CSR News

What is Skills-Based Volunteering?

Through shared collaboration, companies and individuals are discovering creative ways to leverage their collective skills and maximize social impact. Skills-based volunteering is a holistic way to give back to the community while bolstering internal and professional achievement.
By
Vanessa Poulson
|
11.25.2022
Lorem ipsum sit dolor et sua vous.
CSR News

What is Skills-Based Volunteering?

Through shared collaboration, companies and individuals are discovering creative ways to leverage their collective skills and maximize social impact. Skills-based volunteering is a holistic way to give back to the community while bolstering internal and professional achievement.
By
Vanessa Poulson
|
16.11.2022
Lorem ipsum sit dolor et sua vous.

Skills-based volunteering is a relatively new sector in the world of CSR and is growing in popularity. Many organizations and employees looking to make a tangible impact on their community have turned to skills-based volunteering, or even more effective, high impact skills-based volunteering, as a way to do so. 

We’ll discuss the history of skills-based volunteering, the benefits, and how these initiatives can have a greater corporate and societal impact. 

What are the benefits to skills-based volunteering? 

It’s clear that skills-based volunteering brings many benefits to nonprofits and individuals, but what about to employees or organizations that support these types of programs?

According to Glassdoor, 95% of job seekers surveyed said that a company’s reputation impacts their decision to apply. Employee volunteer opportunities help employers develop and maintain trust in the values and mission of business, internally and externally. This established trust leads to better shareholder and customer relationships. 

Organizations that offer skills-based volunteering programs help empower employees to make a long-term strategic impact on the causes they care about beyond the workplace. It is no longer just important to strengthen your resume through your education or career specific skills. Growing one's philanthropic and volunteering activity contributes to long term career accomplishments. Beyond demonstrating an interest in social causes, skills-based volunteering allows employees to highlight their project-management and problem-solving skills outside of the traditional means. 

Studies have shown that offering employees volunteer opportunities can boost morale, build teamwork and enhance a company’s public image through giving back. Designing and implementing CSR programs that leverage what your team does best to impact global communities in a positive way is more effective than traditional forms of volunteering. These programs create a clear social impact and encourage mentorship opportunities through career skills, leading to longterm job satisfaction.

Skills-based volunteering also has favorable effects on mental health and an internal sense of belonging, leading to better employee retention rates and workplace satisfaction. Even those in C-Suite positions can find their work experience elevated by participating in high impact skills-based volunteering that grow their personal social impact brand, resume, and corporate leadership story as they contribute their professional experience to the next generation. These skills-based volunteering initiatives help your organization create a pipeline of new leaders developing both personally and professionally.

Corporations see further benefits from skills-based volunteering. According to a survey by True Impact, those who participated in skills-based volunteering were significantly more likely to create and strengthen relationships with regulators, legislators, or other stakeholders and similarly build or strengthen sales-related relationships, enhancing long term business benefits. 

What does skills-based volunteering include?

From mentoring members of traditionally underserved communities, to serving on a nonprofit leadership board, skills-based volunteering involves individuals donating their time by offering professional expertise and services to help an organization or individual develop. 

Volunteers can provide specialized skills and services that leverage job-related expertise, such as marketing and design, engineering, HR, IT, legal, and finance. This can help support NPOs that run on limited resources and often have to de-prioritize strategic business initiatives, restricting their ability to make a greater impact. High impact skills-based volunteering, which is a more tailored, specialized and program focused form of skills-based volunteering, can also provide an opportunity for underrepresented communities to gain access to mentorship and guidance from experienced working professionals within larger organizations.

Through skills-based volunteering, corporations are able to harness their top team member’s expertise, transforming work experiences into mentorship and educational opportunities. Skills-based volunteering is also conducted remotely, making it easy for employees, individuals, and organizations to connect on a global scale.

The future of skill-based volunteering is in high impact skills-based volunteering, where programs are more tailored to facilitate collaboration between the highest performers at the largest companies in the world impart their skills and wisdom to underserved communities across the globe. 

How can organizations develop skills-based volunteering opportunities?

From Microsoft’s initiatives around digital skilling and employability programs,  SAP’s volunteer work to help accelerate social impact for NPOs by working through the organization’s business challenges, and Amazon Web Service’s program that provides employees up to two weeks paid by Amazon to support communities post-disaster, skills-based volunteering of all types is growing across the corporate sector. 

In order to develop a comprehensive skills-based volunteering focused CSR program, organizations have to consider:

  1. Identify the skill-types your organization wants to support, whether that’s career mentorship, communications and marketing efforts, business development, technological assistance, etc. This will help ensure that your employees are aligned with the initiatives as they directly relate to their skill sets and the mentorship they can provide. 
  2. Set your goals, being how many individuals or organizations you would like to collaborate with, what communities you want to reach, or learnings you want to be acquired by your employees through skills-based volunteering, such as soft skills in leadership or collaboration. 
  3. Collaborate with external organizations and tools to source programs that support your skills-based volunteering CSR initiatives at speed and scale.
  4. Collect insights to help your organization improve volunteering for future projects, such as employee satisfaction surveys, or impact scope analysis.

Through shared collaboration, companies and individuals are discovering creative ways to leverage their collective skills and maximize social impact. Skills-based volunteering is a holistic way to give back to the community while bolstering internal and professional achievement. 

Learn how skills-based volunteering is reshaping CSR 

If you want to learn how developing your own skills-based volunteering initiatives by up-skilling and attracting tomorrow's leaders is possible through leveraging the skills of your team's current leaders, talk to us.

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on the latest in CSR, social responsibility, and corporate leadership news and events.

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CSR News

What is Skills-Based Volunteering?

Through shared collaboration, companies and individuals are discovering creative ways to leverage their collective skills and maximize social impact. Skills-based volunteering is a holistic way to give back to the community while bolstering internal and professional achievement.

Vanessa Poulson
November 25, 2022

Skills-based volunteering is a relatively new sector in the world of CSR and is growing in popularity. Many organizations and employees looking to make a tangible impact on their community have turned to skills-based volunteering, or even more effective, high impact skills-based volunteering, as a way to do so. 

We’ll discuss the history of skills-based volunteering, the benefits, and how these initiatives can have a greater corporate and societal impact. 

What are the benefits to skills-based volunteering? 

It’s clear that skills-based volunteering brings many benefits to nonprofits and individuals, but what about to employees or organizations that support these types of programs?

According to Glassdoor, 95% of job seekers surveyed said that a company’s reputation impacts their decision to apply. Employee volunteer opportunities help employers develop and maintain trust in the values and mission of business, internally and externally. This established trust leads to better shareholder and customer relationships. 

Organizations that offer skills-based volunteering programs help empower employees to make a long-term strategic impact on the causes they care about beyond the workplace. It is no longer just important to strengthen your resume through your education or career specific skills. Growing one's philanthropic and volunteering activity contributes to long term career accomplishments. Beyond demonstrating an interest in social causes, skills-based volunteering allows employees to highlight their project-management and problem-solving skills outside of the traditional means. 

Studies have shown that offering employees volunteer opportunities can boost morale, build teamwork and enhance a company’s public image through giving back. Designing and implementing CSR programs that leverage what your team does best to impact global communities in a positive way is more effective than traditional forms of volunteering. These programs create a clear social impact and encourage mentorship opportunities through career skills, leading to longterm job satisfaction.

Skills-based volunteering also has favorable effects on mental health and an internal sense of belonging, leading to better employee retention rates and workplace satisfaction. Even those in C-Suite positions can find their work experience elevated by participating in high impact skills-based volunteering that grow their personal social impact brand, resume, and corporate leadership story as they contribute their professional experience to the next generation. These skills-based volunteering initiatives help your organization create a pipeline of new leaders developing both personally and professionally.

Corporations see further benefits from skills-based volunteering. According to a survey by True Impact, those who participated in skills-based volunteering were significantly more likely to create and strengthen relationships with regulators, legislators, or other stakeholders and similarly build or strengthen sales-related relationships, enhancing long term business benefits. 

What does skills-based volunteering include?

From mentoring members of traditionally underserved communities, to serving on a nonprofit leadership board, skills-based volunteering involves individuals donating their time by offering professional expertise and services to help an organization or individual develop. 

Volunteers can provide specialized skills and services that leverage job-related expertise, such as marketing and design, engineering, HR, IT, legal, and finance. This can help support NPOs that run on limited resources and often have to de-prioritize strategic business initiatives, restricting their ability to make a greater impact. High impact skills-based volunteering, which is a more tailored, specialized and program focused form of skills-based volunteering, can also provide an opportunity for underrepresented communities to gain access to mentorship and guidance from experienced working professionals within larger organizations.

Through skills-based volunteering, corporations are able to harness their top team member’s expertise, transforming work experiences into mentorship and educational opportunities. Skills-based volunteering is also conducted remotely, making it easy for employees, individuals, and organizations to connect on a global scale.

The future of skill-based volunteering is in high impact skills-based volunteering, where programs are more tailored to facilitate collaboration between the highest performers at the largest companies in the world impart their skills and wisdom to underserved communities across the globe. 

How can organizations develop skills-based volunteering opportunities?

From Microsoft’s initiatives around digital skilling and employability programs,  SAP’s volunteer work to help accelerate social impact for NPOs by working through the organization’s business challenges, and Amazon Web Service’s program that provides employees up to two weeks paid by Amazon to support communities post-disaster, skills-based volunteering of all types is growing across the corporate sector. 

In order to develop a comprehensive skills-based volunteering focused CSR program, organizations have to consider:

  1. Identify the skill-types your organization wants to support, whether that’s career mentorship, communications and marketing efforts, business development, technological assistance, etc. This will help ensure that your employees are aligned with the initiatives as they directly relate to their skill sets and the mentorship they can provide. 
  2. Set your goals, being how many individuals or organizations you would like to collaborate with, what communities you want to reach, or learnings you want to be acquired by your employees through skills-based volunteering, such as soft skills in leadership or collaboration. 
  3. Collaborate with external organizations and tools to source programs that support your skills-based volunteering CSR initiatives at speed and scale.
  4. Collect insights to help your organization improve volunteering for future projects, such as employee satisfaction surveys, or impact scope analysis.

Through shared collaboration, companies and individuals are discovering creative ways to leverage their collective skills and maximize social impact. Skills-based volunteering is a holistic way to give back to the community while bolstering internal and professional achievement. 

Learn how skills-based volunteering is reshaping CSR 

If you want to learn how developing your own skills-based volunteering initiatives by up-skilling and attracting tomorrow's leaders is possible through leveraging the skills of your team's current leaders, talk to us.

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on the latest in CSR, social responsibility, and corporate leadership news and events.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vanessa Poulson

As lead of The Impact Report, Poulson focuses on developing Paragon One’s industry insight into the expanding world of CSR, ESG, and social impact.

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