Alternative Ways of Giving Back That Look Great on Your CV
Today, the non-profit sector contributes £17.1 billion to the UK economy and employs 3% of the workforce, having experienced remarkable growth over the last decade. And it’s no wonder, with so many people wanting to face the rising political, social and environmental challenges head-on. It is a thriving economic force as much as it is a necessary social one.
And with more employers than ever before looking for unique, creative charity experience, there’s no better time to start considering the different ways you can give to the causes you care about.
Let’s explore the many ways you can get involved in a good cause (and impress employers while doing it).
Remember, giving back isn’t just about volunteering
Did you know that 38% of the UK population volunteer at least once a year? There are many reasons why people volunteer, but the overarching theme is that giving back feels good. It is hard to argue with the amazing sensation you get when you see someone benefit from your help.
And this sense of social goodness is quickly taking over the working world, with more than 90% of the world’s top companies producing annual corporate social responsibility reports. There are now 471,000 social enterprises in the UK which focus on revenue generated from products or services that drive human progress and do good for the underserved or the environment.
But giving back is about more than just donating your time—it can be a financial donation or something more skill-based like teaching an art class to disadvantaged youths or helping a charity run its social media channels one day a week. Or maybe it’s about organising a beach clean up or temporarily fostering an animal before it moves onto a permanent home.
We have more options now than ever to give back to our community. And the best part? This sort of altruism speaks volumes about the type of employee we are.
Providing services that require qualifications
There are plenty of roles that require official qualifications that charities just don’t have the budget for. So if you happen to have that qualification, you could be doing a world of difference by helping out. Maybe a local homeless charity needs a licensed truck driver to deliver food to their shelters. Having a volunteer who can provide that service on the weekends means they don’t have to spend money on a taxi to deliver that food.
There are also other niche roles that are extremely valuable to non-profits. For instance, some organisations need qualified health and safety workers to support initiatives that could potentially require physically demanding activities as required by UK law.
The fact that you not only decided to volunteer during your free time but that you also went above and beyond to provide the right service to help a cause would demonstrate the integrity of your character, your dedication and ability and willingness to take on new challenges, which are all extremely desirable traits in a candidate in any role.
Becoming a trustee
All non-profits have a board of trustees that provide governance and ensure that the organisation’s spending is aligned with its mission. The best part about being a trustee is that you don’t even need to have charity experience. In fact, more charities are striving to diversify their trustee boards, bringing in people from a wider age range and socio-economic background to ensure their beneficiaries are being accurately represented by the board.
The regulatory requirements to be a trustee are rather minimal—you have to be over 18 years of age without any disqualifying criminal records (or 16 if the charity is set up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation). But beyond that, it’s all about the skills and experience you bring to the table.
Having the right trustee is every non-profit’s number one priority. So if you have management or finance experience, why not offer your services? The same goes for digital and marketing know-how. And if you are a natural-born salesman, you might be able to help shape the organisations fundraising strategies.
Leveraging and applying your professional experience and skills outside of work to benefit others in your community would help emphasise the value of your work. What you do is valuable enough and having the right skills is a valuable commodity.
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Become a social warrior
These days, it’s hard not to come across charity on social media–whether its an appeal for support after a natural disaster or someone raising donations via Facebook on their birthday. And with 24-hour connectivity and instant global reach, social media platforms have made it so easy for people to raise money for a cause or champion a charity they’re passionate about.
So why not get involved yourself? Start raising money for an important cause. One of the best known social media strategy experts for charities, Zoe Amar, advised that successful social media campaigns only require up to 30 minutes a day. Anyone who dedicates a decent portion of their screen time to social media can go on to build digital marketing strategies for charities, proving they have the expertise to reach the right donors.
So if you can show that you’re capable of raising money in your own time, imagine what this says about your skills and dedication! Since social media campaigns often involve very measurable KPIs, you will be able to quantify and demonstrate your impact in a much more powerful way.
It’s time to get out there and start giving back
Though volunteering and working with a good cause is great for your CV, that’s not the only reason to do it. You’ll grow as a person and meet incredibly talented and passionate people, as charity work brings people together from all walks of life.
It’s so easy to find opportunities that suit you and your skills today. So don’t wait to find out what exciting new ventures await you! Find out what charities are looking for volunteers today.