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ApaNa Magazine Issue 2 April 2020

COMPANIES, NONPROFITS AND VOLUNTEERS CAN HELP ATTAIN THE SDGS THROUGH VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMMES

Recognising the value to the business and community, companies are increasingly promoting skills-based volunteering where their employees provide specialised skills and services that leverage job-related expertise, such as marketing, finance, information technology and human resources to nonprofit organisatons. However, volunteering programs are not often well-structured and definitely not linked to the SDGs.

Volunteers are important stakeholders to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Caribbean. They are often well-placed to raise awareness and champion the long-term attitude and behaviour changes needed to attain the SDGs at the grassroots level.

A company can develop a skills-based volunteering programme that supports the SDGs by following these steps:

  • Identify nonprofit organisations with missions that align with the SDGs and also in line with your company’s values and goals.
  • Understand your employees’ areas of expertise and skillsets and determine how they can be applied in a nonprofit setting.
  • Determine the level of engagement you like to participate in (short- or long-term, ongoing consulting etc), identify the timeline and scope of work for each engagement taking into account the SDGs that you want to support.
  • Educate your employees about the benefits of volunteering. Encourage and recognise participants of the program.
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