Speed Volunteering and how to make it fast meaningful and fun

Speed Volunteering and how to make it fast meaningful and fun

Linz Darlington | 6 November 15

Checking your bank account, ordering a take-away or buying a gift can all be done online in less than a minute. Booking a speed volunteering opportunity should be no different – simple, straightforward and fast.

It should also be an experience you can slot into your busy lifestyle but still find meaningful. A three to six hour commitment that you can book at whip speed but know will be of real benefit to the charity. Give anything less, either in terms of time or value, and you won’t get anything out of it either.

5 ways to make Speed Volunteering work:

1.Make it fast: Online retailers know they have eight seconds before a customer will leave a page. The same goes for anyone wanting to engage employee volunteers. As well as streamlining the booking process to one page and one click through, avoid at all costs DBS forms, creating profiles or uploading hobbies and interests. That will take the Speed Volunteer from fast lane to hard shoulder in a split second.

2.Offer Engaging Choice: Employee volunteering is personal and people want to support causes they feel passionate about. They also want a choice of activities so they can help in different ways. Present Speed Volunteering options in a digestible and easily comparable way, with just enough info so employees know what’s involved.

3.Make it meaningful: A corporate volunteer can make a huge difference in as little as three hours. Think what impact that would have on an elderly person being shown how to use the internet or at a foodbank where hundreds of tins need sorting. Ensure that the speed volunteering opportunities on offer are targeted and fully described, so the volunteer knows their time will be well spent.

4.Ensure availability: The dates, times and opportunities you offer have to be viable. There is nothing more frustrating than going to Amazon, finding the product you want and then seeing it is no longer available. The same goes with Speed Volunteering opportunities.

5.Guarantee one hit wonders: Volunteers are limited to between one and three days of giving a year. Don’t use one instance of volunteering to hook an employee into a longer commitment at a particular charity. The organisations we work with say that as long as volunteers are properly briefed and enthusaistic, it does not matter if it’s not the same person every time.

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Linz Darlington was inspired to start Benefacto when he worked as a management consultant for Accenture. With three paid days off a year to spend volunteering, he had a tough time choosing a local charity where his skills could make a real impact. These days he spends his life matching talented professionals with amazing charities. Contact Linz via linz@benefacto.org.