Case Studies

Getting to Yes: The Points of Light and Hands On Network Merger

Shawn Reifsteck, President of Hands On Network (HON) in Atlanta put down the phone in May, 2007 with a feeling of foreboding. He and Doug Gledhill, Chief Financial Officer of Points of Light Foundation (POLF) in Washington D.C. had just had a conversation that signaled eleventh-hour challenges to the negotiations between their two national volunteer networks. Despite careful work by the board members and leadership staff of the two organizations, and with support from an expert team of merger consultants, the two groups were just now confronting what was turning out to be a crisis in trust and a challenge regarding resources. Shawn knew he needed to share the message with Hands On Network’s CEO, Michelle Nunn. And he knew that it was critical that the issue that had been raised be addressed immediately, and appropriately.

LifeWorks: From Crisis to Success in Austin

How does a multi-purpose human service agency make tradeoffs when funding changes? The answer, at Lifeworks, is in being deliberate – thinking not just about whether a program has impact, but rigorously, relentlessly examining the relative value of various programs vis-à-vis resources and needs.

Austin Habitat for Humanity: Rebuilding Momentum and Trust

Habitat for Humanity International describes its mission: "to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action." Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.

Millard and Linda Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity International in 1976 in response to a lack of affordable housing in America. Since then, Habitat for Humanity affiliate organizations have built more than 225,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1 million people in more than 3,000 communities with shelter. The international headquarters for the organization is located in Americus, Georgia, and provides training, information, and other support to its affiliates. In exchange, affiliates are asked to "tithe" 10 percent of their overall fundraising contributions to the international organization to support Habitat affiliates in parts of the world that cannot raise sufficient funds to construct homes.

Go Volunteer Probono: Building the Case for Engaging Skilled Volunteers in Today's Nonprofit Sector

Colleen Kelly sat quietly as she watched her board balance the nuances of an investment strategy that allowed for sufficient operating funds while meeting the volunteer centre's[1] long-term endowment expectations. Volunteer Vancouver (VV) had indeed come a very long way since she had first come to work as the organization's executive director eight years earlier.

Yet, in spite of her numerous successes, Volunteer Vancouver was faced with one of its most significant challenges to date.

The face of volunteerism was changing. As Boomers retired, more and more people were interested in using their skills as the basis for their service. Similar service patterns were emerging among young professionals, as well. VV had undeniably demonstrated the power of skilled volunteers, yet the centre's efforts to market a new brand of volunteering to the nonprofit sector were falling short of the mark. ([1] When referring to the Volunteer Vancouver volunteer centre, this case study will use the Canadian spelling of the word centre.)