This excerpt comes from Building Leadership with Skills-Based Volunteering: The Nonprofit Opportunity, published at The Conference Board.
What motivates nonprofits and volunteers to engage in skills-based volunteering? Nonprofits use skills-based volunteering to strengthen their infrastructure in ways that better equip them to solve our communities’ challenges. Many volunteers give their skills to help solve a challenge for an organization addressing an issue they care about or to feel connected to the community. In this SNCR 2020 article, Taproot Foundation and Team4Tech partnered to further the social sector’s understanding of the leadership development benefits of skills-based volunteering—focusing exclusively on the nonprofit’s outcomes of such initiatives.
Working with pro bono volunteers yields increased responsibilities
Jeremiah Mubaiwa is the IT Director at LEAP Science and Maths Schools in South Africa. LEAP schools provide student-centered math and science-focused education to economically disadvantaged eighth- to twelfth-grade students in South African townships.
Previously in a technical team lead role at a large corporation, Jeremiah did not have prior experience in strategic management of large-scale programs. At the time he started working with Team4Tech, Jeremiah worked as the regional IT lead for four LEAP schools in the Gauteng region. After about two years of working with Team4Tech he applied and was selected as the national IT Director for LEAP, now responsible for managing the overall IT infrastructure for all six schools.
Through the work with Team4Tech, which paired him with volunteer teams from VMware and Pure Storage, Jeremiah had to move from a “process-driven” to an “open-minded” environment. He took full responsibility for envisioning and designing the organization’s IT systems. Jeremiah had to expand his “thinking capacity” and put new skills immediately into practice. Jeremiah’s experience working with skilled volunteers enabled him to grow in his position of influence and more strategically engage with senior leadership to advance his recommendations.