Tag Archives: volunteer

Catchafire Virtual – Now You Can Do ProBono Work From Anywhere!

7 Sep

Giving your skills for good in America will take a great leap forward this September as Catchafire activates virtual pro bono for the first time. Catchafire matches professionals who want to give their skills with social good organizations that need their help, making it easy for every professional to use their skills for good and for every social good organization to access and effectively use pro bono as a way to build capacity within their organization.

Until recently, only pro bono professionals based in the greater NYC area were able to take advantage of @Catchafire‘s pro bono opportunities. However, professionals from all over the United States will be able to give their skills for good, even if they are not in the same location as the social good organization they are helping.  A few key points on virtual pro bono at Catchafire:

•  Almost all Catchafire projects are suitable for virtual pro bono, and social good organizations will receive project applications from virtual professionals in the same way they do from local ones.

•  Social good organizations will now have more talent choices and a larger pool of professionals to help them address their needs.

•  Meetings will be conducted via videoconference or telephone, with both parties taking advantage of 21st century technology such as Skype, Gchat and Google Docs to work efficiently.

“The move to virtual pro bono is based on us now being at a stage in our lifecycle where we feel that we can provide our organizations and our professionals with just as good an experience virtually,  as we can in person,” said Catchafire CEO Rachael Chong. “We wanted to make sure that we had all the pieces in place to make a virtual project just as successful as a project where the professional and organization can meet face to face. While we still advocate local matches, we want to provide our organizations with as much choice as possible in terms of talent, and do not believe we should restrict them if they decide to choose a virtual professional instead of a locally based one.”

Ready to get involved? Register here!

8 Simple, Free Ideas to Help Your Favorite #Charity or Cause

2 May


8 Simple, Free Ideas to Help Your Favorite Charity or Cause


As busy as you are, there are still ways to easily fit some helping into your schedule without giving money.  Here are a few!

Help them post requests on the microvolunteering site Sparked. They can get free, skilled volunteer services for things like language translation, website or logo design, PR, marketing, and social media help.

Show some social love. Send some tweets on Twitter, share and like their articles on Facebook, Join their LinkedIn Group (or help them start one.) Add them to your profile and bio info.

Add yourself to their email list. Then remove yourself from their paper mailing list.

Help them write and mail personalized Thank You cards for donors.

Get creative with a fun fundraiser. Here’s a list of ideas to give you ideas.

Add them to your personal email auto-signature. Link to their site or donation page with a short snippet on what they do. Here’s how

Help them write articles. Or curate existing online news articles about them with headlines and shortened links, so they can have them in one place on their site. You can shorten links with Bit.ly or another URL shortener.

Volunteer, and add it to your resume and online profiles (like LinkedIn). Let the world know about the organization, and that helping is important to you — maybe open new doors in the process!  An example: Amy Neumann

“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”  ~William James

5 Ways Volunteering Can Help You Get a Job

8 Sep

Originally published on Yahoo HotJobs which later became Monster.com.

 

5 Ways Volunteering Can Help You Get a Job

by Amy Neumann, for Yahoo! HotJobs

There are a lot of obvious benefits to volunteering for your favorite charity — a sense of accomplishment, giving back to others, gaining perspective, and meeting new people. You can also find business benefits, and ways your efforts can help land you your dream job.

Develop New Skills

Volunteering can be a positive way to get training in areas your current or past jobs didn’t provide. If you need some additional experience for a particular job or promotion, there are many options. For example:

  • Project management — organizing events or fundraising efforts
  • Sales skills — contacting people for donations or recruiting volunteers
  • Managing a team — many projects require a group effort, and a leader to coordinate it

VolunteerMatch.org offers free webinars on “How to be a great volunteer” to get you started.

Meet New Networking Contacts

You never know who you’ll meet doing charity work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 42.8% of all volunteers in 2009 had a bachelor’s degree or higher, while the U.S. Census 2007 put the national average of degree holders at 25.6%. So your chances of meeting professionals in the volunteer pool are good. If you choose a volunteer role related to your target job, you might run into people with similar interests or that have jobs similar to the one you want.

Impress Employers With Your Ambition

Many companies have a strong social responsibility core, and showing your charitable side displays a good cultural fit.

Tony Blake, staffing director at DaVita, a Fortune 500 kidney dialysis provider, notes that candidates who volunteer stand out in a positive way. “As our CEO Kent Thiry says, ‘We’re a community first and a corporation second.’ We value the passion and involvement with community. It adds depth to a candidate’s resume and experience, and it gets noticed.”

Fill in Employment Gaps, Add Experience

Volunteer experience is also professional experience. List the organization and dates, and instead of using the title “volunteer,” use your responsibilities as a title — “project coordinator” or “instructor.” Mention your accomplishments, results, or awards like any other job, without being misleading.

Using your time to gain new skills and help your community — either while looking for employment or while working — highlights your willingness to jump in, learn new things, and do more.

Get That Extra Spring in Your Step

Giving back can be an energizing boost to your self-worth and confidence. Volunteers are the backbone of any nonprofit. By helping others, you’ll get that fulfilling “I made the world a little better” feeling in return.

“Without our 14,000 volunteers putting in 45,000 hours of service each year, we could only serve a tiny fraction of the 1.2 million meals we serve a year,” says Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. “There are opportunities to mentor, tutor, plan events and activities, work in the back office, and multiple other options. Volunteers really do impact peoples’ lives.”

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