Volunteer management software can help nonprofits build more meaningful relationships with their constituents. Often, members of an organization look for unique ways to offer assistance to people in need. While writing a donation check is sufficient for some, others prefer getting their hands dirty and participating in different types of projects.
In Lincoln, Nebraska, a nonprofit called Prairie Gold Homes, Inc. works with inmates at the Community Corrections Center-Lincoln to help them assimilate back into society once their time has been served. As reported in Journal Star, inmates learn how to build modular houses that are energy-efficient. They are given on-the-job training over the course of a ten-week class. The first half of their education occurs in the classroom; the second half is on-site, building homes. The program runs four times each year and admits six to 12 inmates into each course.
“Some donors prefer getting their hands dirty and participating in different types of projects.”
In addition, Prairie Gold Homes, Inc. teaches current inmates to write thoughtful, informative resumes and provides them with job interview training. Participants are also taught how to deliver CPR and offer first aid. These skills make them much more appealing to future employers, who won’t need to spend funds on safety training after hire.
The McCook Gazette noted that the nonprofit has recently partnered with Work Ethic Camp, which is part of Nebraska’s Department of Corrections. The two organizations are looking into purchasing a building that used to be a Public Safety Center but has sat empty for some time now. The building would be turned into a new facility for inmates to learn job training and construction skills, which would enable them to eventually help the city of McCook decrease its housing shortage by contributing skills and time to building new homes.
In the next year, Renee Bauer, executive director at Prairie Gold Homes, Inc., stated that the organization plans to add more courses to their curriculum and double the number of inmates participating.
A different type of donation
The unique services that this nonprofit provides were made possible by volunteers. According to the Prairie Gold Homes, Inc. website, local educators, construction personnel and correctional services staff collaborated on the creation of the job training program. If a nonprofit requires expertise in a particular industry, it should be able to dig into its volunteer database to locate members with aligning interests. Volunteer management software makes it possible for nonprofits to monitor the types of events, fundraisers and campaigns their constituents participate in. Charities can then connect with their volunteers when a similar project, like building houses or teaching a course on resume writing, comes along.
Even some of the spaces in which inmates in Nebraska are receiving their training were donated by the Associated Builders and Contractors group. Monetary donations are certainly acceptable, but nonprofits may want to consider branching out and encouraging their volunteers and donors to give in a variety of ways. Especially with a program like Prairie Gold Homes, Inc., where the energy put into it comes directly back to benefit the community, getting constituents involved on a multitude of levels is a good idea.