Many nonprofits operate on a shoestring budget and don’t have the in-house resources that large companies can afford. This is great news for you as a volunteer, because it means you’re able to offer more than your time to your favorite causes—you can offer your unique talents, expertise and skills.
How do I know what valuable skills I have?
You don’t need to be a doctor or a lawyer to have useful skills that could easily help others. To find out what you might have to offer, ask yourself if any of your hobbies translate into valuable skills, such as:
- Social media
- Graphic design
- Website development
- Online growth Writing and editing
- And many more!
Many nonprofits can also use your help with high-level volunteer activities like strategy planning, board and committee involvement and marketing.
I’m still in high school or college and don’t think I have much to offer yet.
You most definitely do! Many nonprofits struggle to involve people under 25 and would love to have your help with youth recruitment. In fact, a lot of nonprofits today have one to two youth representative spots available on their board. Sites like BoardNetUSA, VolunteerMatch and Idealist all offer searchable databases where you can find open board positions in your area.
Wait, does this mean I can volunteer for organizations outside my geographical area?
Yes, skills-based volunteering opens up a whole new virtual world of volunteer opportunities. Especially if your skills are computer based, you can volunteer and work remotely on projects. Catchafire is an online resource that matches professionals with nonprofits based on their skills, interests and time availability. You can also introduce yourself on GetAssist in different communities that interest you to make meaningful connections with like-minded people and let various groups know that you’re interested in helping out. You’ll even be able to include your unique skills on your GetAssist profile to further help you find nonprofits in your interest areas.