"We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there "is" such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action."
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
At VolunteerMatch, as we look toward 2021 and what this year may hold, we are inspired by this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which feels as relevant today as it was in 1967. It’s fitting as we honor his legacy by serving others — this month and beyond.
We are all keenly aware that COVID-19 has had a massive impact on communities across the country and served to magnify the racial, social and economic inequalities in our society. To meet these challenges, local communities will need to band together and activate millions of volunteers to help re-weave the fabric of our nation.
The nonprofit sector will be on the front lines of this effort, ensuring the spirit of volunteering and service into the 21st century.
How can we be a part of creating a kinder world?
Reflecting on this reality, our team at VolunteerMatch continuously asks how we can be a part of creating a kinder world— for basic human kindness remains at the heart of how we will serve the growing needs in our communities.
While we are always curious about the best ways to create a more compassionate world, the past year has inspired an even greater sense of urgency in our team. The pandemic revealed the holes in our nation’s civic infrastructure and ability to ensure that everyone who wishes to connect and serve could.
Many of our public officials and communities scrambled to innovate without the data, tools, or cross-sector solutions that makes it possible to effectively mobilize volunteers and reliably connect them to the groups and organizations that need them most. We know that non-commercial technology, data and research, and appropriate funding will each be key to our mutual success.
We also know that recovery and renewal springs ultimately from the seed of profound human connection. And so, for us, our reflections led to a deeply personal priority, grounded in our vision of a universal infrastructure that makes it possible for all local organizations and agencies to successfully manage high-impact volunteer engagement programs both virtually and in-person, and for all those who wish to be of service to easily reach out and lend a helping hand:
Activate 100 million volunteers into service by 2025, so that every community has the help needed to recover and thrive, and no one is left behind.
Together, we can reinvent volunteering to make sure it is relevant and compelling for every generation. Being of service remains a deeply held value and finding ways to ensure that volunteerism remains integral to the evolving fabric of our humanity is critical — not only in terms of the recovery, but in many cases, to the reinvention of our communities.
Will you join us and become a part of the movement to activate 100 million volunteers into service by 2025?
Here’s how you can get involved:
Become a part of shaping the future of volunteering and activating more people into service by joining the Coalition for Volunteer Impact.
Whether you are a volunteer, nonprofit leader, or corporate social responsibility leader, this movement wants you!
When you sign on and express your support, you will immediately gain:
- Access to the latest research around volunteering and ideas for how lead the charge towards maximum engagement in 2021 and beyond
- Collaborative experiences with others in the impact sector to learn from each other and overcome the challenges we’re facing
- The support of a community of like-minded people, who hold volunteer service at the heart of their missions, visions, and values
- Ongoing exclusive opportunities to network, grow, and develop as a leader in the impact space — from education and training to conferences to creative programming and activation experiences
Looking for Even More Ways to Build a Kinder World?
1. Thanks to our partners and sponsors, we are offering FREE membership for a year to nonprofits with a budget of less than $1 million. Reserve your spot now.
2. Be inspired by stories of kindness, decency, and the power of community in America by watching the movie THE ANTIDOTE.
3. Enjoy listening to an exclusively re-recorded iconic hit "Shine" from Ed Roland and Collective Soul on the Project Shine website and think of ways you can spark kindness in your communities in 2021.
4. Be kind to yourself and others. Get healthier, while helping others!
5. Get virtual volunteering toolkits designed to support you, whether you are a volunteer, part of a business or nonprofit.
- For businesses: Learn how to drive real impact through your virtual volunteering programs.
- For nonprofits: Get the tools to drive the most impact with your virtual volunteering programs.
- For volunteers: Find 23 ways to get engaged with your community—from the safety of your home.
6. Drive more impact in 2021. Build out your programs based on a 360 view of the impact sector and how emerging trends from 2020 are shaping its future. Plus, get free 2021 planning tips to maximize your social impact.
7. Empower the next generation of volunteers. Here's curated a list of campaigns to help the youth in your lives be of service in cause spaces that capture the values and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from our partner DoSomething.org.8. Support even more nonprofits when they need it most. With a $5 donation, you can connect two volunteers on VolunteerMatch and be part of a larger force for mobilizing kindness.