Uniting Through Volunteerism: National Volunteer Month Q&Amp;A with Besa


"I was working in corporate America for one of the world's largest retail companies, and it was challenging and wonderful in many ways.

But I was finding my truest fulfillment on Saturday mornings in this cramped office where I volunteered for Suicide Prevention Services," Matthew Goldstein, CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit Besa, tells Philanthropy Roundtable.

"It was in that space I learned about the nonprofit sector and built relationships around volunteerism that changed the trajectory of my career."

Goldstein, who quit his job to start Besa 11 years ago, says those early morning phone calls to Suicide Prevention Services made him want to do more, to give more.

"Even now, that feeling never gets old," he says.

"Watching people come together to uplift others, and being part of that, just lights me up."

According to a Fidelity Charitable report, 61% of charitable donors are also recent volunteers, and 39% of volunteers support a nonprofit by volunteering with the organization before they make a financial donation.

Millennials, for example, give more to the nonprofit they volunteer with than they would if they didn't, with 33% saying they give more to the organization than they would if they didn't volunteer, compared to 21% of Gen Xers and 12% of baby boomers.


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