skills based volunteers

October 5, 2023

Episode #78: Finding Skills-Based Volunteers the Easy Way with Tyler Manley

In this episode, Tobi sits down with Tyler Manley, an expert in skills-based volunteering from Catchafire, to delve into the topic of finding skills based volunteers the easy way. They discuss the power and value of skills-based volunteers, as well as the resistance organizations often face when trying to engage this type of volunteer.

Tyler is Catchafire’s Sr. Director, leads events and educational content for our funding partners and nonprofits. When he’s not working, Tyler is either cooking huge meals for friends, playing the mandolin, or cheering/crying for his beloved Buffalo Bills. Catchafire is a skills-based volunteer platform that connects professionals with nonprofit organizations. They matches professionals with specific skills to projects that align with their expertise, allowing them to contribute their skills and make a difference in the nonprofit sector. 

Skills Based Volunteers – Skills Based Volunteering

Skills-based volunteering refers to a form of volunteerism where individuals contribute their professional skills and expertise to help nonprofit organizations or communities. Unlike traditional volunteering, where individuals primarily engage in hands-on tasks, skills-based volunteers use their specialized knowledge and talents to address specific organizational needs. This could include areas like marketing, graphic design, website development, strategic planning, financial management, or legal advice, among others. Skills-based volunteering is a valuable way for professionals to contribute their expertise and make a meaningful impact in a focused and targeted manner.

Skills Based Volunteers – Importance of Transparency 

Overall, transparency about the struggles and limitations of nonprofits is essential for building stronger relationships with donors and volunteers. It helps supporters develop a more realistic understanding of nonprofit work, encourages empathy and involvement, and ultimately strengthens the impact organizations can make in their communities.

Skills Based Volunteers – Show Highlights

00:22.6  Tobi intros the episode and the topic and guest

01:46.1  Tyler Manley’s Bio

03:06.5  How did Tyler make the transition from Americorp to Nonprofit work

06:21.0  What does volunteerism mean to Tyler? Why does it matter in today’s world?

10:58.6  How do you define skill based volunteering? And what are the common roles?

14:25.2 What are some of the trends or emerging practices in the field of skills based volunteering that organizations should be aware of

19:57.9  What is getting in the way of finding skill based volunteers

31:22.9  What minimum resources do people need to get started?

41:30.0  Identifying skill basked volunteers needs and priorities

49:27.2  What is the process you recommend organizations go through

58:12.3  What can organizations do to make sure joy happens for volunteers?

1:03:34:00 What is Tyler most excited about in the year ahead

Skills Based Volunteers – Quotes from the Episode

“Volunteering helps break down biases and the stories we tell ourselves about others. It brings communities together and has benefits for mental and physical health.”

“Skills-based volunteers use their professional skills to help organizations grow and build capacity. They are a valuable resource, but there is resistance to engaging this type of volunteer.”

“Not utilizing resources like volunteers due to the risk involved is not a valid excuse. Organizations can achieve incredible results with unpaid individuals.”

“When someone applies for a skilled volunteer position, it’s because they have the necessary skills and time to do the job. Treating the position seriously creates buy-in and ensures commitment.”

Want More? Check out Our Time + Talent Podcast!

Whether you’re looking for solutions, inspiration, or just want to hear what others are doing to successfully engage volunteers, Time + Talent is the podcast for leaders of volunteers.

Co-hosts Tobi Johnson, MA, CVA and Jennifer Bennett, CVA bring you uplifting and insightful conversations with thought leaders and volunteer management practitioners who are redefining their roles, and the roles of volunteers.


About the Show

Nonprofit leadership author, trainer, consultant, and volunteer management expert Tobi Johnson shares weekly tips to help charities build, grow, and scale exceptional volunteer teams. Discover how your nonprofit can effectively coordinate volunteers who are reliable, equipped, and ready to help you bring about BIG change for the better.

If you’re ready to ditch the stress and harness the power of people to fuel your good work, you’re in exactly the right place!

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