5 Benefits of Skills-Based Volunteering
Author: Matthew Carnevale
Who am I? My name is Matthew Carnevale and I am the Community Relationship Manager for The Panacea Initiative (TPI).
Who is The Panacea Initiative (TPI)? We are a non-profit organization in Toronto, Canada, that connects startups in need of external help, with skilled-volunteers willing to help them.
During my time at TPI, I have gained awareness on improving yourself and your career.. Today I wanted to write more on the topic of Skills-Based Volunteering.
What is Skills-Based Volunteering? Volunteerism in which volunteers are matched with projects, based on skills, experience and talents. This new innovative approach is gaining popularity in the industry because it adds value to a business, all while creating social impact.
This type of volunteering is beneficial to EVERYONE and ANYONE! But pay close attention if you’re a:
- Working Professional
- Career Changer
- New Grad
- New Immigrant
This article is dedicated to all of the above. So what are the 5 Benefits of Skills-Based Volunteering?
1) Resume Building
As we know in the modern economy, simply going to school and getting an education is not going to land you your dream job, employers seek diversity in resumes; something has to stand out.
The same goes for those looking for a promotion. Employers want to see that you use your skills because you have a passion to use them, not because there’s a financial compensation. Displaying a social initiative on your resume can never hurt, it is a win-win situation!
2) Easily Gain New Skills
Anyone can say they are good communicators, problem solvers, etc. but how does that get proven? You must practice these skills in a setting that has credibility. The problem is, most people don’t have five different jobs, so acquiring these skills can take decades.
With skills-based volunteering, one can practice skills that they are looking to gain, or even skills they’re looking to master. These skills can then be transferred to their resume, professional career, or even personal life.
3) Practice for Future Business Venture
You work a 9–5, and love your job (or not), but seek more income and challenges on your downtime. What better way to fulfill this need, than by doing freelance work for other people or companies on the side.
The only issue is, you don’t have the time to do any self marketing, and you only want a couple clients. In comes skills-based volunteering. In order to get some credibility and practice within the industry, do it for free at first! Ever heard of free samples?
4) Becoming more Connected
It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Meeting new people and connecting with them has so many benefits on its own. You meet people with common interests, people who are willing to give, and people who simply know other people. The moral of the story is; you never know who’s watching!
Social and networking events can get expensive, or even exhaustive. Skills-based volunteering can be done virtually on platforms such as The Panacea Initiative. This allows the volunteer to stay in the comfort of their own home, while connecting with people virtually, to complete projects.
5) You get, what you give!
“What goes around comes around!”, “what you put in, is what you get out!”. Whichever way you want to word it, the message is clear. There comes a point in your life when you should look at the help you have received to date, and realize how much of that help you can reciprocate. As a working professional, chances are someone has helped you along the way (even if you don’t realize). Think of the first person who ever hired you; who knows where you would be without them today.
Harvard Medical School reported, that generic volunteering is good for mental health. Volunteering is said to make you feel socially connected, thus fighting off depression and the feeling of loneliness. The same study shows that it is also good for physical health. It is known to decrease blood pressure and increase lifespan (S. Watson, 2015).
More about the Author: Matthew is a Community Relationship Manager at TPI and a 4th year student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is studying Business Management; with a focus on Entrepreneurship & Strategy. Matthew’s passions include sports, equity trading, design thinking, and innovation in technology. Feel free to hit him up for a chat!
Watson, S. (2015, October 29). Volunteering may be good for body and mind. Retrieved August 07, 2017, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/volunteering-may-be-good-for-body-and-mind-201306266428