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Start-up mobilises skilled people to give their time
Give What You're Good AtJun 01, 2012 08:24 BST
Give What You’re Good At is an online technology platform matching people who want to give skills, with charities and social enterprises that need their help. Charitable organisations are working with fewer resources than ever; yet they never imagined that the tasks they struggle with could be done by skilled volunteers.
Like most good businesses, Give What You’re Good At was born out of frustration. Founder, Ami Bloomer, spent the last two years working for a national charity that saw its government funding slashed. “We struggled to help vulnerable people. The cuts cast a dark cloud over the charity world. Where others saw gloom, I saw an opportunity for organisations to use resources creatively.
People think charities just want their money, but giving time and expertise can be an even more powerful way of making things happen. I had the idea for Give What You’re Good At after seeing accountants being sent to paint walls, whilst finance systems collapsed. It infuriated me to see all these opportunities being missed.’ Ms Bloomer believes that the flaw in the Big Society is the assumption of altruism. “People need to see something in it for themselves in order to be motivated to act.” Our philosophy is simple. We incentivise measured actions over good intention. All our projects enable a volunteer to add relevant experience to their CV, generate contacts and make a big impact for a cause they care about. We’ve also teamed up with Blue Dot Com to reward volunteers who complete projects with sold-out gig tickets, celebrity products and amazing work experience opportunities” “One of the big barriers to volunteering is that there’s so much ambiguity.
Give What You’re Good At removes most of the unknowns for both volunteer and organisation. We set the parameters of work, prescribe project steps and specify the time you should allocate, and the deliverables for the project. We have scoped and packaged projects which add significant value and improve organisational capacity. The projects include: applying commercial skills to strategic positioning and using public relations expertise to secure a patron” They are a for-profit, charging charities a small flat-fee in return for recruiting and vetting a professional with the time, talent and passion to deliver results. They guarantee a saving 10 times that of outsourcing. American research indicates the value of skilled-based volunteer matchmaking can be up to 400 percent greater than the value of more traditional forms of volunteering. (True Impact, 2011). “We aren’t setting out to revival voluntary volunteer organisation – this is a Facebook v Twitter scenario. We are a very different animal to the local CVS or any other voluntary service. We have an obligation to save charitable organisations ten times the cost of outsourcing. Our fees are a mere fraction (always less than 10%) of what they would pay for professional services on the market.
Charging a fee ensures the charitable organisations is serious about using a person’s time and skills.” Projects are structured to fit in with the lives of busy people and typically take less than 5 hours a week over 1 – 3 months. Their clients include The Blue Cross and The Social Mobility Foundation. They hope to save charitable organisations at least £1,000,000 this year. To find out how you can get involved visit www.givewh