Tag Archives: service

Engage children in family philanthropy

The future leadership of communities lies in the hands of children. In addition to quality education, philanthropy provides a great tool for childhood and community development.

Involving your children, no matter the age, in philanthropy is a great way to teach values of community, charity and helping your fellow man. In addition to learning from their idols (their parents/family leaders), children can practice goodwill by participating in their family’s giving plan.

A few ways children can serve as “young” philanthropists include:

  • Donating gently used toys, books and clothes to other children who may benefit
  • Redirecting birthday and holiday gifts to other children or organizations
  • Special occasions (such as birthdays, first communions, bar/bat mitzvahs, graduations) which are promoted with invitations and recognized with gifts, can encourage giving contributions to local charities in lieu of gifts
  • Volunteering with family members at local missions, food distribution centers, and special events
  • Participating in youth giving funds or circles

Family volunteering engages children in philanthropy and creates a unique way of spending time together. Ideas and opportunities are limitless and family fun is just one benefit. Subject matter during family meals and on family trips could be around service and community giving. Another idea could even be a volunteer activity on the family’s next vacation.

Involving children in a family’s giving or philanthropic activity can do wonders toward greater family connectivity and communication. Plus, it’ll teach children about appreciation, values, and communal support.



Article in Generation Boomer magazine

Community volunteerism is a cornerstone of philanthropy. At NPcatalyst, we allocate a considerable amount of resources toward making volunteerism accessible, meaningful, and impactful. We create opportunities and connections for both non-profit organizations and the aspiring leaders who wish to donate their time.

Recently, we were asked to inspire the boomer generation to “give back” to their community. The end result was an article co-authored with Scott Trevithick, who is the executive director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at the University of Nevada’s Sanford Center on Aging. The article, entitled “Using your skills to enhance the community”, appears in Generation Boomer magazine.

Here is an excerpt describing the benefits of volunteerism…

There are countless benefits associated with volunteerism. From improving one’s health to helping organizations accomplish goals, the value of “giving back” or “making a difference” felt by the volunteer, as well as the charitable organization, can be significant.

For boomers, there’s one big question – how does someone start volunteering and where does he or she go for direction?

For many, taking the first step is very difficult. Determining which organization to select, how to approach it, how much time to offer and in what capacity, and when to make the initial contact can be stressful, uneasy, intimidating and, to a degree, frightening.

We also offered a little advice…

As you begin your search for the ideal volunteer situation, here are a few tips to consider or questions to ask yourself.

  • Is there an age group with which you’d particularly like to work, such as children, students, young professionals, or seniors?
  • Is there a cause which connects to you, perhaps animals, environment, arts, recreation, or education?
  • Do you have a special talent or skill? Is there a good place to teach or share that ability?
  • How often would you like to volunteer – one-time for a special event, now and then, or regularly? Is flexibility important to you?
  • Do you have neighbors or friends who volunteer or could you join others from work, a club or church or other group you’re a part of?

Tapping into the interest and expertise of boomers and seniors makes sense.

One thing is certain, nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers to grow and meet community needs. They’re continually looking for leaders, particularly boomers and seniors, who bring experience and skills which can be applied right away.

Click here to read the entire article.

Amazing community opportunities in the Old Pueblo

Summer has been extremely busy for the NPcatalyst team. Rather than spend the warm months surfing waves in the Pacific or backpacking along the Tahoe Rim Trail, we’ve been serving clients and connecting with corporate and charitable leaders across the country.

This past weekend was spent in Tucson, where we met with numerous non-profit officials, social entrepreneurs, and new strategic partners. Here’s a brief list of our new friends:

  • Beads of Courage – an incredible organization which distributes beads to children being treated for cancer throughout the world.
  • TreeHouse Farm – an organization which provides an unforgettable experience for children recovering from cancer treatment, serious burns, and congenital heart issues.
  • The Haven – extraordinary organization which provides substance abuse treatment and housing for men and women.
  • Arizona Oncology Foundation – a new organization which provides support programs for cancer patients and survivors.
  • One-on-One Mentoring – an organization which matchs caring adults with at-risk youth.
  • Pima Prevention Partnership – provides practical solutions to address both individual and community problems, particularly substance abuse related.

They were all introduced to our services, particularly our online gifting tool, GiftingWishes, and our BoardCheck assessment resource.

Saturday was spent in a retreat with one of our new strategic partners. This soon-to-be-launched company will provide job recruitment, leadership development, and career development opportunities to both college students and employers. Much more to follow soon.

It was just another amazing weekend. We hope it leads to many opportunities to continue helping enhance the philanthropic culture in the Old Pueblo. Plus, we may have even landed a new job for a Tucson resident!

Thank you, Tucson, for your hospitality, heat, and spectacular sunsets!

Washoe County volunteerism increases in 2010

The results are in. Volunteerism in Washoe County is on the rise! The federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) released the agency’s annual Volunteering in America research.

The stats can be found below. In fact, we took the liberty of illustrating the increases in volunteerism over the years.

Washoe County Volunteerism


2008 2009


Volunteer rate (%)


25.8 25.9


Volunteer hours per volunteer


42.0 45.2


Economic impact

$191 mil

na $266.5 mil

$375.1 mil


Nevada Volunteerism

Washoe 2010

Vegas 2010

Nevada 2010

Volunteer rate (%)




Volunteer hours per volunteer




Economic impact

$375.1 mil

$1.1 bil

$1.6 bil


The two statistics which highlight the grid indicate the growing philanthropic culture in Washoe County.

  • The average number of hours served by each volunteer increased from 45 to 60 in just one year.
  • The economic impact of our community’s volunteerism jumped to $375,100,000


Click here for the Washoe County volunteerism report


The report painted very promising growth for Washoe County, but there’s still a great deal of work to do. Our state still ranks last at a 20.6% volunteerism rate. With so many local charitable organizations seeking volunteer assistance and leadership, it’s just a matter of linking local residents to community needs.

Projects like Summer Of Service – Northern Nevada and organizations like Nevada Volunteers will continue to promote and inspire volunteerism in our area. Both should be contacted when seeking the many ways of becoming actively engaged in the community.

NPcatalyst launches community volunteerism campaign

NPcatalyst launches community volunteerism campaign

Reno, Nev.— In an effort to increase volunteerism during the summer months, locally-based company NPcatalyst, has launched “Summer Of Service – Northern Nevada.” Running from June through August, this campaign provides local residents with direct access to hundreds of volunteer opportunities through a specially-designed website, http://www.summerofservicenv.com/.

The campaign is the first of its kind and has already generated more buzz than anticipated. “We designed the campaign to increase the number of northern Nevadans who volunteer for local causes and organizations,” states Pete Parker, managing partner of NPcatalyst. “What we’re finding is a strong convergence of non-profits, businesses, media leaders, and schools sharing their enthusiasm. It’s incredibly inspiring.”

Nevada’s low rank in comparison to other states, where roughly one of five Nevadans volunteer, is one reason for the campaign. The other is that NPcatalyst, a local philanthropic solutions company, received a large number of inquiries from school leaders, students, and business professionals seeking volunteer positions.

While the volunteerism campaign invites all residents to participate, considerable emphasis is being placed on students and tourists. “Volunteering is a great activity for high school students because it gives us the opportunity to acquire new skills, interact with new people, and if necessary, meet our mandatory service requirements,” states Alexis Garduno, a Sage Ridge School senior.

Targeting the area’s visitors for volunteer service is a new concept, but one which the NPcatalyst team sees tremendous potential. “We see thousands of people pass through our area each summer; each one possessing great talents and new ideas,” notes Parker. “By inviting them to volunteer, we’re helping provide service to local events and adding new supporters to our non-profits; plus, these visiting volunteers will become more familiar with our people, cultures, and community needs.” Parker believes in travel philanthropy so much that he created the term “VoluntourismNN”, representing voluntourism to the power of northern Nevada.

Everyone is invited to participate in the campaign and there’s absolutely no financial cost, just a contribution of time to the organization of each person’s choice. To learn more about the Summer Of Service campaign, visit http://www.summerofservicenv.com/. The site features a community service blog, business leader endorsements, and ways to get involved. Through a working relationship with Nevada Volunteers, the site also lists over 100 available volunteer positions. The number is projected to escalate to over 200 positions, based on the outstanding participation of our local non-profit organizations.




NPcatalyst, LLC is a Reno-based company which provides philanthropic solutions to businesses and local charitable organizations. Our charter is to set the standard of philanthropic excellence through effective and value-driven best practices. This is fostered by facilitating an ecosystem between non-profit organizations and their corporate and individual supporters, fueled by active community support and engagement.


Pete Parker, NPcatalyst

775-333-9444 / pparker@npcatalyst.com

NPcatalyst introduce a “Community Connection Map” to bolster business sales and community alliances


Do you wonder where your staff members volunteer in the community? What about the professional membership and affiliations or the places they network? Do you recognized employees for their community involvement? Have you ever considered volunteerism as an avenue of corporate growth? Have you leveraged your company’s community engagement for positive brand awareness?

The NPcatalyst team has designed a tool which takes a virtual snapshot of a company’s community connection. Through our Community Connection Mapping product, clients receive a “map” of their community leadership. The goal is to empower community engagement and generate increased revenue, and foster economic growth.

We have found that by identifying both existing relationships and new opportunities, our clients are better positioned to strategically target new paths of success. End results include a positive impact on local communities and exceptional value back to the corporation.

The Community Connection Mapping can be applied beyond the workforce. It’s also designed to provide significant value to membership associations, networking groups, and non-profit leadership boards.

To learn more about this unique product, visit www.NPcatalyst.com, email info@NPcatalyst.com or call us at 775-333-9444. Orders placed online receive discounted pricing. Sign up today!

NPcatalyst releases Corporate Giving Resource Guide



NPcatalyst releases a Corporate Giving Resource Guide

Reno, Nev.— Giving back to charity, when coordinated in a strategic manner, generates positive and measured corporate growth. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of businesses in northern Nevada have adopted strategic giving plans. NPcatalyst, a Reno-based company specializing in the design and facilitation of philanthropic solutions, has released a ‘Corporate Giving Resource Guide’ to help local businesses generate growth through charity.

“We’ve noticed achievements such as increased revenue, wider reach, retained leadership, greater public image, and strengthened relationships in businesses which craft giving strategies” according to Pete Parker, Managing Partner of NPcatalyst. “Successful companies are aligning their community engagement of volunteerism and financial support with business strategies, customer and vendor relationships, and target markets.”

The resource guide took months to design, but it’s released during a period when northern Nevada business leaders are addressing the area’s economic future. “Last year, nonprofit organizations located in Washoe County generated $1.4 billion in revenue – providing a significant impact on the local economy. Imagine the impact when the philanthropic decisions of businesses and their leaders are strategic, measured and performance-driven?” asks Parker.

The resource guide is available at no cost and can be found on the NPcatalyst website, located at www.NPcatalyst.com. For additional information on how to implement the best practices found in the guide into your business, contact NPcatalyst at 775-333-9444.

Click here for a link to the Corporate Giving Resource Guide.



NPcatalyst, LLC is a Reno-based company which provides philanthropic solutions to non-profit organizations and their supporters. Our charter is to set the standard of philanthropic excellence through effective and value-driven best practices. This is fostered by facilitating an ecosystem between non-profit organizations and their corporate and individual supporters, fueled by active community support and engagement.



Pete Parker, NPcatalyst

775-333-9444 / pparker@npcatalyst.com

Young leaders ready for community boards

By Pete Parker

It’s time to prepare our Generation X & Y counterparts for community leadership.

I’ve read recent blogs addressing young leadership and their roles or, lack thereof, on non-profit boards. In Emily Heard’s “Why Don’t More Members of Gens X and Y Join Boards”, she reminds us that only 2% of board members were aged 30 or younger according to Board Source’s Nonprofit Governance Index 2007 study. Various reasons for the lack of young board leadership were listed, most predominantly (in my opinion) was “skepticism about the need to have various generations on boards”.

I’m a Gen Xer who has served on no less than 10 boards over the past five years. Despite my relative lack of board experience, I can share that boards can certainly use an infusion of fresh leadership. Though the “freshness” does not necessarily need to relate to age, there are certainly advantages of recruiting young leaders, including:

  • Fresh perspectives
  • Ease in orienting, training and mentoring
  • Enthusiasm to serve on committees
  • Knowledge of the ever-advancing technology
  • Ability to network through social media channels
  • Connection to young future leaders

 They also possess the characteristic of caring. I have seen many board members (perhaps myself included) lose the interest and passion they once held for certain causes and organizations, yet remain on boards. New leaders, particularly young activists, can pick up the load once carried by active board members and move it and the organization forward.

I found the following statement in Rosetta Thurman’s blog, “Do Nonprofit Boards Really Want Younger Members” particularly insightful…“The “under 30” focus is really important to note because that age bracket encompasses all of Generation Y, the largest generational demographic behind the Baby Boomers at 80 million strong. Which means that there are a lot of young people out there who can be recruited for board service.”

It reminded me of the Meyer Foundation’s Ready to Lead report in 2008, which stated that “the nonprofit sector will undergo large-scale executive turnover in the near term and that it is uncertain if we have a workforce that is willing, prepared, and—not least of all—enthusiastically ready to assume leadership positions.” There are far more baby boomers than Gen Xers and Yers, potentially leaving a significant leadership void within our communities.

It is time to address the future strength, vision and impact of our community organizations. Thankfully, organizations such as the Points of Light Institute, HandsOn Network and local volunteer centers are in place and addressing community leadership on a daily basis.

Here in Northern Nevada, a solid group of leaders has chosen to propel the young leadership continuum forward. For the past two years, the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network has focused its efforts on introducing young professionals to community and civic organizations. In fact, it launched a donor-funded campaign to educate and engage young leaders with organizations seeking key volunteers and board members. In its brief year of existence, The Pebble Project has linked 324 young professionals with 61 local community organizations.

The same organization has voted to start a board matching program, aimed at educating board members-to-be on all aspects of board leadership…and connecting each participant with a community organization.

These two projects are sure to ignite a spark of philanthropy in the Reno/Sparks area, creating a legacy of leadership for years to come.

I encourage organizational leaders (board and staff) to assess their leadership structures and personnel and seriously consider filling voids and creating opportunities for young leadership. We are eager to lead (especially if there’s direction), excited to serve and passionate about our communities. Plus, just imagine the skills we can learn and hone…then apply in our respective workplaces.

The future is here, the future is now.


Pete Parker is a consultant striving to enhance the level of philanthropy in communities.