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March 12, 2023

A Brief Introduction to Skilled Volunteerism

Shubhi Sharma

A general understanding of skilled volunteering is that individuals or groups volunteer to support non-profit organizations using their learned and acquired skills. Often, the term is being used interchangeably with 'Pro-Bono' Volunteerism.

Volunteerism is a term most people are aware of, and you likely have already associated various images of someone helping out at slums or schools with the same. Thanks to the work of various Non-Profit Organizations, people now have more awareness about Volunteerism.

According to Merriam-Webster, Volunteerism (vol·​un·​teer·​ism) stands for ‘the act or practice of doing volunteer work in community service.’

This brings us to 'Skilled Volunteerism' and how it is different from volunteering, which is likely a question that you're trying to find an answer to. A general understanding of the same is that individuals or groups volunteer to support non-profit organizations using their learned and acquired skills. Often you might find the term being used interchangeably with 'Pro-Bono' Volunteerism. It is a great way to use your skills to help others while also gaining valuable experience and developing your own skills. This type of volunteerism can also be beneficial to the community, as it helps to address specific needs that may not be met by traditional volunteering. It can also help to foster a sense of connection between members of the community and create a stronger sense of community.

The onset of Skill-Based Volunteering began in corporate settings where corporations were trying to find ways in which they could support people in need or organizations by providing their skills in terms of strategic planning, finance, marketing, and assisting their processes. However, it doesn’t stop here. Non-profit organizations can significantly benefit from Skills-based Volunteering. Individuals skilled in their own unique ways can support the NPOs in directed ways that would help amplify and expand social impact.

There are various examples of skills-based volunteering helping organizations in order for them to amplify the impact that they are creating. Letts, C., & Holly, D. (2017) mention an example in the article. The Promise of Skills-Based Volunteering. Stanford Social Innovation Review is Charles Schwab’s Pro Bono Challenge, which connects hundreds of employees to more than 75 nonprofit organizations across nine regions to address strategic questions related to expansion, branding, and operations in the span of five hours. 

The Bridge between Skills-Based Volunteering and Non-Profit Organizations

As we have established the uses of skills-based volunteerism, we also have to understand that it is not as easy for various non-profit organizations to go ahead and find the right set of volunteers who will be able to support the needs of their organization and that is precisely where WeDoGood steps in. In India, currently, there are no volunteering platforms that put Skill based volunteering at the forefront. 

This past year, as we were creating awareness surrounding the volunteerism space in India, we realized that we still needed to provide the NPOs with proper support adequately. The need is to deliver amplified impact that is able to re-structure and stand in front of various challenges, and the means are Skilled Volunteers.

Once we realize the need for skilled individuals, WeDoGood aims to work towards it. We connect skilled volunteers and non-profit organizations through a one-stop transactional platform to create meaningful impact and deliver corresponding solutions.

We invite you to this pursuit of bridging the skill gaps that organizations face while creating social impact.

To join us, head to our website: wedogood.in