Skills-Based Volunteerism


ServeOhio seeks to increase the capacity of Ohio nonprofits to recruit, engage, and retain skills-based volunteers. To achieve this goal, ServeOhio developed the Skills-Based Volunteerism Training Academy which will engage a cohort of 10 organizations annually in state-of-the-art training, technical support, and ongoing coaching to increase the use and effectiveness of skilled volunteers across Ohio. 


Skills-Based Volunteerism 

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.


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. That's why ServeOhio is partnering with Common Impact, a national leader in skills-based volunteer engagement, to offer the Skills-Based Volunteering Training Academy (Training Academy). The goal of the Training Academy is to equip Ohio nonprofits with the skills, tools, and resources needed to lead impactful SBV projects that make a lasting organizational impact. Up to 12 nonprofits will be accepted into the 2020 Training Academy Cohort.

What does the SBV Training Academy entail?

Participating organizations will receive best-in-class training and support from skills-based volunteering experts, including:

  • 2-day boot camp style training in Columbus in March 26-27, 2020.
  • Custom support in project identification and scoping from Common Impact consultants in preparation for SBV Boot Camp. (estimated 2-4 hours of individual support as needed)
  • Peer-to-peer networking and learning opportunities with other 2020 training cohort participants
  • Webinars hosted by Serve Ohio and Common Impact
  • Ongoing project implementation support from SBV consultants to help your nonprofit in planning and implementing at least one skills-based volunteering project for up to 12 months following the boot camp

There is no monetary cost to participate in the Training Academy - just staff time (estimated at 6-8 hours per month) to develop and implement one SBV project within 12 months. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to view the recording of the technical assistance webinar held on December 18th. To view the recording, click here. 


December 3 Application released
December 18 Technical assistance webinar
January 22 Applications due via email
January 31 Notification of acceptance into program
Month of February 2-4 hours of consultation support with each nonprofit in cohort
March 26-27 Boot Camp
April 2020- February 2021 Ongoing support via coaching calls and cohorty webinars
February 2021 Program officially ends




Questions? Contact Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss at or 614-995-5269.


More SBV Resources


Webinar Recording

Skills-Based Volunteerism 201: Project Scoping and Planning

Choosing and preparing for the right project is crucial to any successful SBV engagement. This webinar on January 8, 2020 focused on getting “project ready” for SBV and translating organizational needs into clearly defined projects that are a good fit for skilled volunteers. Listen to the recording here. 



ServeOhio recently released a new Skills-Based Volunteerism Toolkit with in-depth information, tools, and resources to help you implement SBV in your organization.


For even more information and resources about SBV, visit


Funding to support the Skills-Based Volunteerism Training Academy comes from the Corporation for National and Community Service's Volunteer Generation Fund.