What Women Need for Social Profit Activities

Women Connect4Good conducted an online survey of women’s experiences in social-profit (not-for-profit or community) activities in order to assess the demand and determine content for an online resource.

Of the 98 women who responded, nearly all (90%) said they participated actively in social-profit ventures with two-thirds of them filling leadership roles. Nearly 40 percent said they plan on becoming more active in the next 1–3 years and half said they planned to continue the same level of involvement. Nearly half have been active in social-profit groups for 15 or more years. The next largest group (22%) had been active from 1-4 years, the remainder between 5-14 years.

Likely Use of Online Resource

When asked about their likely use of an online resource that addressed the issues in the survey, 85 percent said they would use it frequently or occasionally while more than one third would recommend it to others. More than one fourth said they would use it to share their expertise with others.

Forty respondents offered their email addresses and said they would help develop an online resource to address these issues.

Benefits of Social-Profit Activities

On average, women selected three or four benefits they derived from their social profit work. Networking with other women was most commonly cited (86%), with making new friends and having fun each cited by 81 percent. Nearly two-thirds sought to build up their companies, careers or salaries (62%) and 44 percent cited improved health as a benefit. Several wrote in other benefits, including spiritual health, self-satisfaction, and improving their world with more services, resources or opportunities. One participant emphasized the satisfaction of inspiring others to stay involved more than one time.

Challenges of Social-Profit Activities

The survey asked them to check challenges they had encountered. Eight individuals said they had not experienced any challenges. Of the 90 women who selected one or more specific challenges:

  • 47 cited fundraising hurdles
  • 35 each cited helping members feel included and organizing volunteers
  • 26 had problems with managing committees
  • 25 had challenges gaining stature and recognition for group’s efforts
  • 23 had issues communicating with members
  • 20 wished for more creative ideas for program operation
  • 19 each had challenges delegating or managing e-mail and Internet
  • 15 cited making decisions as a challenge
  • 14 struggled with demonstrating win/win benefits to participants

Twenty-four women (27%) wrote in “other” challenges, which centered in three areas.

Recruiting and Inspiring Volunteers

Tips on Fundraising and Motivating VolunteersThe challenges mentioned most frequently related to recruiting new volunteers and maintaining the ranks year-to-year. Finding ways to inspire others to “take up the challenge” of leadership and take initiative and responsibility for getting the work done formed the core of most of the difficulties. One participant wished for more active, committed volunteers who were not resume builders and social status seekers.

Another stated that many career women did not realize how uplifting non-career-specific activities can be, nor the benefits women under 35 derive from working with more experienced women. Further, many do not understand how important it is to support and advocate for other women through volunteering and friendships.

Others cited the challenges in mentoring others to organize new or restructured events, as well as the challenge of increasing awareness of an organization. One woman lamented a flip-side problem: establishing credibility to gain acceptance as a person new to the area.

Working with Boards

How to recruit new board membersBoard relationships challenged many who struggled to gain board support or to understand what leadership expects of committees.

Some boards seem to actively hinder efforts, notably by keeping the choice assignments for themselves and thereby discouraging new volunteers.

Interpersonal Dynamics

One respondent noted the difficulty of collaborating with other social-profit groups and keeping them focused on the mission without competitive jealousy and territorial issues. Another mentioned the difficulty of working with strong-willed individuals who have a hard time letting go of their ideas and compromising.

Change the World

Are you are angry about some injustice? Or do you wish you could help someone who needs it desperately and has no where to turn? Do you feel powerless to help?

This amazing young woman will inspire you to get engaged in what you care about and take action to change the world.

Dallas Jessup At 13 years old, Dallas Jessup, a Martial Arts Black Belt, saw a news clip about a girl who was abducted and murdered. She realized that this could have happened to her or any of her classmates. She also thought that if this girl only knew a couple of self-defense techniques, she could have escaped.

Dallas embarked on a journey to make a difference with a home movie. Her mother suggested she take a scriptwriting class; her teacher asked permission to share it with others. 100 extras with celebrity appearances, professional staff and $600,000 worth of donations later, “Just Yell Fire” was offered for free on-line.  It had over one million downloads in two years and has launched a non-profit effort to protect young people from abduction, rape and abuse.

Now a college student, Dallas has written a book, telling the amazing stories of other “kids” who took action to change the world. Her book, Young Revolutionaries Who Rock: An Insider’s Guide to Saving the World One Revolution at a Time, is an inspiration to everyone to stand up and make a difference.

Women Who Help Other Women Are So Amazing

FLiP Female Leaders in PhlianthropyToday I had the privilege to meet with 12 spunky, successful women who are taking their professional experience, their money and  time out of their busy schedules to help women  transition from poverty.  These are just a few of the woman who are helping other women to become self-sustaining women caring for themselves.
They are often alone in the care of their children. By simply donating gently used business clothes to give to women who need work clothes seems a simple way to help other woman.
The mentoring and the exchange that takes place between a woman who has made it and a woman who really wants a better life can be so very powerful.  There can be no better feeling watching another woman find her joy, and surprise that there are so many women who care about her well-being.

Just One Woman Helping Another – That’s All It Is

The Suit Yourself Program is not about money it is about the respect and kindness one woman gives  to another woman.  She gains  self-confidence and pride in herself.  You cannot measure any of this in dollars, gold, or any material stuff.  This is about one woman helping another woman along.  Can their be any better reward?  I think not!

A Simple Way to Help Another Woman

Do not let the day go by without helping one of your sisters along, it can be as simple as a kind word or a  pat on the back.  Make today a better place for woman by giving her a hand up……not hand out….You both will gain so much.  I am proud to say I am one of these woman and the  Women’s Initiative of the United Way can help women who have fallen on hard times pick themselves up and make better lives for themselves and their children.  We all must help to bring another woman along if we want this to be a better world for her and especially her daughter and her grand daughter.

Have a great life…Dr. Nancy
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