While having a pool of general volunteers on hand to tackle everyday tasks or staff charity events is a good idea, sometimes you need volunteers with professional skills or degrees to take on more focused jobs. Skills-based volunteers bring specific expertise to your organization.
Start your search by determining what specific skills your nonprofit organization needs to accomplish its mission. This might include seeking out graphic designers or marketing experts to help get your message out, or it could mean finding a volunteer lawyer or accountant to help you with aspects of nonprofit management. Having a well-defined description of what you need breaks down some of the barriers to volunteering and gives potential volunteers a clear idea of whether they fit your needs.
Once you’ve narrowed down the types of volunteers you’re looking for, you can advertise those specific volunteer opportunities on social media or ask current staff members for recommendations. Your nonprofit board may be another source for recommendations, since board members often have extensive personal contacts within the local professional community.
Local university students may be interested in a skills-based volunteer opportunity that doesn’t require a professional degree. Computer science, engineering, event management, or communications students might be willing to assist your organization in exchange for getting valuable experience on their resumes. Contact local companies to see if they are interested in partnering with your organization as part of an employee volunteer program that sends skilled workers to your organization to act as consultants for a few hours each week. Skills-based volunteers bring needed expertise to your nonprofit and give individuals with professional qualifications or training a valuable way to give back to the community, making it a positive experience for everyone involved.