Nonprofit Dreamin – Why volunteer?

Written by Paul Ginsberg

19th November 2020

This article was originally published on the Nonprofit Dreamin website.

Committee Connection is a series of blog posts from our members about why we are volunteering and helping Nonprofit Dreamin become a reality.

Paul Ginsberg is a nonprofit specialist and a Golden Hoodie. He’s active on Twitter as @NaturallyPaul. As the founder of YeurLeadin and one of the organizers of YeurDreamin 2019 conference, Paul is part of the Marketing Team and helps mentor some of newer Trailblazers on the Nonprofit Dreamin team.

Sometimes there is an answer so obvious that you wonder why no one has thought of it before. But there has to be a first time and, in this case, a person with the vision, time and energy to see it through.

When Melissa Hill Dees mentioned Nonprofit Dreamin to me, I realised that she had an answer to a problem that had been at the back of my mind for a long time; not that I had been able to articulate it!
Due to the funding structures, the business of running a nonprofit tends very much to be on the here and now. Once a system (such as Salesforce) is up and running there’s very little room for investment to make the backend more efficient – ideals such as gaining higher quality outcomes aligned with better meeting and exceeding stakeholder’s expectations tend to go to the back of the queue as who wants to fund “core” costs? Inevitably the day-to-day challenges take over and progress becomes much slower, in the form of microsteps.

This limitation extends to training. Trailhead is great but only gets you so far. The use-cases it teaches us tend to be specific to business (there are some nonprofit modules, but more are always welcome!). We have to work out how to adapt these scenarios for the situations we find ourselves in. Conferences are an ideal place for this additional knowledge exchange we require. It’s not just the sessions, it’s talking to other people. If you aren’t living in a major city, these can take place a long way away which means you need to fight and justify significant travel time and cost, on very limited budgets. These issues are also just as true for presenters as for other attendees.

A virtual conference solves a number of these issues, especially if the organising team as aware that creating spaces for chatting and collaboration are key to making this succeed. And we are!

As soon as Melissa mentioned a virtual Nonprofit Dreamin, I could feel those barriers removed; we will be getting best practice from around the world. I’m suspecting that different perspectives will help shine fresh light on my workload. That’s not to say that there aren’t regional-specific issues (hello GDPR, for us here in Europe), but this virtual conference will allow us all to see both sides of the coin.

My only challenge will be deciding what to attend!

Do you know someone that is interested in sponsoring, helping us make this the best possible experience? Our Call for Sponsors has just opened!

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