Home » Should You Volunteer Your Specialized Skills to a Nonprofit?
When we volunteer at charitable organizations, we often do so because we are passionate about the cause. We might not care if the work is unskilled, as long as we’re cleaning up our city’s river, fundraising for cancer, or collecting in-kind donations for a food bank.
But increasingly, people are volunteering with nonprofits as a way to practice (and donate) their most specialized skills. For instance, photographers are partnering with charities to raise awareness for the causes they care about. Doctors are donating their skills to underserved clinics around the world. With skills-based volunteering (SBV) on the rise, you too can have a positive social impact in your community by doing the things you do best.
Skills-based volunteering is exactly what it sounds like! According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, “Skills-based volunteering means leveraging the specialized skills and talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions.” The popularity of SBV is growing; over 50% of companies with a volunteer program are doing skills-based volunteerism.
You don’t need to be part of a corporate volunteer program to participate in SBV. With 96% of nonprofits reporting a need for skilled volunteers, there is ample opportunity to donate your skills!
There are many benefits to donating your professional skills to the nonprofit sector. Here are just a few of the ways that your SBV makes an impact:
If you want to donate your skills to a nonprofit, you should first look locally. You can either approach organizations individually, or you can check with your community’s volunteer center or United Way. Sometimes desired skills will be specifically advertised, but you may also have to write an email specifying how your expertise could be beneficial to the organization.
Author: Annelise Ferry
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