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Are You Ready for the Next Wave?. Navigating the Waters of Skills-based Volunteerism Nancy Long, Executive Service Corps of Washington Allison Carl White, Seattle Works. Purpose: To develop practices that support successful skills-based volunteerism. Key Outcomes

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Navigating the Waters of

Skills-based Volunteerism

Nancy Long, Executive Service Corps

of Washington

Allison Carl White, Seattle Works

purpose to develop practices that support successful skills based volunteerism
Purpose: To develop practices that support successful skills-based volunteerism

Key Outcomes

At the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Identify factors important to a successful match
  • Assess readiness to use highly skilled volunteers
  • Develop a scope of work for SBV
  • Learn about using volunteer brokers
we will discuss
We will discuss
  • What is skills-based volunteerism?
  • What is different about managing SBV?
  • How to match vols with opportunities
  • Assessing your orgs readiness
  • Scoping/contracting
  • Using volunteer brokers
  • Promising practices - 20s/30s & over 50
the experience dividend
The Experience Dividend

Seattle Works

  • Member of HandsOn Network
  • Mission focuses on people in their 20s and 30s
  • Seattle Works community is mostly young professionals
experience dividend
Experience Dividend
  • Executive Service Corps of Washington
    • Capacity building including consulting, coaching, leadership development, training resources
    • All ages, but strong boomer participation
    • 70% in workforce; 30% retired
    • Professionals from business, education, nonprofit, government
skills based volunteerism
Skills-based Volunteerism

Definition: Using the professional skills of volunteers to build organizational strength and increase nonprofit capacity.

…volunteers with specialized skills

…pro-bono work

…highly skilled volunteers

what s different
What’s different?

“You don’t need to know where you are going. Just keep walking.”

reinvent volunteerism
Reinvent Volunteerism
  • Skills-based volunteers – Not a “program”
    • Project-based—Driven by scope of work
    • Unpaid or stipended staff role
  • Volunteer is an active participant
    • Agency describes the outcome
    • Volunteer contributes to how the outcome is reached
  • Enhanced experience if:
    • Paired with learning
    • Diverse/Intergenerational
benefits of sbv
Benefits of SBV
  • Access to needed management skills/expertise
  • An outside perspective on strategic issues
  • Helps solve organizational issues that staff are not able to take on
  • Volunteers = ambassadors
  • May lead to new donors
professional skills needed by nonprofits include
Professional skills needed by nonprofits include:
  • Accounting & Financial Services
  • Planning & Org. Development
  • Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Program development/evaluation
  • Marketing & PR
  • Facilities planning and management
w hat are the barriers results of the community experience partnership assessment
What are the barriers? Results of theCommunity Experience Partnership Assessment
  • Philanthropy is providing very little support for volunteerism of any kind, particularly SBV or older adult engagement
  • Volunteer management is underfunded and underdeveloped
focus for today
Focus for Today
  • NFPs do not have a conceptual basis for understanding how to match people with substantive volunteer roles
  • NFPs need to assess their own readiness to use SBV and act to increase readiness.
  • Need to learn to “contract” with volunteers
  • NFPs need to tap into volunteer brokers
matching volunteers
Matching Volunteers

Square peg in a round hole?

Determining a good “fit”

typology exercise
Typology Exercise
  • Choose a partner
  • One plays the role of the volunteer
  • One plays the role of the agency
  • Read the description of the agency and the profile of the volunteer and attempt to find a likely volunteer assignment
contracting with sbv
Contracting with SBV
  • Identifying the right person/team
    • Assessing volunteer skills
    • Willingness, motivation, and availability
    • Fit with the cultural and work style of the people with whom they are working
contracting with sbv19
Contracting with SBV
  • Defining the project
    • Scope of Work (what, how, to what end?)
    • Deliverables (products/outcomes)
    • Timeline
    • Resources needed
    • Accountability/Evaluation process
contracting with sbv20
Contracting with SBV
  • Scope of work:
    • Problem to be solved
    • What will be done/ by when
    • Generally how it will be done
    • Where will the resources come from
  • Deliverables
    • Products of the work, incl. interim products
    • Outcomes
  • Accountability/Evaluation
contracting exercise
Contracting Exercise
  • Develop a scope of work for role you defined
    • Problem to be solved
    • What will be done
    • Generally how it will be done
    • Where will the resources come from
  • Develop a list of deliverables
    • Products
    • Outcomes
assessing readiness for sbv
Assessing Readiness for SBV

Supplement to the Volunteer Management Audit (Energize Inc./Susan Ellis)

Sample standard:

We insure that specialized volunteers are given the staff support and resources needed to accomplish their projects.

readiness assessment example
Readiness Assessment: Example
  • Receive limited directions & supervision. Sometimes needs to supply their own…needed to accomplish their project.
  • Introduced to staff members, and given support from the Vol. Coordinator. Basic supplies provided.
  • Assigned to a project coordinator who ensures that the volunteer has access to the information, staff contacts, supplies, and whatever else is needed…
  • Work with a project coordinator at the senior mgmt level, who develops the contract that will guide the work and provides access to…
volunteer connectors
Volunteer Connectors
  • Portals: a connector organization that helps an employer who has volunteers to deploy or an individual who wants to volunteer identify the right volunteering opportunity, often through the use of a website.
  • Brokers: a connector organization that plays an active role in matching the volunteer with a community need, in some cases remaining involved to ensure that the volunteer relationship is working well and the community need is being met.
what is a volunteer broker
What is a volunteer broker?
  • A 'volunteer broker' matches the volunteer with a community need.
  • The advantages of brokers are:
    • More efficient for vol and org
    • Able to identify broad array of opportunities
    • Able to match from a broad pool of vol
    • Understand sector-specific needs
    • Understand employer goals
working with sbv over 50
Working with SBV over 50
  • 10,000 people turn 60 each day
  • Highly educated population = increased volunteerism
  • 48% of working adults over 45 are volunteers
  • Few expect traditional retirement: 80% plan to work beyond 65…
  • …but 57% say it's very important that they have work (paid and unpaid) that
    • gives them a sense of purpose
    • keeps them involved with people
    • and helps them improve their communities
working with sbv in their 20s 30s
Working with SBV in their 20s/30s
  • Give options
  • Be flexible and clear about expectations
  • Engage in smaller projects to build commitment
  • Be open to how the work gets done
  • Appreciate their technology knowledge and experience
  • Do you feel more prepared to work with SBV?
  • What are the biggest barriers?
contact information
Contact Information

Nancy Long, Executive Director, ESC 206.682.6704

Alison Carl White, Executive Director, Seattle