7 ways volunteering can advance your development career

Using her experience in finance, business planning and communications, Lynda Barton (second from right) spent nine months providing pro-bono services to Motech Ghana through Grameen Foundation’s global volunteer corps, Bankers without Borders. Photo by: Lynda Barton

As the director of Bankers without Borders, the Grameen Foundation’s global volunteer initiative, I have the privilege of interacting with more than 7,500 individuals globally who have signed up to donate their professional skills through short-term assignments with social enterprises fighting poverty. More than 60 percent of our volunteers are currently employed, 24 percent are studying full-time, 3 percent are retired, and 11 percent are looking for employment.

Regardless of where our volunteers stand in their own career paths, they are attracted to Bankers without Borders because we offer the rare opportunity for them to make a difference by volunteering their professional skills with organizations committed to improving the lives of the poor. They donate every possible skill and service you can imagine – translations, accounting services, IT support, marketing counsel, foreign exchange advisory services, business modeling, and monitoring and evaluation.

About the author

  • Shannon Maynard

    With more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and volunteer mobilization, Shannon Maynard joined Grameen Foundation in February 2009 as the director of Bankers without Borders. She previously served as the executive director of the U.S. President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and managed strategic initiatives for the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. Her work has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Nonprofit Quarterly, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Shannon is a former AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer.