What are the Top 7 Skilled Volunteering Organizations?

Oct 26, 2012

Image from iStockphoto

Pro bono services are not the exclusive lot of lawyers; if you are a marketing exec, designer, accountant, lawyer, project manager - anything, really - there must be a cause out there that can make use of your talent and expertise. Don’t know where to go? How to start? Who to contact? Thankfully, expert organizations for skilled volunteering know how to match between professionals and organizations - creating a spark of social good.
Check out the following websites to start giving like a professional.

1.
CATCHAFIRE
WHAT Matchmaker between professionals and nonprofits/social enterprise that need a hand.
PROFESSIONS  All services commonly required by businesses:  design, accounting, planning, etc.
IN DETAIL Catchafire helps organizations identify their needs and lure in just the right talents to provide them with the services they need. Organizations pay a membership fee, for which they receive consultation and services from the Catchafire team. Professionals can browse listings for projects in need. Their nifty website is extra fun to navigate.

Image: screenshot of Catchafire

2.
TAPROOT
WHAT Engaging professionals in pro bono programs.
PROFESSIONS Individuals with experience in creative marketing, strategic HR, website-related IT and project management.
IN DETAIL Aiming to utilize professional services for social good, Taproot runs pro-bono projects that typically last 6-8 weeks, during which talents donate about 100 hours of service. Taprooot recruits professionals in a structured process, which includes a thorough assessment of your skills and suitability for the project in question - much like an employment recruitment firm.

Image: screenshot of Taproot

3.
RAISE5
WHAT Where crowdfunding meets pro bono services.
PROFESSIONS Any and all.
IN DETAIL Raise5 allows users to sell services (from proofreading resumes to branding your business), and the proceeds go to a cause of the user’s choice (Raise5's commission deducted).

Image: screenshot of Raise5

4.
ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY
WHAT Mobilizer of professional design, construction and development to the places that most need it.
PROFESSIONS Designers (licensed and unlicensed architects), landscape architects and engineers.
IN DETAIL Architecture for Humanity’s projects run the gamut from a school in Peru to a hospital in Romania to a community house in Japan. Volunteers are requested to provide services for at least three months for 15+ hours a week, depending on the scope of the project.

Image: screenshot of Architecture for Humanity 

5.
PRO BONO NET
WHAT Increasing accessibility to legal services.
PROFESSIONS Lawyers.
IN DETAIL Pro Bono Net’s octopal reach results in close collaboration with a slew of other legal nonprofits and several websites. The go-to website is for lawyers interested in providing pro-bono services in the States and internationally.

Image: screenshot of Pro Bono Net

6.
RESERVE
WHAT Matching between nonprofits and seasoned professionals aged 55+.
PROFESSIONS Any and all.
IN DETAIL Nonprofits can utilize the experience and and knowledge of continuing professionals, while the talents enjoy a flexible working week and reduced hours participating in a rewarding activity. Services are provided for a reduced wage of $10 an hour. Available in several cities on the East Coat.

Image: screenshot of Reserve

7.
ALL FOR GOOD
WHAT Search engine for skilled volunteering opportunities.
PROFESSIONS Anything: marketing pros, PR experts and educators are just some examples.
IN DETAIL Free access to a volunteer search engine that crawls through some of the largest powerhouses of volunteer listings. The search - which may be filtered according to location and category - yields a slew of opportunities, many of which are for professionals wishing to contribute their talents for a good cause.

Image: screenshot of All For Good 

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