Usually when people around nonprofits talk about how important it is to recognize contributions of time, the Nonprofiteer smells a rat. "But I give my time!" is often the excuse made by nonprofit Board members for their failure to give or raise money, to which her response is, "You can't pay the light bill with time. You can't pay your staff with time. There are all kinds of volunteers at nonprofit agencies, but Board members are the volunteers who get to govern the group because they pay for it."
However, this piece from the indispensable Nonprofit Quarterly is actually making a different, and far more legitimate, point: that there are plenty of capable people out there who may be interested in adding value to your nonprofit with their time and their skills, and that nonprofits unprepared to make use of these people are throwing money down the drain. When the Nonprofiteer isn't being cranky about Board responsibilities, she's a great booster of high-skills volunteers--people who, without seeking a governance position, wish to help the agency redesign its Website or rewrite its fundraising appeals or rethink its fundraising events so they're fun AND newsworthy AND profitable.
If you don't have a wish list of "projects we'd get done if someone with the right skills came along," write one. That way, when someone frankly tells you she wants to give her time but not her money, you'll have something to offer other than, "Join the Board and we'll make an exception for you."
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