PMIEF Brings Volunteer Experts Together to Provide Support to California Nonprofits


21 October 2016

Kendra Modzelewski

Written by Kendra Modzelewski

Group photo of California volunteers

Nearly one hundred people, including project managers and nonprofit organization leaders, and two service animals came together to deliver project scopes for southern California-based nonprofit organizations.

During the month of September, PMI, PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) were proud to sponsor the annual Community Service Project in conjunction with the PMI® Global Congress 2016 – North America in San Diego, California.  This year’s event was a ScopeAthon, a program model developed by the Taproot Foundation.  ScopeAthon is a half-day, skills-based volunteering event. 

During the event, over 60 project manager volunteers were matched with 17 nonprofit organizations from the southern California area to support each of them in addressing a critical area of need.  Many of the nonprofit organizations who sent representatives to the event supported youth, military families, and veterans in the community.  Among participants were Veterans 360 Inc., Wounded Warrior Homes, SAY San Diego (Social Advocates for Youth), and Teach for America – San Diego.   

The nonprofit organizations’ representatives were surveyed in advance of the event to diagnose some of their own organizational challenges. During the event itself, volunteers worked to understand the challenges and identify solutions. The focus then shifted towards building actionable plans to create those results. Founder and Executive Director of Veterans 360 Inc. Rick Collins expressed satisfaction with a marketing plan he and his project team developed to reach more veterans. “Based on the discussions we’ve had today, I don’t just think that this is a plan that could happen, I think it’s a plan that will happen.”

Project manager volunteers welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the nonprofit missions of the attending organizations, but they also expressed enthusiasm about working with each other. One volunteer participant shared, “The most beneficial thing about the event was working as a [project] team to obtain different views on the challenge being tackled.” Other volunteers recognized how impactful they could be with their work, despite only volunteering three hours of their time. “I would definitely want to continue this type of work with nonprofits closer to my hometown,” another shared.

The event had mutual benefits, as one-hundred percent of the nonprofit organizations who participated in a post-event survey agreed that they had gained valuable insights to take back to their organizations. The nonprofit representatives also unanimously agreed that they would participate in another Taproot Foundation ScopeAthon if they had the opportunity.

PMI Educational Foundation is committed to creating project management capable nonprofit organizations. To deliver a pro bono training to a nonprofit organization in your hometown, please consider using a PMIEF resource available through the Resources Library.  To identify a nonprofit organization in need of help, please learn about the PMIEF Community Advancement through Project Management Award.