Charities rely on helping hands, and most nonprofits will take whatever volunteer help they can get. But what if you’re a busy professional with more useful skills than dumping this week’s lasagna on plastic plates? Time to start looking at your job as the best way to give back.
These days, many companies offer corporate volunteer programs that allow workers to connect with nonprofit volunteer opportunities across the street or across the world. Employee volunteers can bring specific experience and skills to nonprofits, but sometimes it’s incumbent upon the volunteer to suggest what “extras” they can provide to lighten a nonprofit’s load. So take a look in the mirror and reflect on the skills you offer that could be invaluable to a nonprofit in need.
For example, if you work in…
1. Accounting and Finance
….help manage a nonprofit’s books and develop a bookkeeping system. Or develop an operating budget for an organization lacking in-house expertise.
…assist a nonprofit with graphic design for pamphlets, event invitations or one-pagers. Or help design a logo, merchandise or website.
….bring donors in the door. Crowdfunding is a big buzzword these days, and for good reason – it’s a great way to build a groundswell of support around a cause. You can help a nonprofit organize a crowdfunding campaign, assist with a donor relations strategy or assemble a grant proposal budget.
…help nonprofits with their brand messaging or copywriting. Online marketers can help start a Google Adwords campaign or with search engine optimization (SEO).
…produce a motion graphics video or a promotional video. Photographers can take pictures for an organization or assemble a photo essay, which can be a powerful way for an organization to create an emotional appeal.
6. PR & Communications
…help a nonprofit create a press kit, draft a press release, write a blog or plan fundraisers.
7. Social Media
…consult with a nonprofit on their social media strategy and help them get started. Better yet, take the reins yourself and actually manage their social media accounts.
…help a nonprofit with a business plan review, conduct market research, review their mission and vision or develop market analysis.
…help nonprofits customize Salesforce databases or provide other IT support and consulting.
10. Human Resources
…help nonprofits going through a round of hirings with their search and selection process, or design parameters around appropriate hiring strategies going forward.
Leveraging your work skills for nonprofits makes volunteering more personal and meaningful. So think about how you can do a world of good with your job, then go out and do a good job for the world.