The Importance of Tapping Social Asset

While nonprofits struggle to meet demand for services, they are leaving on the table an important resource - volunteers.

According to the 2015 State of the Nonprofit Sector survey from the Nonprofit Finance Fund, 76% of nonprofits saw an increased demand for services, and 52% could not meet demand. In fact, only 42% of respondents have increased the number of people served, and 17% have reduced or eliminated programs.

Furthermore, the percentage of organizations relying on volunteers to fill the gap has dropped sharply in the past five years, from 39% to 20%. Only one in five nonprofits brought in more volunteers.

At n4a, we see today?s volunteers as an untapped reservoir of human potential?a vital national asset that can help and empower the Aging Network bridge the gap between static financial resources and the rapidly increasing need for services such as home delivered meals, rides to doctor?s offices or grocery stories and for in-home supports.

The PowerUP! model for engaging volunteers in the Aging Network is bringing tangible, measurable results. Through nearly five years of piloting, testing and refining the elements of PowerUP!, the model demonstrates that it expands volunteer opportunities, increases or improves services, reaches a broad array of participants and for every start-up dollar invested to adopt the model, produces an average return of 8:1.

Are volunteers an untouched resource on your table? You can view a quick PowerUP! video to learn more, visit our extensive online Resource Library, and download customizable volunteer recruitment materials for Aging Network agencies. This year starting in June, we will offer a new webinar series that leads to basic understanding of the principles practices that underpin the model and the steps to adopt ing this research-based approach in your agency. Stay on the lookout for the upcoming announcement.

n4a is pleased to join the 29% of the nonprofits surveyed that plan to increase their use of volunteers to meet critical needs within the next year. Explore n4a?s resources today and reap the benefits of the nation?s longevity revolution.



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!