“No Cost” Initiative Bridges Skills Gap for Australian Charities
3 February 2012 at 2:36 pm
Australian Not for Profits are being given the opportunity to source a full-time employee to assist in the growth of their charity for a year, at no cost to the organisation.
An initiative of the Vodafone Foundation, the World of Difference program will cover the cost of a salary – up to $60,000 – for a full-time employee for a year, for up to five Australian charities.
According to Volunteering Australia, there is a significant gap in skilled full-time volunteers in Not for Profit organisations around the country.
Volunteering Australia’s communications manager, Peter Cocks, said it was tough for charities to find and engage people with expertise and skills to assist with large projects.
“While there are many people willing to volunteer a few hours each week, there’s a big difference when you can commit to a full-time position,” Cocks said.
Chair of the Vodafone Foundation, Tanya Bowes, said that the program is aimed at bringing together inspiring individuals in Australia wishing to use their skills to make a difference, with Australian charities that need a skilled helping hand.
“Our experience with Not for Profits has told us that often the area they need most support in is resource. Funding will often pay for an activity but not necessarily the resource to run it,” Bowes said.
Successful applicants will be supported throughout their 12 month journey with training, mentoring and support.
Since it commenced in 2004, World of Difference has supported a number of Australian Not for Profits such as RSPCA, OzHarvest, Oxfam, St Johns Ambulance and the Australian Men’s Shed Association.
RSPCA New South Wales took part in World of Difference last year, appointing special programs coordinator, Fiona Millhouse, to implement a new program aimed at assisting homeless pets and their owners.
Program development manager, Karen Thorne, said that World of Difference was vital in allowing the program to be launched.
“We wouldn’t have been able to launch the program without the support of World of Difference,” Thorne said. “We just didn’t have the resources.”
As well as receiving funding for Millhouse’s salary, Thorne says they received $20,000 to cover expenses related to setting up the new program.
“Vodafone Foundation has been great to work with, they are very supportive of our program,” Thorne said.
“I’d definitely encourage others to get involved.”
Applications are now open for the 2012 World of Difference program. Applications close on February 17, 2012.
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