Benefits to My Organization.
Most nonprofit, education, and public organizations are perpetually understaffed. They need passionate and dedicated individuals who can increase their capacity to fulfill their mission, without over-extending their budgets. They also lack a talent pipeline; experts expect that the “talent shortage” for nonprofit and public positions will grow dramatically as Baby Boomers retire. Service years help meet these needs in three ways: It is important to note that service year positions are not meant to replace key roles or positions within an organization. The service year structure is intended to support and complement existing staffing models; not to create low-paying jobs or replace necessary employee roles. Corps members may either perform “direct service” that helps people, animals, or the environment, or “indirect service” that builds the capacity of an organization to provide direct service, via professionals or volunteers. A corps member who tutors a child, delivers meals and companionship to the elderly, or removes invasive species from public lands is performing “direct service.” In contrast, a corps member who recruits and manages volunteers, raises money for an organization, or creates a new website for an organization is performing “indirect service” that enables the organization to expand its reach or operate more effectively. A full-time corps member can cost much less than entry-level staff, consultants, contractors, and temp agencies. Organizations benefit from the full-time service of individuals who can dedicate a year towards the mission while receiving a low-cost living allowance. A full-time corps member can increase an organization’s workforce capacity either by taking on direct service (like tutoring or construction) or working to develop the organization’s institutional capacity to expand its reach and meet its mission. Service years can be an effective recruitment and talent development strategy. Many organizations use service years to test the fit of corps members with their work, even hiring alums after their term of service. These alums may in turn supervise the next cohort of service members as they continue to develop their leadership roles within an organization.