I recently asked a dear friend of mine for some advice; in her experience as the CEO of a large statewide not-for-profit, if you cant give cash, what can you give? This is what she wrote:
One of the savviest ways of giving your time is to donate your skill set. Instead of (or along with) doing mailings, filing or folding brochures, consider working on a project that uses your talents and expertise.
What experience do you have that could benefit your chosen non-profit organisation? Are you good at searches on the Internet? Many non-profits would love you to put together a focused list of philanthropic and other grant giving organizations, with contact details, that could help them decide where to focus fundraising and grant writing efforts.
Are you a contracts manager? What an excellent addition to any risk management strategy to have someone look over recent and upcoming contracts? Can you put together a simple communications plan? Many, many non-profit organizations lack communications plans and may not have the time or expertise to put one together.
Do you eat, live and breathe HR? Offer to look over the policies of your chosen non-profit to see if they are comprehensive and up to date. Do you like to write? Offer to write an article for a newsletter or a testimonial for a website. Are you handy? Likely there is something that needs fixing at the office of your favourite non-profit. Are you musical? Offer to make music at your non-profit’s next event.
Do you run in financial circles? Volunteer to sit on the board of management. In fact, at any given time the board of management may be looking for a mix of skills and need exactly what you have to offer. Regardless of your skill set, volunteer to sit on the board!
You never know what skills might be sought after at your favourite non-profit. Take a minute to write an email or make a phone call with a list of your skills, experience or talents and offer your services on a project. When you next think about supporting a non-profit organization, think about donating some of your skills instead of just your time.