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Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss, Outreach & Education Officer, ServeOhio

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First Annual Skills-Based Volunteerism Training Academy

ServeOhio is pleased to welcome nine organizations into the first annual Skills-Based Volunteerism Training Academy (SBV Academy). The SBV Academy is a 12-month training program that equips Ohio nonprofits with the skills, tools, and resources to effectively engage skills-based volunteers in their organization.

What is Skills-Based Volunteering?

Skills-Based Volunteering (SBV) is the practice of lending one’s specific professional expertise to community organizations in a way that helps them affect social change. SBV differs from other, more traditional forms of volunteering in that volunteers are engaged in activities that leverage their professional expertise and experience – such as marketing, finance, or human resources. Skilled volunteer support is typically focused on operational or administrative functions - activities that a nonprofit might otherwise have to hire or pay for specialized support.

Why Skill-Based Volunteering?

Limited funding exists for nonprofit business infrastructure such as strategy, marketing, technology, and finance. In fact, the average nonprofit reports spending only 2% of its total budget on overhead compared to the 35% average traditionally spent by companies to build a strong infrastructure. Skills-Based volunteers can help organizations build internal capacity, providing services that strengthen or expand an organization’s operations or infrastructure – resulting in an improved or enhanced ability to deliver on the organization’s mission. Learn more about SBV here.

Skills-Based Volunteerism Training Academy

While the impact of SBV is well-known, many nonprofits still encounter significant challenges in effectively engaging skills-based volunteers, including identifying appropriate projects, ensuring internal buy-in, and managing engagements. ServeOhio is partnering with Common Impact, a national leader around skills-based volunteering, to implement the SBV Training Academy. The goal is to equip Ohio nonprofits with the skills and tools needed to lead impactful SBV projects that make a lasting organizational impact. The SBV Academy kicked off with a 2-day SBV Boot Camp in May where participants did a deep-dive into all things SBV. Over the next 12 months, participants will receive ongoing support and training from ServeOhio and Common Impact as they implement their SBV projects. At the end of the 12 months, all participants will have implemented at least one SBV project in their organization.

Who are the Participants?

The following organizations are participating in the 2019 SBV Academy:

  1. Cincinnati Arts Association, Cincinnati
  2. Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development/Senior Corps Division, Athens
  3. Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati
  4. Girls on the Run of Central Ohio, Columbus
  5. Hannah’s Treasure Chest, Centerville
  6. Nature’s Nursery, Whitehouse
  7. ServeOhio, Columbus
  8. St. Joseph Orphanage, Cincinnati
  9. Teach for America Greater Cleveland, Cleveland

How can your Organization Get Involved?

Funding for the SBV Academy comes from a 3-year Volunteer Generation Fund grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. ServeOhio will engage 3 cohorts in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The application for the 2020 cohort will be released this fall, so check the website or sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss the notification.

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