The role of government support for volunteerism

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The role of government support for volunteerism

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Title: The role of government support for volunteerism
Author: Funk, Susan
Abstract: The Taproot Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, operated a local Seattle office from 2007 to 2010. They closed the Seattle office in July of 2010. During their three years of operation, they completed about 100 capacity building projects, matching teams of 4‐6 individuals, who volunteered their skills, with local King County nonprofits. Unlike other local capacity builders, Taproot did not charge the nonprofits any fees for the services of the Taproot volunteers. The projects ranged from designing websites and databases to developing branding, communication and strategic plans. At the time of their departure, 500 local volunteers resided in their database, of which over 200 have indicated a desire to donate their skills to future capacity building assignments. Since September of 2010, a group of energized volunteers has been evaluating the feasibility of creating a new organization to fill the void left by Taproot’s departure. I serve as the Project Manager for the Strategic Assessment team, whose initial goal is to assess the competitive landscape of local capacity builders, identify high priority capacity building needs of local (King County) nonprofits, and confirm the skills and preferences of former Taproot volunteers, in order to develop a mission statement that attracts clients, volunteers and funders. This Capstone takes an applied theoretical approach. First, it analyzes the potential rationales for using public funding to promote volunteerism. Then, it applies this examination to a specific case, namely, a new nonprofit organization that would offer capacity building services, using volunteer teams of skilled professionals, to local nonprofits in King County, WA.

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