Skill-based Volunteering: Good Business and Happy Employees

Feb 25, 2017 6:03:00 AM / by Gaurav Bhattacharya



It can be challenging for HR and management to come up with constructive ways in to engage and motivate employees. Another challenge is contending with the pressure stakeholders place on management to stay actively involved in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Skilled-based volunteering addresses both of these challenges.

Skill-based volunteering gives your employees the opportunity to use professional skills and talents to help nonprofit organizations. If the motivation is set up right for your employees to want to participate, volunteering allows them to engage in something meaningful; an action that can make them feel more connected to colleagues and your business. Skill-based volunteering is good for business as it contributes to CSR goals.

How companies benefit

volunteer_signSkill-based volunteering allows employees to hone skills outside their daily role constraints. This can lead to greater job satisfaction and help develop your future managers.


Such skills that can be developed include: communication, leadership, networking, empathy, problem-solving, and more. Skills-based volunteering can also help improve your employee turnover ratio. Studies show that the more engaged your employees are, the more dedicated they are. Employees can also feel a tremendous sense of pride when they volunteer, particularly when they are acknowledged for the effort by management. This all contributes to retaining staff longer.


How is it done?

Practicing corporate citizenship comes with a set of unwritten codes and rules. If your business is trying to make valuable community impact, it is best practice to employ strategic philanthropy. Develop short and long-term plans. And be sure to include KPIs and reporting so that you can evaluate how things are going and improve upon plans.


Skill-based volunteering defined -

When a person uses his/her abilities, talents or skills, and/or resources to perform and complete volunteering commitments.


According to Points of Light, skill-based volunteering can come in various shapes and sizes.

It includes:

Involvement of corporate paid/unpaid volunteers, interns, loaned executes, and individual volunteers

Activities carried out during individual time or working hours

Projects completed in a day including long, short, and medium term projects

Spontaneous projects such as disaster response or management as well as those planned in advance

Applying various types of talents and skills ranging from hobbies to professional experience

Using the infrastructure efficiency content from nonprofits and directing it towards ‘in the field’ projects


Why it is important?

corporate_team_2The days when CEOs hand out checks in the name of charity work are being rapidly replaced by skill-based and corporate volunteering. Companies are waking up to the realization that there lies a great power in harnessing the skills of employees and using it to support socioeconomic issues. Less newsworthy activities are becoming more prominent, such as accountants helping nonprofits to develop spreadsheets, engineers teaching STEM education to underprivileged kids, and lawyers helping out people in distress who cannot afford heavy legal fees.

Skill-based volunteering can make a huge positive impact on communities. Having this sort of impact goes a long way in creating or improving your business’ Corporate Social Responsibility and improving employee job satisfaction. 

For tips on running a corporate volunteering program, click here.


Download The Ultimate Guide to Employee Volunteering

Topics: Corporate Social Responsibility

Gaurav Bhattacharya

Written by Gaurav Bhattacharya

CEO and Co-founder @ InvolveSoft. Passionate about technology impacting the world.