Companies have embraced skills-based volunteering (SBV) as an integral aspect of their corporate social responsibility programs. Corporations understand the benefits their employees gain, the value to the nonprofits they serve, and the positive value in the public eye.
And there is no question that most of the world’s valuable nonprofits would benefit from the assistance of volunteers skilled in high-demand fields.
A recent article in the Philanthropy News Digest stated, “According to the 2020 Eagle Hill Consulting Nonprofit Survey of more than 500 nonprofit staff, 58% of respondents said their employer took steps to reduce costs in 2020, with program reductions (30%) topping the list, followed by hiring freezes (30%), staff furloughs (25%), salary reductions (24%), and layoffs (20%).”
Prospective and current employees often evaluate corporate social responsibility policies and volunteer opportunities when making career decisions. As a result, business has recognized the need and are establishing SBV programs.
So why is it often difficult to match needs and pro bono experts?
One of the biggest hurdles nonprofits must overcome is the shortage of funding allocated to infrastructure requirements. Boards sometimes pressure organizations to dedicate fewer resources to critical needs, including facilities, staff, training, software, auditing, education, consulting, and other such business operations. This shortfall often makes it difficult for organizations to have staff dedicated to coordinating essential projects with suitable volunteers. To ensure a successful match between volunteers and the project requirements of these hardworking nonprofits, we must meet the needs of both parties.
Frequent concerns of nonprofits include:
● Building internal support for skills-based volunteers. Management may be concerned that it will be difficult for the volunteers to fully understand the project and require excessive management oversight.
● Lack of proper staff to coordinate with the SBV experts is another frequent hurdle to implementing a volunteer component.
● Finding the specific experts their project requires often seems overwhelming and complicated.
● The prospect of completing a project proposal may overwhelm nonprofits without prior experience.
● Nonprofits may feel intimidated at the prospect of integrating skilled, often technically experienced, volunteers into their employee population.
Revere has taken each of these potential issues and implemented meaningful solutions for the hardworking nonprofits. Our goal is to help both the volunteers and the nonprofit client make the most of their investment in pro bono programs.
Integrated volunteer program management software streamlines the process.
Our corporate clients help reduce the nonprofits’ fear factors and intimidation with easy access through the software platform.
Connection—Nonprofits can easily search the clients’ sites by keyword, skill set, or location to find the right expert. They can even use the ‘Find an Expert’ function right on the navigation bar to find the right match.
Personalization—Corporate clients’ volunteers create profiles to help soften the fear and intimidation by including some of their non-work lives. Photos with their kids or pets, traveling, and cooking help the nonprofit and their employees feel comfortable. Some of these generous experts even create a short introductory video welcoming the nonprofit partner to schedule an appointment.
Super-Easy User Experience—Our goal is to remove obstacles that may prevent the nonprofit from accessing the help of skills-based volunteers. Submitting a project proposal is simple on the Revere client’s site and requesting a 1:1 meeting is super easy and fast.
Relationship Building / Recurring Use—Nonprofits are welcome to request help preparing their team projects application since this project is longer and can be intimidating. We recommend they first request virtual meetings for quick answers to questions and get 1:1 consultations to implement the process in advance of submitting a team project application.
We have the experience to understand that nonprofit staff and board members may not have the formal training to plan project proposals and to decide which experts are the best matches for their projects. The Revere platform addresses the concerns of nonprofits and the requirements of corporate partners by creating a program that makes it easy for everyone to collaborate.
Let us show you how the Revere skills-based volunteering platform can help you connect your employees with organizations that need their expertise. Schedule a demo.