When you think of volunteering, images of cleaning up your local park or working in a food pantry may come to mind. While hands-on volunteering is critical to fulfilling some nonprofits’ missions, other forms of support can help all organizations. Most nonprofits don’t have access to the resources, funding, or qualified talent to function effectively. A donation of professional expertise can help an organization fill those gaps.
Donating one’s professional expertise is called skills-based volunteering, or SBV.
This form of volunteering includes sharing your skills and experience with social change organizations. A nonprofit might need help designing its website but doesn’t have the staff, time, or money to do so. That’s when a professional trained in web design could take on those tasks and support the cause.
These trained professionals, or skilled volunteers, apply knowledge gained on the job to a cause they believe in.
Skills-based volunteering makes a difference
We created this table showing the wide range of volunteer opportunities. They’re grouped by the common types of nonprofit support.
Across the top is a simplified categorization of nonprofits’ needs:
- Making budget: funding to fulfill its mission
- Extra hands: people who deliver services and programs directly to the community, such as helping to build a neighborhood playground.
- Infrastructure and leadership: people and resources to build a strong strategic foundation for the nonprofit, like HR or marketing consultants. Skills-based volunteering appears under this section. This could include professional expertise and services, like marketing, HR, and technology.
The value of skilled volunteers
Does donating one’s knowledge truly make a difference to a nonprofit’s bottom line? Absolutely! In 2019, Taproot and CECP calculated the actual financial impact of an hour of skills-based volunteering in areas like marketing, strategic planning, HR, technology, and finance. Through this study, we determined the average hour of skills-based volunteering was worth $195.
Volunteering one’s expertise is a great way for professionals to make a difference in their communities—just by using what they know.
Taproot provides the answer to nonprofits AND volunteers
Skills-based volunteering provides critical strategic support for nonprofits AND offers an opportunity for business professionals to give back, flex their talents, and network. It’s truly a win-win scenario.
Taproot Plus, our online platform, connects skilled volunteers and nonprofits to drive social impact. A nonprofit can request a volunteer for a project or one-hour consultation session to fit their schedule, and volunteers can find an opportunity that matches their skill-set with a cause they believe in.
If you’re a nonprofit looking for help running the organization, OR you’re a business professional searching for a way to give back, Taproot provides the perfect solution.