So I'm on this board for a regional domestic violence advocacy group. I often wonder why I'm on it, in part because I don't have a lot of fundraising clout/rich friends and in part because I don't have a lot of ideas about these sort of things. I figure the people who are in the thick of the programs are the experts who know way more then I do.

But I noticed a few months ago that I was getting a lot of mailings: copies of the minutes, financial statements, etc. in the mail. I noticed they were the same information that was sent out over email to the board members on a regular basis.

I emailed the director, asking her if she ever thought about having people opt into recieving notifications by email. I figured this would save some money. She's since put out the invitation to get information by email only.

I did a quick calculation at our monthly meeting tonight and if just ten of the board members opted to recieve information by email, the organization would save $150 in postage per year. Can you imagine if you let others like our donors or volunteers also did this?

My little idea was apparently useful. And yours are too!

Here's what I'm thinking: there is no doubt that a lot of us will not be able to be as generous this year financially as we'd like to be. Non-profits are onto this and expecting to see less financial giving this year as a result. A lose lose? Not quite.

In lieu of giving money, perhaps as a volunteer you can help your favorite nonprofit find ways that they can save money off their bottom line. It's worth a shot and if the organization is actually willing to make some changes, there is no reason why they shouldn't listen to you. There might be something really obvious that only you can see.

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