Since beginning my work in the volunteering and service sector in 1998, I have attended all but two Points of Light conferences. And I go back year after year, even during the tightest of budget times – something I know many nonprofit professionals understand – because I continue to find unmet value in the opportunities the Service Unites conference has to offer.
conference on volunteering and service
The Higher Education track at the Conference on Volunteering and Service examined the question of how colleges and universities can equip students to be 21st century citizens. Over the course of three sessions and a keynote presentation, speakers shared insights and concerns about how higher education institutions engage with broader society, provide opportunities for students to deepen their learning through volunteerism and service learning, and encourage interaction with people, cultures and views different from their own.
When government agencies, nonprofits and community changemakers focus on strengthening educational and economic advancement for youth and families, social equity and cultural expression, their collective action can lead to clear, measurable impact and sustainable long-term change.
Nonprofits and government agencies’ ability to solve societal issues are often constrained by organizational capacity. When your roof is leaking, you focus on the immediate issue of repairs and may put off a much-needed basement remodel. The same can often be said for capacity building initiatives; they take time, resources and staff capacity that many nonprofit organizations don’t feel they have, even if it would pay off in the long run.