- My Account
To Match Hundreds of Thousands of Volunteers with Urban Ministries and Short Term Urban Missions Opportunities
The Need for ChristianVolunteering.org
1. Christian Volunteering is One of the Largest Resources in the World
Christian Volunteers make up the largest pool of volunteers in
the United States. According to the United States
Department of Labor, faith-based volunteers are the largest pool
of volunteers, representing over 34.8% of volunteers.
This combined with the number of Christian volunteers in the
world make Christian Volunteers the largest volunteer community
in the world.
2. Christian Volunteering is incredibly valuable.
3. There is great potential for Christian Volunteering to Expand Ministry Beyond the Walls of the Church Building
According to Lester Salamon of the Institute for Policy Studies of Johns Hopkins University, only 7-15% of volunteering through churches helps the larger community. This means that only $3.6 to $7.8 billion of this value goes to serve those outside of the church. Increasing the number of Christian volunteers serving in low income communities by 10% would represent over $5.2 billion in increased resources available to those communities through donated time. Last year the leading secular Internet volunteer matching service (VolunteerMatch) placed over 475,000 volunteers in 37,000 nonprofit organizations with the volunteer time valued at $232 million. They also report that organizations using online volunteer matching had over 50% of their volunteers come from online sources. The problem is that Christian organizations do not want to use secular volunteer matching services, and Volunteer Match reports that only 1.8% of their posts are from faith-based organizations. ChristianVolunteering.org makes it easier for volunteers to serve outside the church walls, greatly expanding the effectiveness of volunteers and increasing the resources available to low-income communities.
4. Online Volunteer Matching Can Greatly Increase the Number and Value of Christian Volunteers.
Online Volunteer Matching greatly expands the market for volunteering in the same way that eBay expanded the market for auctions and selling "stuff." Before eBay, individuals had to search at hundreds of garage sales, collectors conventions, flea markets and pawn shops to find a particular item. Now individuals can buy and sell almost anything online on eBay because it is much easier to make a match to very specific items. Online volunteer matching also makes it much easier to find a volunteer match by providing one source where people can find opportunities. A doctor or dentist can quickly search all the nonprofit organization needing their skills in their city through online search. This means that a lawyer who gets paid $200/hour for practicing law, may be underutilized as a volunteer if he is only able to volunteer to stack chairs for the church. Online volunteer matching increases the chances of individuals finding opportunities that match their particular skills. This both increases the value of the volunteering to organizations and increases the number of volunteers by finding matches better suited for particular interests.
5. Virtual Volunteering enables new volunteer opportunities by enabling people to volunteer at a distance from their home.
A Web designer in San Francisco could volunteer to provide a website to an urban ministry in Kansas City. Some of the many potential virtual volunteer areas include opportunities for accounting, graphics designing, computer programming, grant writing, language translation, legal support, prayer and online tutoring. This has the potential of providing billions of dollars of volunteer time to less-developed countries and low-income communities where it is needed the most.
6. Faith-Based Organizations are one of the best ways to resource Black, Latino and Indigenous communities
A study by the Greenlining Institute in 2006 showed that only 3.6% of funding from foundations went to nonprofits let by people of color. This is despite the fact that people of color make up 52.4% of poverty in the United States, but only 16.5% of nonprofits are led by people of color. We have documented in detail many of the systemic reasons for this in our online Webcast at http://www.urbanministry.org/fundingbias. One of the most significant reasons for this bias is a lack of strategies of funders that specifically target Black and Latino leaders in faith-based organizations. Our data shows that over two-thirds of Black and Latino nonprofit leaders are in faith-based organizations (FBOs), and that faith-based organizations have twice the number of Black and Latino leaders than secular organizations. These groups are almost being entirely missed in the strategies of many online nonprofit capacity building initiatives. Volunteer Match currently only shows that 1.8% of their volunteer opportunities are faith-based (from their annual report), althought faith-based volunteers make up 34.8% of volunteers. ChristianVolunteering.org is the largest online directory of faith-based volunteer opportunities, enabling these communities to be more effectively reached.