Skills-Based Giving: How Your Business can Impact the World An introduction to the benefits and opportunities of a skills-based volunteering initiative.
Think of all the unique experiences and skills that you have developed throughout your life. They may be skills developed through hobbies, education, personal interests, professional occupations, or other life experiences. Through everyone's unique journey, our society has become filled with extremely passionate and skillful people like you, who are looking for an opportunity to put their talents to good use. Thankfully, these opportunities are plentiful in communities around the world. Corporate giving initiatives are quickly becoming the preferred avenue for businesses looking to increase their positive impact and offer employees the chance to do their part in driving social change. Skills-based giving programs give businesses the chance to share the unique skills of their employees with social-profit organizations looking to make a difference in the world, while evolving as a business in the process. Are you motivated to bring your business to the next level? Are you passionate about social change? Are you ready to impact the world?
Consider skills-based giving as a way to design a program that benefits everyone.
The Basics of SBG
Skills-based giving is a volunteer experience that has evolved past the classic “extra-hands” style of community work. It puts the volunteer in a position where their skills, experiences, and talents are leveraged to support a social-profit organization or community initiative that needs that specific skillset to achieve their mission.
Whether it is a marketing expert helping to grow the online presence of a social profit, or an accountant suggesting budget constraints by analyzing financial performance, every business is full of individuals who are capable of using their skills to support a good cause. With growing interest in corporate social responsibility, businesses have turned to skills-based giving to connect their qualified, talented, and eager employees with social-profit organizations pursuing meaningful objectives. Rather than solely committing money to a cause, skills-based giving helps create engaging and ongoing relationships, putting employees on-the-ground and strengthening community connections.
The numbers don't lie: 75% of companies with skills-based giving experience report better relationships in the community, according to a study from the Taproot Foundation. A volunteer’s valued contributions and physical involvement in an initiative create stronger bonds with the social-profit. As a result, the volunteer often becomes more invested in and committed to the success of both organizations.
What is the Value of Skills-Based Giving?
It’s extremely beneficial for a social-profit organization to have volunteers that align to their needs and have the right training and experience. Access to these resources allows them to receive professional caliber assistance pro bono and ensures they are able to pursue goals that would otherwise be unobtainable.
That value, however, is not exclusive to the social-profit receiving support. The businesses involving their employees in these initiatives also experience the unique value that skills-based volunteering can bring. For a business, this value can appear in many forms, including:
Expanded employee skills and work experience: The Taproot Foundation has found that 63% of companies involved in skills-based giving report stronger team development
Greater innovation in the workplace
Improved corporate reputation
Increased popularity among potential employee applicants: According to Hewlitt Packard, 59% of companies with employees participating in skills-based giving report higher employee morale than those not participating
Increased brand value
Enhanced leadership development
"91% of Fortune 500 human resources managers said volunteering knowledge and expertise to a non-profit can be an effective way to cultivate business and leadership skills."
US Department of Labour Statistics
Sight for Kids information and image collected from lionsclubs.org
Their Sight for Kids initiative has allowed volunteers from Johnson & Johnson to use their professional experience and medical skills to provide eye screenings for more than 16 million children in Asia. These screenings help identify and address easily correctible disorders that cause visual impairment and even blindness. The impact a skills-based volunteering initiative can have is perfectly captured in the relationship between Johnson & Johnson - Vision Care and Lions Clubs International. The program connects diverse industries and communities, allowing everyone involved to make a difference. Even if the motivation behind this skills-based giving initiative isn’t corporate growth, Johnson & Johnson still evolves as a business as a result. All while having an immense impact on people’s lives.
As a company, they identified their ability to impact the world by using their plentiful resources, skills, and experiences to contribute toward achieving social change.
The world of skills-based volunteering is rapidly growing as more and more social-profit organizations, businesses, and individual volunteers are realizing the potential of connecting talent with opportunity.
Think of all the unique skills that you have developed in your life.
Now imagine the social impact that you could be having through skills-based volunteering.
Time for Change
Imperative Impact is dedicated to growing the influence of skills-based giving by connecting motivated businesses with social-profits engaging in meaningful initiatives. If you are looking to grow your business by connecting talent with opportunity, you can start impacting the world now through skills-based giving.
Explore our Giving Back Impact initiatives for more ideas and get in touch to stay connected to meaningful work programs and innovative impact stories.
Jamie is a student at Queen’s University, working toward obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Political Science.
As a member of the Imperative Impact team, Jamie has had the opportunity to be involved in several impactful projects, including work with IdentityNORTH, Singularity University, and DIACC.