Nonprofits see decrease in volunteers

(WEAU) - “Last several years we have noticed a decrease in the number of volunteers we have coming in,” said CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin, Craig Monson.

Due to a fluctuating economy, some nonprofit organizations are seeing firsthand fewer volunteers.

“When we do large campaigns we kind of get some back but overall our normal volunteer recruitment is down the past three years,” said Monson.

While other organizations, such as United Way, have seen consistency the last few years.

“As an organization, United Way has actually seen pretty consistent volunteer numbers, but we have forty-four nonprofit agencies that we work with in Chippewa and Eau Claire,” said Dustin Olson, Director of Resource Development of United Way.

Although volunteers may be going down due to the economy, people are still finding ways to spend time to help the community

“Volunteering is important in this area and I’m well aware of the effects volunteering can have firsthand, as I used to be a very troubled youth who was really on the wrong path,” said Mike Falk, Development/Marketing Intern at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin.

Dustin Olson of United Way and Craig Monson of Big Brothers Big Sisters feel they understand why numbers may be decreasing.

“People looking for jobs are putting their time and energy towards looking for jobs as opposed to volunteer opportunities,” said Olson.

“Seems that people are committing less to the long term volunteer activities which is what ours is a long term commitment, versus the short term ones,” said Monson.

Mike Falk believes that once he starts a full-time job, he will find the time to continue volunteering.

“Money is great, but it doesn’t really help much. When you actually impact the life of a child, that is true happiness,” said Falk.

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