06/01/2011 04:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Fortune 500 Need to Take Their Own Advice

I can't count the number of times I have heard a corporate professional tell me that nonprofits should act more like businesses. When I ask them what they mean by that statement, they usually talk about a lack of analytically-driven decision making that leverages real data.

The vast majority of companies still support employee volunteering programs that consist primarily of painting fences and cleaning parks, despite the fact that data clearly shows it has less community impact and provides less employee satisfaction, skills development and networking value compared to pro bono service.

On behalf of the nonprofit sector, I would like to ask companies to act more like businesses. If you truly care about making a sustainable difference in the community, do less hands-on volunteering and focus on where you can make your talent matter.

Check out the difference between the volunteer service of marketing professionals Jill and Jim, then ask yourself: am I using data to make my decisions?