The value in volunteering: How to decide where you'll make the most impact

How can volunteers determine where they’ll make the most impact? Experts from PYXERA Global and Cuso International explain in this Google Hangout.

It’s the responsibility of a volunteer-sending organization to match the skills of a volunteer with the right project or program. But there are questions a volunteer can ask in order to ensure he or she will make the most impact, too.

What programs are being served, and how can your skill set contribute to them in a sustainable way? These are very important first questions to consider, Erin MacLeod, monitoring and evaluation officer for Cuso International, told Devex’s Kate Warren in a recent “Value in Volunteering” Google Hangout.

Some organizations have very short-term projects that don’t require specific technical skills, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program, for example, while others, like Cuso, recruit volunteers with specific skill sets.

Corporate volunteers should be sent to institutions that work on issues tied to the company’s core business, said Daniel Elliott, key client manager for PXYERA Global, a member of the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance.

PepsiCorps, for example, partners with organizations that engage on issues related to water conservation since PepsiCo itself consumes more water than any other company in the world, Elliott said.

Watch the Hangout to find out what else corporations and volunteers should be asking.

Tell us your own volunteer story on Facebook or tweet us using #DoingMore, and check out all Doing More content here.

Doing More is an ongoing conversation hosted by Devex in partnership with Australian Red Cross, Cuso International, IFRC, MovingWorlds, Peace Corps, Scope Global (formerly Austraining International), United Nations Volunteers, Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance and VSO.

About the author

  • Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is an Associate Editor for Devex. Based on the U.S. West Coast, she works with Devex's team of correspondents and editors around the world, with a particular focus on gender. She previously worked as Devex’s Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok, covering disaster and crisis response, resilience, women’s rights, and climate change throughout the region. Prior to that, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.

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