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Volunteer Roles and Expectations

Trust 501 Commons offers several ways for you to use your expertise to support nonprofits in our community:

As a Consultant
Service corps consultants provide management consulting services in areas like planning, board development, and financial management. Consultants usually work in teams of 2 to 5 people.

As an Executive Advisor
Executive Advisors have experience in a leadership role in a nonprofit organization. As an executive advisor, you would provide either short-term advice to nonprofit executives on a specific issue, or mentor a leader for several months.

As a Coach
Our leadership coaches must be independently certified through a training program or have a strong background in human resources and have served as an internal coach for a company. As a coach, you would typically work with managers or senior leaders over a six-month period. Meetings can be held in person or over the phone.

As a Volunteer Manager Corps member Contribute 10 hours a week  for 8 months as a volunteer manager of a human service organization through this United Way program. You will help an organization develop the tools and systems it needs to more effectively engage with volunteer and community members. You earn an $800 United Way of King County service award too!

As an Internal Volunteer
501 Commons welcomes volunteers to support general business and fundraising operations, and to help us research and develop new programs and services. You do not need to be a member of the service corps to do internal volunteer work.

Professional quality service

As a service corps member we ask you to take your commitment to 501 Commons as seriously as you would a commitment to a job. All of our volunteers are expected to provide the same level of attention and quality to a volunteer project as they would to a paid work assignment.

Most nonprofits are much smaller than businesses. Of the 11,000 nonprofits in Washington State registered with the IRS, median annual revenue is just $83,000. However, the way nonprofits are funded, the range of programs the offer, and their use of volunteers make their business models very complex. Before drawing conclusions about a project, be sure that you have taken the time to understand as much as you can about the nonprofit with which you are working.

The experience and judgment you bring to a project is critical to your success as a consultant, advisor, or coach. If you are a good listener and communicator, keep your commitments, and show respect for the nonprofit's achievements and culture, you will establish trust, which is fundamental to a nonprofit using your expertise.

Time commitment

Our projects require volunteers to be available for meetings and phone calls during business hours. Some projects, like work with boards of directors, might also require evening or weekend work.

In most consulting projects, you will work with at least one other service corps member. You should plan for time to meet and coordinate with your team member, as well as with the nonprofit client. One team member will be designated as the project lead, and be responsible for communicating regularly with the 501 Commons project manager. The project lead also makes sure that the the project stays focused on the scope of work and gets completed on time.

  • Consultants should plan to work 6 - 12 hours per month on a project. Project length varies greatly, but an average assignment lasts between 6 and 8 months.
  • Coaches should plan to commit 15 hours to a single project, generally spaced out in 1.5 hours meetings over a period of 6 months.
  • Executive advisors can spend either a very short amount of time working on a project, or can have long-term mentoring arrangements similar to coaching projects.
  • When you are a consultant in one of our cohort programs, like Springboard or VIP, there is a greater need for time flexibility because more people are involved. Time commitment for a cohort program is typically 12 hours per month for 5 - 6 months.

Professional quality service

As a service corps member we ask you to take your commitment to 501 Commons as seriously as you would a commitment to a job. All of our volunteers are expected to provide the same level of attention and quality to a volunteer project as they would to a paid work assignment.

Most nonprofits are much smaller than businesses. Of the 11,000 nonprofits in Washington State registered with the IRS, median annual revenue is just $83,000. However, the way nonprofits are funded, the range of programs the offer, and their use of volunteers make their business models very complex. Before drawing conclusions about a project, be sure that you have taken the time to understand as much as you can about the nonprofit with which you are working.

The experience and judgment you bring to a project is critical to your success as a consultant, advisor, or coach. If you are a good listener and communicator, keep your commitments, and show respect for the nonprofit's achievements and culture, you will establish trust, which is fundamental to a nonprofit using your expertise.

Time commitment

Our projects require volunteers to be available for meetings and phone calls during business hours. Some projects, like work with boards of directors, might also require evening or weekend work.

In most consulting projects, you will work with at least one other service corps member. You should plan for time to meet and coordinate with your team member, as well as with the nonprofit client. One team member will be designated as the project lead, and be responsible for communicating regularly with the 501 Commons project manager. The project lead also makes sure that the the project stays focused on the scope of work and gets completed on time.

  • Consultants should plan to work 6 - 12 hours per month on a project. Project length varies greatly, but an average assignment lasts between 6 and 8 months.
  • Coaches should plan to commit 15 hours to a single project, generally spaced out in 1.5 hours meetings over a period of 6 months.
  • Executive advisors can spend either a very short amount of time working on a project, or can have long-term mentoring arrangements similar to coaching projects.
  • When you are a consultant in one of our cohort programs, like Springboard or VIP, there is a greater need for time flexibility because more people are involved. Time commitment for a cohort program is typically 12 hours per month for 5 - 6 months.