention and conflict management skill-building services to our community in our ongoing effort to increase the peace.
From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you to our volunteers, because if it wasn’t for you The Conflict Center wouldn’t be what it is today, and what it can be tomorrow with your continued assistance.
And as the Volunteer & Intern Manager, I want you to know that my door is always open and I would love to hear your ideas and feedback about how we can strengthen the volunteer program in particular and the organization overall, and work together to move The Conflict Center forward in pursuit of its mission of peacemaking.
Thank you for making a difference.Tweet