IN FOCUS: Several community organizations participated in qnotes’ 2011 Community Assessment Survey and provided commentary about their groups’ biggest needs, items on their wish lists and their perceived strengths and weaknesses. Top among organizations’ many concerns were needs for increased volunteer engagement, donor support and technological improvements.
Volunteers, donors a must
Each of the seven groups that returned this year’s survey specifically cited a need to engage more volunteers, donors and business/corporate support.
“The biggest need currently at The LGBT Community Center is that of engaged, passionate volunteers,” wrote John Stotler, chair of the group’s board of directorts. “The community is asking a lot of The Center, but without resources to help plan, organize and deliver these great programs and services, we cannot meet the community’s needs. We are making progress, but more people are needed to help with our programs.”
Campus Pride, a national, Charlotte-based group that works to support LGBT student leaders at colleges and universities across the country, said they most needed better business connections and volunteers to help provide items like safe and clean housing for summer interns and unique places to host Charlotte-area special events. Volunteers are also needed for administrative tasks, such as answering phones, email and mail.
Similarly, the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) indicated a need for volunteers to help carry out day-to-day administrative duties and support for fundraising and organizing special projects.
Five of the participating organizations indicated a distinct need to improve either internal or external, outreach technologies. In particular, several of those groups specifically cited a need for new laptops, scanners, copiers or other computer equipment.
Equality North Carolina said they needed new laptops for mobile computing as they continue to fight efforts to amend the state’s constitution and ban same-sex marriages. Similarly, SC Equality noted a need for two new computers, and a copier.
In addition to technological needs, including new computers, printers and other items, Charlotte’s Time Out Youth, an agency that serves LGBT, queer and questioning students aged 13-23, said their biggest need was better physical space with “up-to-date electrical, HVAC, lighting, etc.” The group currently leases space at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on The Plaza.
Equality North Carolina: New or newer laptop computers to help with the anti-LGBT amendment.
Campus Pride: Visibility in the Charlotte community as a national non-profit that has had a large impact on LGBT relations and issues in the city, county and statewide. Individual donors, corporate sponsors of Charlotte events. Housing for summer (May, June, July, August) for college interns in Charlotte (safe, clean, privacy important). Volunteers for local Charlotte events and for administrative assistance (answering emails/phones/mail). In-kind fun and unique places to host special events.
Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte: Singer recruitment (this drives everything about the organization). Increased diversity in singers and audience. Youth leadership to support our partnership with Time Out Youth. Affordable performance spaces.
LGBT Community Center of Charlotte: Continuous, giving donors. Volunteers.
Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN): Volunteers to support administration and fundraising to take on a project and to support day-to-day administrative operations. Bus passes. Gift cards to grocery or discount stores. Food for consumer events. Copy paper. New computer equipment. Office support (volunteers during the day).
SC Equality: Staff (field organizer and programs director). Infrastructure needs (new computers, new scanner, Xerox machine).
Time Out Youth: Better physical space that would include up-to-date electrical, HVAC, lighting, etc. New carpet. More current office/technology hardware (computers, printers, copier, etc.). : :