Volunteering WA's Skills-based Volunteering Pilot
Volunteering WA has recently completed a six-month Skills-based Volunteering Pilot, made possible with the financial support of Woodside and Bankwest, corporate foundation members of this initiative.
With increasing corporate and community interest in accessing this type of volunteering, along with the successful outcomes from the Pilot, Volunteering WA will now be offering a Skills-based Volunteering Program as one of its regular services available to the corporate community.
The skills-based volunteers involved valued the opportunity to complete projects for community organisations that would have a significant impact not only on the organisation itself but also their wider local communities.
These corporate volunteers also reported gaining a greater understanding of community issues and, on occasion, having used their professional skills in a different situation and context, led to them bringing a different type of creativity into their workplaces.
In the words of one volunteer during a post-placement interview, “Involvement in this project has led me to engage in ways to become more creative, to get out of ‘minute details’ and think more strategically. I believe this has impacted on the level of creativity that I now bring to my work.”
Members of many community organisations have spoken of their desire to have the opportunity to utilise skills-based volunteers.
Based on the results of the Pilot and dependent upon the type of project being undertaken, the economic benefits to community organisations may be substantial as the majority of volunteers who had participated were found to hold high-level managerial positions.
The Pilot highlighted the fact that the community organisations benefit from having high level management involved in the choice and scoping of their skills-based projects and having a third party such as a volunteer centre involved in brokering relationships is invaluable for this purpose.
Community organisations should note that plenty of lead time for project scoping is frequently needed and Volunteering WA is able to provide guidance and assistance with this.
Volunteering WA looks forward to developing tailored skills-based volunteering programs with more businesses to ensure the sharing of skills between the corporate and community sectors thrives in WA.
For more information visit: www.corporatevolunteers.org.au