Great vision without great staff is irrelevant. ~Jim Collins, Good to Great.
Volunteerism and Beyond
With a shortage of resources and in order to solve all problems on planet earth, it is going to take new thinking and creative employment solutions that go beyond relying solely on volunteers. Organizations that do not have a nonprofit legal structure encounter scaling issues because they face limitations with their ability to attract volunteers and pay staff. These hybrid organizations can look to the world of bootstrapping startups for alternative staffing arrangements such as bartering, internships, stock ownership, virtual admins, and high-level pro bono work, but they should aim at incorporating the needs of alternative staff into their solutions for a holistic approach. Potential structures that help bridge gaps in a workforce and suggestions to make sure that workers' and volunteers' needs are addressed conscientiously are included below. Double check with legal counsel for advice in your region.
Alternative Staffing Solutions for Social Good
|Name of Organization||Website||Notes||Legal Structures Allowed||Salary|
|The Taproot Foundation||www.taprootfoundation.org||The Taproot Foundation generously connects charities and social change associations with enthusiastic, gifted volunteers who share their skills and genius, pro bono. It posts job postings on sites like LinkedIn to find high-level volunteers to help social change organizations with their IT, strategy, marketing and other consulting needs.||Nonprofits and social good organizations. Pro bono worker gratitude and recognition is essential here. Search for intrinsic and extrinsic motivators then address them. Express gratitude on websites, through marketing materials, at events and on social media accounts but be careful not to promote the work of the entity if you are a registered charity.||$0|
|SwapRight||www.swapright.com||This is a free website that lets you swap and barter services. Services include graphic design, legal, etcetera.||Pay attention to tax and legal requirements in your region.||$0|
|Idealist||www.Idealist.org||Not only is showing gratitude to volunteers important, but having questions that align their skills and interests with tasks. This helps address unique situations such as positioning long term unemployed workers for reentry into the workforce.||Entities other than nonprofits, social enterprises, and B corps can post internships and volunteering opportunities. For these alternative entities, Idealist reviews their mission statements, sources of revenue, and memberships in socially responsible associations.||$0 to posted rate.|
|Upwork||www.upwork.com||Hire part time, contract, project, full time remote staff. Wages start at $3 an hour and there are options for flat-rate projects.||Be cognizant that workers in foreign countries bid low to win projects and can suppress wages. An open discussion about fair wages in the contractor's home country is recommended.||Minimum $3 an hour.|
|Barefoot Student||www.barefootstudent.com||Organizations can hire students through internships. It is important to note that if interns are unpaid they must receive more value than they give.||Create a syllabus for learning and dedicate time to teaching interns skills that can be used in the workforce.||$0 an hour (be aware of labor laws in your region) to posted rate.|