An Unconventional Approach to Increasing Impact!
In 2011, the number of volunteers reached its highest level in five years, as 64.3 million Americas volunteered through an organization, an increase of 1.5 million from 2010. (http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/) It’s no secret that people love to volunteer – it is afterall a unique opportunity to work with friends, co-workers, and new people to give back to your community or another in need. Like 64.3 million other Americans, Ascendant couldn’t resist the opportunity to volunteer at our ClearPoint off-site in New Orleans last month.
Ascendant’s mission statement is to help organizations increase their impact, and at our off-site last month, we did just that. It was a little unconventional, we weren’t crunching numbers, providing training in our software or offering strategic guidance; Instead, we joined together to provide hands on support to a New Orleans non-profit. It was our chance to see first-hand the types of organizations we help and to provide support in a whole new way.
In New Orleans, we joined with HandsOn to help the Backyard Gardners Network Guerilla Garden where we cleared a community garden plot in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. We transplanted flowers, weather-proofed signage and mulched tree beds to prepare the garden for its upcoming summer events to engage the elderly and youth in educational programming. In total, from just one afternoon, we impacted the community an estimated $1,222.41 in volunteer time, but more importantly we helped create a beautiful space that will be enjoyed for years to come. This community garden will bring the community together, give kids a place to hang out, and support learning opportunities. It will also provide fresh produce to a community that does not have a grocery store. True to our mission, we helped an organization increase its impact – we made a difference.