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You Can Make a Difference Featured

You Can Make a Difference Clark Tibbs

Volunteering is not just a term or a resume item that one can put on a CV- rather, it is an essential part of any functional society. While some may take nonprofits lightly, their benefits to society reach far and wide and have ripple effects that start at an individual level to the larger communities. They benefit everyone on their way and make a lasting impact, not only on an individual but on society as well.

Here are things that will work to enable a nonprofit to make a difference.

Organizational structure and leadership

If the organization’s social change is reflected in the real world that everyone would want to see, relationships within the organization will resemble those in the communities. This will be reflected by mutual support committed to a shared vision and values. All social movements depend on organizational structure for their success. With the right organizational structure and leadership, people in the affected community will be leaders of their change. Nonprofits can center the decision-making abilities in the community allowing staff to participate in supporting different causes. 

Planning and program design

For a humane and equitable future to be created, community members need to determine their plans and goals for themselves. Nonprofits ensure that the planning process is devoid of patriarchy, racism and privilege. Planning allows decisions to be made in the community regarding who is invited to the table and who will facilitate the conversation. Planning would be aimed at dramatic, visionary and achievable goals. Proper planning allows the society to build on the existing strengths assisted by the staff.  

Evaluation and learning

If evaluation were aligned with the work that any of us would want to see, the reflections would be felt and shared across the community and different fields of work. Learning and evaluation would be critical in the stories of relationships that created change since humans often learn better through stories. Quantitative data is just one of the ways of illustrating stories. With this, learning would be engaging and powerful.  


Communication is a critical component when it comes to supporting the community members in their initiatives regarding change efforts. Communication allows the building of strength towards accomplishing the community’s goals. The activities will emphasize all that can be accomplished independently instead of giving a mandate to a few.


Accountability is a critical component for any organization, regardless of the industry. For a nonprofit, co-creating change is the key component that enables accountability and stewardship. The aspects that are critical for the community, such as loyalty and care, are only possible when there is accountability. A nonprofit organization can only make a meaningful change in the community when all members are accountable and when there is accounting.

Human resources and compensation

The work of human resources in an organization is to provide resources that humans need to perform at their best. As such, creating conditions for employees in nonprofits will include developing compensation strategies commensurate to their work. These compensation strategies will be adequate for staff to worry about their finances. Thus, they will be free to work best at work and at home.

Resourcing and investing in systems

One of the places that are critical for reforms is resources. If the values and mission of an organization include people being valued for their abilities instead of money, investing in resources must reflect on values and mission. Investing in resources and volunteers would be in the form of cash or gifts. In-kind donations are more valuable than cash because the in-kind are the actual resources that are necessary to perform certain activities.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

Find his portfolio here and his personal bio here