Giving Compass' Take:

• Danielle Holly, writing for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, discusses different approaches to volunteering that pairs business professionals and nonprofit leaders to solve community-based issues.  

• This type of volunteering is very targeted and focuses on capacity building while giving back to communities.  How is this different from other CSR initiatives? 

• Read about nonprofit capacity building in a time of disruption. 

Service days are an important part of many traditional corporate volunteer programs. These days are intended to deepen engagement with a company’s nonprofit partners and create opportunities for their employees to make a tangible impact in their communities in a relatively short amount of time.

Employees often give their time, participating in activities like building new homes, sorting supplies at a food bank, or cleaning up a park or beach. But while this model is popular, it doesn’t always address one of the nonprofit sector’s greatest needs—capacity building.

This is where skills-based volunteerism can help. Skills-based volunteerism encourages professionals to donate their business expertise in areas such as human resources, technology, marketing, or finance, to build new skills and capacity for nonprofits that often lack the financial or staff resources for these essential functions. Ultimately, skills-based volunteering maximizes the value of employee hours spent in the community by asking them to do what they do best.

So how can the social sector partner with business to create a service day model that delivers capacity building support for nonprofits that wouldn’t otherwise be able to resource those needs? And how can business meet the demand of their employees who seek a more authentic way to develop skills and collaborate with their colleagues and community? Days of skilled service, that pair business professionals with nonprofit leaders to help solve real community challenges, are one answer.

Longer term skills-based volunteering projects have their own benefits, including the ability to provide deep consulting and deliver significant value to the social sector, while enhancing the skills and talents that employees bring back to their desks.

Read the full article about building social sector capacity by Danielle Holly at Stanford Social Innovation Review