Challenges Around Skilled Volunteering

In 2015, Pro Bono Australia published an article which discussed the fact that many not for profits have the inability to define and package skilled volunteering opportunities and this blocks companies from offering more of their time and expertise.[1] Volunteering Victoria’s Kate Randall said, “There are a lot of organizations out there that are ready for skilled volunteering or even have done it before but just have that time and resource barrier”.

So how can not-for-profits benefit from skilled volunteering? The first step is to identify what needs to get done. This requires the not for profit to understand their own problem properly and then identify potential solutions. From here skilled volunteers can be invited to assist in project length collaborations.

Second, not-for-profits can engage skilled volunteers to assist diagnosing their own strategic issues. Management consulting, strategic planning or change management are all areas consultants can add value to an organisation as it seeks to find better ways to operate. This vital step can prepare steps and solutions for future skilled volunteers to add value.

Third, not-for-profit organisations can engage skilled volunteers to assist their teams doing defined projects and events. For example, a lot of fundraising and awareness events can benefit from skilled volunteers not only because the staff benefits from the extra man power but also this relationship has the potential to mutually create awareness for all organizations involved.

In brief, there are many benefits to both companies and nonprofits in collaboration and vast numbers of skilled volunteers in a variety of professions who can assist not for profit organizations, charities or NGOs. Sometimes it’s just a question of starting a conversation and reaching out.

[1] Williams, W., Cooper, E., Williams, W., Williams, W., Cooper, E., & Williams, W. et al. (2016). Not for Profits Struggling to Define Skilled Volunteering Needs - PBA. Pro Bono Australia. Retrieved 19 September 2016, from

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