Volunteering Forum

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  • 1.  The tale of two volunteer experiences

    Posted 02-24-2021 15:04
    Thanks for taking a moment to read my new blog post, "The Tale of Two Volunteer Experiences." 

    I'm curious to hear about your volunteer experiences, specifically when it comes to sharing your skills. I know I can't be the only one taking some time to reflect on the difference between my experiences, and I'd love to get a conversation going with others who have also thought about this stuff. Or maybe you haven't, but now you are... 

    What does skills-based volunteering mean to you?
    Have you used your professional skills in a volunteer capacity?
    Do you have a desire to but don't know where to start?
    Is something (like perhaps our present pandemic) blocking you from realizing those desires?

    Feel free to take this in a different direction, those are just a few ideas to get us started.

    Arnold Grahl

  • 2.  RE: The tale of two volunteer experiences

    Posted 08-26-2021 11:49
    @Arnie Grahl thanks for sharing your experience with "transactional" volunteering and "skills-based" volunteering--a tale of two experiences, indeed! I have found satisfaction in helping others through my ability to make meals for the homeless, and picking up trash in a park. These are especially meaningful when I can do them with my family or friends, as we share in the efforts to make the world a better place.

    However, the one time I used my professional skills to assist a non-profit group was more memorable and has held a more enduring satisfaction, I guess. I am a project manager so I'm good at taking a big pile of "to do's" and getting them "to-done" with groups of people. For several months, I organized a weekend workshop that included creating marketing materials, finding speakers, getting food & drink donations, raffle prizes, and all the logistics of the workshop meeting space. When I was at the mid-point I definitely thought to myself, "Why did I get into this, I already have a full-time job!" But I saw it through to completion, and it was actually an amazing success! Everyone was so appreciative of my talents throughout the process, and especially at the end when it all came together with no big surprises (note: project managers do not like surprises, haha).

    Despite my earlier doubts, I will absolutely do this again! Volunteering using my unique talents was not always easy, but definitely worth it.

    Anyone else have a volunteer experience to share where you put your professional skills to good use?

    Maria Liccardo

  • 3.  RE: The tale of two volunteer experiences

    Posted 09-20-2021 17:01
    @Arnie Grahl thanks for your blog! It has reminded me of the time I spent volunteering with my High School Foundation's Board as the Treasurer. I was working at a bank at the time as a credit analyst. (I should mention this was not by choice. The financial recession had made finding a job very difficult. I have very little interest in finance and not the best attitude).

    Luckily the Foundation found my financial skills to be very helpful and that experience allowed me to eventually land my dream job as a Grants Officer at Rotary International.  Although my passion didn't lie with finance, it was through those skills that I was able to pursue other passions. It was an important stepping stone that I am very grateful for. It's a nice reminder that you never know what is on the other end of your good deed!​

    Alison Randall