Volunteering in the United States of America

Volunteering in the United States of America

Volunteering is great, it has many benefits, and it seems that the world is noticing it. In 2007, the Corporation for the National and Community Service published an article revealing the health benefits of volunteering. The research indicated that volunteering provides not just social benefits, but individual health benefits as well. Surprisingly, people that volunteer have lower mortality rates, and lower rates of depression, compared with individuals that do not volunteer.  One of the key findings of this study is that older volunteers are more likely to receive greater health benefits from volunteering than younger people.

Contingency funding in philanthropy

Contingency funding in philanthropy

A Philanthropist is a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes. To obtain the desired outcomes it is necessary take into consideration the risk and the return of the philanthropic investment. In the recent years, philanthropy has made big efforts to build monitoring and evaluations systems that are useful to measure the return of the philanthropic investment, normally described as impact. Unfortunately, philanthropists have not invested the same amount of resources in measure and risk mitigation.

Lectures, communication, and Global Leadership Lab at Georgetown

Global Leadership Lab at Georgetown

The 21st of September was a not a usual day for Atlas Corps. On this day, the Global Leadership Lab (GLL) was held at Georgetown University, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. The lecture was insightful, engaging and the speaker maintained the audience’s attention throughout.

Contingency protocols

Contingency protocols, are an important part of risk management. Let’s remember that risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats that can affect an organization. These threats, or risks, could stem from a wide variety of sources, including financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management errors, accidents and natural disasters. A contingency plan is a proposal devised for an outcome other than in the usual (expected) plan, and non-profits, and NGOs are not different from other organizations, in the sense, they are not safe from all those risks, that is why it is important for them to generate contingency protocols.

GrantAdvisor: facilitating an open dialogue between nonprofits and grant-makers

GrantAdvisor, the tool we were waiting for.

GrantAdvisor was created based in a simple idea: if you’re going on a trip, you check TripAdvisor to get information, and recommendations; if you’re going to apply for a grant, you check GrantAdvisor, and you can get valuable information about funders. Additionally, if you are a hotel, you check TripAdvisor to learn valuable customer feedback you cannot get any other way, with GrantAdvisor, funders can learn and improve their practices using nonprofits’ feedback.

Working from home: getting things done

Tips to increase your productivity working from home

Working from home can be amazing. Imagine having the chance to set up your own schedule, achieving a better work-life balance, and getting extra time avoiding the commute. Nevertheless, working from home requires self-discipline and the capacity to organize working hours in an efficient way in order to be productive and achieving your goals.

Spending many hours per day in front of the computer can be challenging, it is easy to get distracted with social media, news websites, etc. This can have a negative impact in your productivity, and can make you feel stocked in your work.

Risk in foundations

Recommended Reading: Foundations Don’t Know What They’re Risking

In its summer 2017 edition, The Foundation Review, published an article called “Foundations Don’t Know What They’re Risking”, in which their authors, Maya Winkelstein, and Shelley Whelpton, highlighted the importance of risk management in the philanthropy sector. According to this article, there are critical gaps in philanthropy’s approach to risk management.

Non-profits operate in volatile and challenging environments; they are exposed to different kind of risks that can cause some type of undesirable effect. The article explains the existence of critical gaps in philanthropy’s definitions of and approach to risk management, also provides a framework for the sector to design and adopt risk-management practices that allow them to better operate in this in volatile and challenging environment.

Challenges faced by NGOs

A review of the most common challenges in the sector

A dynamic and competitive environment generates challenges for all the participating organizations. Nevertheless, non-governmental organizations face specific obstacles regarding its particular nature. Some of the most frequent challenges are the following:

  • Difficulties to get funds: The majority of NGOs have experienced difficulties in getting enough, and continuous funding in order to do their work. Getting donors is a hard task, and sometimes dealing with some specific donor’s funding conditions can be an enormous challenge for NGO’s. Additionally, most of the non-governmental organizations have a high level of dependency of donors’ funds, that makes them even more susceptible to donors’ behavior.

Charitable giving in the USA

Did you know that Charitable giving in the USA is experiencing an upward trend?

According to Giving USA 2017, Annual Report on Philanthropy, charitable giving has experienced an upward trend since 1976, with the exception of just three years: 1987, 2008, and 2009.

In 2016, Americans gave $390 billion to charitable causes, and for the third consecutive year, charitable contributions reached record levels. This important amount of money, can be interpreted as a sign of support to the enormous contribution that charities make to our society. Charitable giving delivers essential services that positively impact the lives of many people, such as building hospitals, schools, orphanages and religious centers. Additionally, charities are a fundamental partner to the government in many ways, including personal education, decreasing poverty, and reducing social diseases.

If contingencies exist, why aren’t we managing risk?

A note on risk in the philanthropy sector

In its summer 2017 edition, Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), published a supplement called “Navigating risk in impact-focused philanthropy, in which diverse philanthropic and non-profit organizations’ leaders highlighted the importance of risk management. According to SSIR, the lack of common risk-management practices is a weakness of the philanthropy sector, that can vanish the impact of projects, and potentially waste billions of dollars. Surprisingly, even though funders of social projects, know that the 20% of their projects would likely be negatively affected by unexpected events, only 17% of those funders reported that they set aside funds for such contingencies.