How to get Volunteer Dollars for a Non Charity

A Workaround to Earn Dollars for Your Volunteer Efforts

For more than two decades, I have volunteered to help the East Bay Regional Park District (San Francisco bay) improve habitat, study rare species and generally make our natural community better. It has been a family activity since my kids (now young adults) were just toddlers. Of the countless hours dedicated, one thing that fell short was my ability to “earn” volunteer monies from Intel for the work done to improve these parks because the East Bay Regional Park District is a government entity, not a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.

Now there is a workaround that might help you provide both efforts and monies to the object of your volunteer affections.

The Intel Involved Volunteer Program consists of Intel employees (or retirees) committing hours and Intel committing dollars. The Intel Involved Matching Grant Program aims to recognize and motivate Intel employees (and retirees), globally, to engage in outreach and volunteerism to make our communities a better place to live, work, and play.

After a minimum of 20 hours has been accrued by Intel employees (or retirees) volunteering at a school or qualified nonprofit organization, a donation of $10 per hour volunteered will be triggered from the Intel Foundation with a maximum of $15,000 for schools, and $10,000 for other nonprofits, per eligible organization per year. Eligible organizations are defined (in the U.S.) as being a 501(c) 3 organization – i.e. a not-for-profit entity in the eyes of the government.

The Workaround

While entities such as the East Bay Regional Parks District are not considered not-for-profit organizations under the tax code of the federal government, many of these organizations have 501(c) 3 affiliates that are associated with them. In my case, there is a “Friends of the East Bay Regional Parks District” organization that seeks to identify and bring outside resources into the park district. It is a 501(c) 3 organization.

By registering my volunteer hours with this organization, I could now qualify for matching grant funds and for the first time the park district not only benefited from my brawn, but also my brain. For my volunteer work in 2014, the Friends of the East Bay Regional Park District received approximately $1500 from Intel that will help purchase supplies and equipment needed to help operate a restored hatchery for Least Terns (an endangered bird here in the San Francisco bay area); study western pond turtles; better understand how to maximize the population of fence lizards (which have an enzyme in their blood that prevents deer tick from carrying Lyme disease); and to help restore lost Riparian habitat by planting willow, cottonwood and sycamore trees so we can meet the needs of the park’s star cavity nesting critter – the tree swallow.

A little money can go a long way – along with your work and talents – to help make our community a better place to live.

If you are volunteering for an organization that doesn’t directly qualify for matching grant funds from Intel, I would encourage you to investigate whether or not there is a “friends of” organization that is a 501(c) 3. If such an organization lurking in the wings You can likely work with them to bring Intel dollars into your volunteer organization and build upon your efforts to better your community.

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