Not Everything that Happens in Vegas Should Stay There

Governor Sandoval Congratulates Phyllis James of MGM Resorts International

Just over a week ago I had the pleasure of flying to Vegas and staying at the Bellagio to — of all things — participate in Nevada’s Volunteer and Corporate Engagement Summit and attend the Governor’s Points of Light Awards Luncheon. Nevada Volunteers organized the event and brought together a great group of folks to celebrate and support volunteering in the Silver State.

Kaira Esgate from Reimagining Service set the stage for a productive day by outlining four principles for effective volunteer engagement and highlighting data from the TCC Group that  has found nonprofits with a strong volunteer program consistently outperform their peers on all measures of organizational effectiveness.

I was asked to  speak to trends shaping the future of volunteering and during the process of preparing my thoughts discovered something unexpected hidden in the data behind Vegas’s reputation for the kind of fun you’d rather not share with your Mom.

Much to my surprise I found that thanks to the combined efforts of our partners at Nevada Volunteers, NV Energy and MGM Resorts International network activity in Nevada grew 50% last year and Vegas lept ahead in the national rankings, defying all stereotypes, to become the 10th busiest city on the web’s largest volunteer engagement network.

The Governor and all the people I met on Friday, clearly have their sights set even higher, but they are off to a strong start and I see no reason why Nevada’s remarkable progress in 2012 should have to remain a secret to anyone. Go Nevada!