Written by: Melissa Noyes
Happy Halloween, world changers! We’re wrapping up our birthday month and our series about our new mission, vision, and values. Today I’m exploring our last value statement: We believe that clear pathways to engagement make meaningful engagement possible.
The previous values statements have talked about redefining civic engagement, about embracing the right and responsibility to get involved, and about embracing diversity and ensuring that everyone has the change to find their passion and do something meaningful for their community. This fourth statement brings the other three together. It is impossible to make a difference if there aren’t clear pathways to do so.
In some ways, our fourth value statement speaks more to nonprofits and organizations than to individuals. It is crucial that nonprofits do some work in this area. It’s important that all nonprofits really define how a person can get involved with their mission–and think about offering diverse ways to do so. All nonprofits can provide space for someone to volunteer or donate–but have you thought through the different types of volunteer opportunities that your organization could/should offer? Is it easy for your volunteers to become donors and vice versa? Is there space on your Board or other leadership committees for community members who want to share their skills? This may require a bit of a paradigm shift, but creating a “continuum of engagement” within your organization can be one way to make it easy to get involved.
Getting involved shouldn’t be difficult. We believe that it is the responsibility of all nonprofits to thoroughly examine their engagement practices to ensure that they are inclusive, exciting, creative, continuous and most importantly, easy to access. A potential volunteer or donor wants the easiest path to get involved with your organization. If it’s difficult, they will most likely move on to another organization with a more streamlined process.
Our hope is that all nonprofits in the Indianapolis area will begin to embrace new and exciting ways for community members to engage with them. We hope that clear pathways will be established so that it becomes easier for our diverse (and amazing) community to make a difference.
As our birthday month comes to a close, we want to say thank you again to all the nonprofits and groups that have supported us in the past two years. Here’s to many more years of making a difference in Indy!
With gratitude, Melissa & Kristin
PS–We offer trainings and technical assistance for nonprofits if your organization would like explore its pathways to engagement. Contact Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website (www.catalystxchange.org) for more info.