By Daniel Henry

One of the biggest barriers to volunteering is a lack of time due to our working commitments. So on this year’s International Volunteer Day, we ask; what if you could volunteer by using the skills and expertise you’ve gained in your profession to benefit a charity whilst furthering your career?

Volunteering enhances and highlights your skills

Skills-based volunteering can provide you with a richer experience and a more developed CV.

The 2016 Deloitte Impact Survey on Building Leadership Skills through Volunteerism found that 82% of recruiters would be more likely to recruit candidates with volunteer experience. This, coupled with nine out of ten recruiters saying volunteerism improves employees’ broader professional skill set, makes a strong case for why skills-based volunteering can be beneficial for the volunteer themselves.

Pro Bono Economics matches professional economist volunteers with charities and social enterprises that need their expertise. Andrea Lee, a PBE volunteer from the Department of Work and Pensions, said of her experience:

“I would definitely encourage others who are thinking about it to get involved. Not only will it give you the opportunity to work with a different type of organisation, you will undoubtedly meet new people with different perspectives and skills to you and learn a great deal from them.”

The Matching Gap

One of the significant barriers to greater participation in skills-based volunteering is the gap in matching the supply of volunteers with the demand for their work, says Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England and PBE co-founder, on his BBC Radio 4 programme.

However, a combination of organisations like Pro Bono Economics, technology, and a growing culture of encouraging employees to volunteer is changing this. LinkedIn (link to PBE company page) is leading the way with their Volunteer Market, providing a popular solution to the matching gap with over 500,000 using the platform in the UK and Ireland alone. We are rapidly seeing more private companies and consultancy firms allow their employees to take time during the working day to volunteer, as part of their strategy to “give something back” to society and develop their employee’s skills in often more frontline and meaningful contexts.

About Pro Bono Economics

Pro Bono Economics (PBE) helps charities and social enterprises to understand and improve the impact and value of their work. We match highly skilled professional volunteers with charities that need their expertise.

Our volunteers tell us that working with charities gives them an insight into the challenges small organisations face, and gives them the opportunity to use their day job skills in a new context:

"My experience as a volunteer has been unique, challenging and enormously enjoyable. I highly recommend volunteering with Pro Bono Economics." Dr. Allan Little

5th December 2016