HelpUnited is building an organization comprised of volunteers from as many nonprofit and government agencies as possible, for the purpose of
1. Ensuring Protection & Respect of All Volunteers
2. Creating a Safe Community for Volunteers to Express Their Opinions
3. Utilizing the Clout of a Potentially Huge Community of Volunteers to Recommend Best Practices
4. To Address Concerns About Nonprofits Utilization of Resources.
5. HelpUnited's Founders have been in the hotline industry for over 15 years. Rob and Noelle Rainer started their first 501(c)3. non-profit agency in 2004, Abuse Victim Hotline, "AVH".
6. AVH is believed to be the first text-only communication platform service used in the hotline industry. Here is a commercial from the AVH archives:
Given that an estimated 25.1 percent of US adults volunteered in 2017, contributing an estimated 8.8 billion hours.
And with nearly 60% of nonprofits filing tax returns with the IRS, they account for more than three-quarters of revenue and expenses for the nonprofit sector, public charities reported $1.98 trillion in revenues and $1.84 trillion in expenses.
And assets held by public charities accounted for just under two-thirds of the sector's total ($3.67 trillion).
Think about just one "special" rule for nonprofit corporations... the astronomical cost to society that is caused by nonprofits not being required to pay real estate taxes.
If we assume that a vast majority of nonprofit assets are real estate holdings, but give them the benefit of the doubt and reduce the $3.67 trillion dollars to $3 trillion.
And if we use a conservative value of 5% for annual real estate taxes (knowing that commercial properties pay much higher percentages), we come to the conclusion that the annual loss of tax revenues to cities and towns across the country, generally used for schools, police and fire as well as many other direct services, is at least one hundred and fifty billion ($150,000,000,000.00) dollars.
Over a period of only ten years, society loses at least one trillion, five hundred billion – $1.5 trillion – dollars.
That one little nonprofit perk could eliminate the United States budget deficit.
Help United's Vision
I. We propose that a visible group of as many volunteers as possible be established, open to all people who volunteer for any nonprofit or government agency.
II. We propose that the first item on the agenda should be for volunteers to assist us, by adding all missing hotlines to the #4help directory.
III. We propose that an independently operating board of directors be selected to set up and run a new nonprofit corporation whose mission is defined as a paragraph
Hotline volunteers possess a unique opportunity to address the status quo
A. Volunteers are needed to cover hotlines and helplines that are not staffed by paid professionals.
B. We believe these volunteers, with our support need to question where they fit into the nonprofit corporation hierarchy.
C. A solid and respectful group of volunteers can ask reasonable questions about their role and involvement in the agency for whom they volunteer.
i. How should volunteers be treated?
ii. Should there be set rules in place for volunteers?
iii. Should volunteers play a role in creating those rules?
iv. Should volunteers have a say in policies established by the nonprofit corporations unrelated to their volunteer positions?
Hotline Industry Volunteers Share Unique Experiences
In January of 2020, the date that this website first appeared on the Internet, we feel obligated to share with everyone that uses or will use a hotline or helpline, that the hotline industry is unwieldy, and that it lacks oversight and proper regulations. We hope that one benefit that we will be able to offer through the branding of #4Help and use of our directory service is to begin pointing the hotline industry of considering registration, self-regulation, and application of industry-wide best practices. We hope to encourage large, entrenched hotlines to share their proprietary resources so that smaller, new hotlines can flourish and share the burden of the growing use of hotlines.
The Economics of Tens of Thousands of Hotlines
The economics of not recreating the wheel, not stepping on one another's toes and working as a "Whole" instead of as separate parts would lead to an astounding savings of money which is now required to operate non-profit corporations, that run hotlines and helplines and recreate the wheel on a regular basis.
Working together to accomplish what appears to be a monumental task, once completed, will yield critical information that will benefit hundreds of millions of people, based upon statistics voluntarily shared by agencies that operate hotlines. Because hotlines run across such a diverse space in the nonprofit world and because so many people use hotlines, there may be no larger group of people in need in the United States than those who use hotlines. That fact alone demonstrates the importance of all hotline and helpline operators making an effort to work together.
Does Federal Law Adequately Protect Hotline Volunteers
Does the Law protect volunteers, in particular, hotline volunteers from liability for mistakes that might occur in the course of assisting a caller or texture?
Judge for yourself whether you are adequately protected. We think additional protections should be afforded to hotline volunteers.
Check out what the Law covers and what it does not cover, click here.