Professional Skills of Volunteers Underused – US S
Monday, 22nd May 2006 at 1:05 pm
Despite a need for more resources, the vast majority of Not for Profit organizations are not capitalizing on the valuable professional skills of their volunteers, according to a new US study.
More than three quarters of NFP leaders (77 %) believe that skilled volunteers could significantly improve their organization’s business practices.
However the study found that just 12 percent of Not for Profits actually put volunteers to work on such assignments reflecting their professional skills, according to the 2006 Deloitte & Touche and the Points of Light Foundation Volunteer IMPACT Study.
James H. Quigley, the CEO of Deloitte & Touche says the professional skills of volunteers are extremely valuable, but to a great extent, are being underutilized.
He says this study uncovers an untapped resource that could significantly increase the effectiveness of non-profits and their contribution to the community.
The 2006 IMPACT Study, which surveyed Not for Profit executives and volunteers from corporate America, showed that nearly nine out of 10 Not for Profit leaders (89%) generally agree that volunteers’ workplace skills are valuable to NFPs.
Working professionals shared a similar view. Seventy-three percent of them believe their workplace skills are valuable to a Not for Profit organization.
Yet, nearly two-thirds (62%) of NFP executives report they do not work with any companies that provide volunteers. Just 12 percent of NFPs report they typically align tasks with the specific workplace skills of volunteers.
Other key research findings include:
– Two out of five volunteers (40%) say they actively look for opportunities to use their workplace skills when they volunteer
– Nearly one-third (29%) of volunteers believe their workplace skills are what non-profit organizations need from them most
– Only about one in five volunteers (19%) say they primarily apply their workplace skills in their volunteer assignments
The study indicates that skills-based volunteering is highly beneficial to the volunteer, as nearly two-thirds of volunteers (63%) think volunteering has had a positive effect on their career.