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Five Tips to Build Your Skills-based Volunteering Program


Recruit, Engage and Retain Employees in 2021

The speed of digital transformation accelerated in 2020, and there is no sign it will slow down this year. The changes imposed by COVID-19 motivated both nonprofits and corporations to expand methods of volunteering and working.

Many companies realize that employee recruitment success requires them to have company-sponsored social impact programs in place. Simultaneously, businesses and nonprofits are challenged to adapt quickly to the new, mostly virtual volunteer methods.

Now and in a post-COVID work environment, companies will need opportunities to reinforce culture and values. To attract and keep the top talent, they need an effective volunteering program in place.

Here are five suggestions for companies that need to step-up their skills-based volunteering programs.

1. Having a program in place is no longer optional. Millennial and Gen Z employees inherently want to make an impact through their skills and they expect their employer to help create opportunities.

A 2016 study by Cone Communication found that 64% of millennials consider corporate social responsibility values when deciding where to work. In addition, 88% said their job is more fulfilling when it includes opportunities to make an environmental and social impact. These engaged employees stay with the company longer.

“Millennials today want to engage their minds and their hands in the service of causes. They want to directly contribute ideas and direction, especially in leadership roles.” Ten Years Looking Back: Understanding How Millennials Engage With Causes and Social Issues

2. Don’t wait to implement your program. Just like there’s never a perfect time to buy a house or have a child, there’s never a perfect time to launch a skills-based volunteering program. Do it sooner vs. later. We are all going to be connecting, sharing expertise, and working remotely for most of 2021. Let’s embrace the options that remote working offers now and in the future.

As travel again becomes possible, I envision people working (and volunteering) from global locations—Buenos Aires, Paris, Johannesburg, you name it. Younger employees are eager to expand their image of what the workplace will become.

“The 10 years of research … shows unequivocally that the old rules simply do not apply anymore. The millennial generation is not interested in being limited by old paradigms and roles, or being beholden to a status quo that they don’t believe serves them and others.” Derrick Feldmann, Founder, The Millennial Impact Project

3. Don’t miss the chance to offer opportunities for all your employees to get involved. Yes, nonprofits need tech expertise, but they also need experts in marketing, human resources, finance, event planning, and more.

Many call this generation “the new volunteers’—eager and willing to embrace digital technology to work with nonprofit partners in various settings. Working remotely, employees are eager to feel connected to their co-workers as they work together on meaningful projects.

4. The key to an effective skills-based volunteering program is communication. There are two integral parts of the equation—supply and demand. We must inspire and educate the ‘supply’ side, eager expert volunteers, and the ‘demand’ portion—our current and potential nonprofit partners.

Lindsey Pollak is a New York Times bestselling author and one of the world’s leading experts on Millennials and today’s multigenerational workplace. She says, “Millennials expect transparency, sophisticated storytelling, and technical savvy from their charitable organizations.”

5. It’s critical that you talk about the program within the company. Seventy-seven percent of employees say they prefer to volunteer with their peers rather than on their own. Share corporate values and stories of the impact volunteering has on both the employees and the nonprofit partners.

More employee participation builds engagement and increases the value offered to the organizations that benefit from expert help.

Skills-based volunteering went virtual in 2020, and Revere was here to help expedite the transition. The program can be privately labeled with your organization’s name and brand.

Our efficient platform is easy to use and allows employees to create their profiles. Nonprofits can then easily find and connect with potential volunteers to fit their requirements. The software tracks engagement to quantify and qualify the resulting social impact for both parties.

The data lets you share your volunteers’ effect and tell their success stories to drive even more engagement through media, newsletters, and social platforms.

The success stories coming out of these collaborations are inspiring. Employees want to work for a company that encourages them to tap their expertise and compassion to create social impact and innovation. We are here to help.