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Written by: El Prior

Why the power of skilled volunteering is invaluable

When we think volunteering – a few words spring to mind. Painting a fence, or shaking a bucket. But, with charities under immense and increasing pressure with the rising costs of living, skilled volunteers are needed now more than ever. Skilled volunteering taps into people’s expertise and compliments areas of proficiency nonprofits may lack under the current climate.

Professionally, or personally, you and your workforce possess a myriad of skills and knowledge. You can utilise this skillset to create unimaginable positive impact for Good Causes in need and under strain.

To understand how you can help, let’s first look at how the looming recession has affected Good Causes and communities. According to a CAF Study reported by CharityLink, 86% of charitable organisations are concerned about the impact the rising costs of living will have on those supported by their services. The same study reported that financial stability and generating income were one of their top three concerns. With already strained budgets now needing to be stretched further, the outsourcing of external services has been slashed. Meaning, sectors like marketing, HR and general administration within these causes have either been dropped entirely or picked up by internal volunteers already under pressure. 

Skilled volunteering enables charities to access knowledge and skill-sets they wouldn’t necessarily have access to, or be able to afford. According to VolunteerHub, 77% of nonprofits said skilled volunteers could improve their organisation’s business practices. But let’s hear it from them…

We spoke to Lucy Hebberts, Lead of GINA, about how the help of skilled volunteers helped alleviate the pressure her organisation was under. 

“GINA wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our talented & committed volunteers. Our big & ever-growing Volunteer Team are embedded into every area of GINA, including the creation of our marketing content, connecting with other organisations & the creation of bespoke resources & online support hubs to support individuals subjected to sexual violence & abuse.

As a small organisation with limited resources, volunteers are integral to GINA. Volunteers make a massive change within our organisation & enable us to enhance our services, products & resources to support individuals subjected to sexual violence & abuse.

We were first introduced to Make Good Grow in March (2022), and since then, the pledges/matches facilitated by the platform have had a massive impact on GINA. Pledges have enabled us to access support to grow, develop & enhance our business, with opportunities that we simply wouldn’t be able to access otherwise due to limited resources in our non-profit organisation. Support from the platform has enabled us to enhance our marketing activities through marketing clinics & social media audits, facilitated access to memberships to enhance our service delivery, and offered opportunities such as business development & leadership coaching has enabled us to access equipment to support our organisation.

Make Good Grow is an amazing initiative that can have a transformational impact on organisations such as GINA. The pledges make a massive difference to our organisation & for the individuals we support.’

 

So, how can you help?

The answer is right under your nose. As a business owner, you possess buckets of knowledge surrounding management and leadership. A 30-minute chat with a charity leader could equip them with a fresh perspective, and insider knowledge on how to effectively manage an organisation under pressure. 

Look internally too – do you have a marketing team, IT support or HR management? Put it to your team, and ask them if they’d want to be involved in an employer-led volunteering scheme. The likelihood is – this is something they will want to do. According to the Deloitte Volunteering Impact Study, 77% of employees believe volunteering is essential to employee wellbeing. 69% said they wanted to volunteer more, and 7/10 of those surveyed said employer-led volunteering time was more effective than company-sponsored ‘happy hours’ in boosting morale. For more details, we covered our 7 benefits of integrating a volunteering programme into your business in our blog.

 

And here’s how we can help…

Make Good Grow is a nonprofit platform designed to make skilled volunteering easy. With the recent launch of our Pledge Marketplace, offering your time, facilities, services or products pro-bono is easier than ever before. It’s completely free to sign up as a Good Business and offer your pledge. You have the ability to offer up anything you want to Good Causes through an eCommerce-type platform. Then, our community of Good Causes can go ‘shopping’ for the skilled support they need – we’ll put you in contact and the rest is simply plain-sailing. 

After your project is complete, we report on the impact you’ve created by publishing ‘Impact Stories’. This is where we cover what your pledge match entailed, hear some feedback from both sides, and then look at the long-term, lasting impact the match has had on the Good Cause. 

And, if you, as a business, want to report on your own impact – we’ve created The Social Impact Dashboard, aka SID. This platform allows you and your team to detail the fundraising, volunteering and other community activities you’ve completed. Headline data like total funds raised, the number of Good Causes supported and the value of your donations are then compiled in a dashboard featuring details on your ESG Strategy, purpose and team. This is a quick and easy way to smash those ESG / CSR goals.

 

Fancy signing up as a Good Business and crafting your first pledge? We’ve compiled a few pointers to help you get set up in our blog. Or maybe you feel like reporting on all the Good your business has been getting up to.
Why not organise an introductory chat or get a SID demo with our Managing Director, Rob Langley-Swain, here.