Volunteers a SCORE staple


June 09, 2013|By BOB POOR

Q: I am a local small-business person looking into the possibility of volunteering my services to a nonprofit organization such as SCORE. Can you tell me something about the organization?

A: The SCORE Association is headquartered in Herndon, Va., and consists of 20 staff supporting 334 chapters and more than 11,000 volunteers across the United States. The organization is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, which provides information about loans and financial options, business planning, marketing strategies and product development, among other topics.

SCORE’s expert mentors provide business advice on topics such as how to write a business plan, cash flow management and growing existing businesses. Business owners can access SCORE’s free and confidential mentoring services face to face and online. Questions may be submitted at any time at, and answers will be returned within 48 hours.

All SCORE mentors — men and women, active and retired — are volunteers with specialized business training that increases the quality and effectiveness of their mentoring.

It is important to note that all SCORE volunteers are not mentors. There are a variety of ways people can contribute to their SCORE chapters, such as with computer and administrative skills. SCORE also offers business training workshops, seminars and business roundtables on a range of topics, and many are free of charge.

To date, SCORE has helped more than 9 million businesses, including Vermont Teddy Bear, Vera Bradley and Jelly Belly Candy Co.

SCORE also provides award-winning resources for entrepreneurs online at With more than 2,000 pages of content, this how-to site provides practical solutions and suggestions on a wide variety of business issues, from developing a business plan to financing a business.

Should you become a SCORE volunteer, your opportunity to serve can provide you with a great deal of pride and a sense of accomplishment. It is one way of giving back to your nation and your community. You will be operating on behalf of a national organization of business mentors who are responsible for creating or maintaining hundreds of thousands of jobs and businesses each year.

SCORE Hagerstown, established in 1984, serves the greater Washington County area, and currently has opportunities available for mentors and nonmentor volunteers.

For details, call Bob Poor at 301-991-3126.

For other chapter information, such as workshops and mentor availability, call Bob Jones at 301-606-9456.

• Robert A. “Bob” Poor is a local small-business owner/operator. He is a small-business mentor and a regular contributor to the Ask SCORE column. Questions may be emailed to him at or sent by mail in care of The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741, ATTN: Ask SCORE column.

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