GuideStar USA is the industry standard reporting service for all IRS-registered nonprofit organizations in the United States. When it came time for the company’s staff retreat this year, GuideStar wanted to make “hands-on volunteerism” a big part of it. “We help nonprofit organizations accomplish their missions through tools and data, but we wanted to take it a step further and help a cause through physical volunteer activity,” said Shane Ward, Data Architect.
“We all have nonprofits that are dear to us,” said Ward when asked why GuideStar chose to partner with Operation Gratitude. “My issue is Veterans. I was in the Army, and I’m a member of my local American Legion post.” Ward thought it would be meaningful to send care kits full of essential items to Veterans. When he did a Google search to find out how to accomplish that, Operation Gratitude was the first name that came up.
“Operation Gratitude has a gold-level seal from GuideStar. You guys are doing everything we would ask that the nonprofit sector do in this age regarding social media, Internet reputation, a clear idea of what your programs are and what your impact is.” Ward also praised Operation Gratitude for displaying its metrics and audited financial online, which bolstered his decision to partner with this Military support group.
During their retreat, GuideStar employees made 400 paracord survival bracelets and assembled 500 care kits with supplies they ordered through Operation Gratitude. All in just a few short hours!
GuideStar surveyed its employees about what they liked most out of all the volunteer activities they performed during their two-day retreat, which featured multiple events and speakers. Overwhelmingly, the staff favored making paracord bracelets for the troops. “Personally, I enjoyed the entire process,” added Ward. “Not only was it simple to plan and coordinate, but I had a good time acting as a representative for Operation Gratitude.”
What was the biggest benefit to partnering with Operation Gratitude for a team-building exercise? “Doing our part and supporting everything we represent, all uniting in a common mission,” said Ward. “We also encouraged people to tell their personal stories of their own community involvement, so people got to share.”
Operation Gratitude is honored to work with many wonderful companies and organizations throughout the United States. We were privileged to partner with GuideStar, an organization that has brought such considerable and positive change to the U.S. nonprofit sector.
Thank you, GuideStar, for your thoughtful efforts!
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