What is skills-based volunteering?

Skills based volunteers are white collar, blue collar and no collar! They are people looking to make a difference.

Skills-based volunteers use their talents, experiences, and resources to strengthen nonprofit organizations from the inside out. They support a nonprofit's overall operations so the nonprofit can deliver services with greater impact.More than free expert services, skills-based volunteering matches the right volunteer skills with the right nonprofit's needs.  Ideally, volunteer projects align with the longterm goals and work of the nonprofit.  A good match, then, leads to real longterm results and even ongoing support from the businesses where volunteers work.

The story of a skills-based volunteer project . . .

An organization experiences staff turnover, and a new executive director finds herself without key people to share historical knowledge.  When she turns to documents to learn more, she discovers that these documents are hard to find, and in fact, there is little infrastructure to manage information.  She needs immediate help to triage IT so key information is not permanently lost.

She informs the Jericho Road Director of her needs, and together they create a scope of work.  The Jericho Road Director calls two information management volunteers she has recently recruited.  They meet with the nonprofit and agree on what they will do, how they will do it, and for how long.  Jericho Road checks in on progress, once work begins, and helps handle any bumps along the way.  When the project ends, Jericho Road follows up on project outcomes with both client and volunteer.

This project – an actual Jericho Road project – ends happily:  The volunteers create safeguards and protocols for information management, organize documents, and leave behind a plan for future IT management.  They also replace an older server with a newer donated one.  The nonprofit client feels grateful for high-quality work done without disrupting services to clients, in addition to being prepared for future IT needs.  The nonprofit works more effectively with clients, now that information management systems run more smoothly from within.

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