The theme of Volunteers Week 2018 is ‘Volunteering for All’ – a great reminder that whoever you are, there’s a volunteering opportunity out there that’s just right for you. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking…
Become a charity trustee or treasurer: many of the vacancies advertised on www.icaewvolunteers.com are for board members with finance skills. A charity may be looking specifically for a treasurer, or an individual to bolster finance and business skills on the board. Being a trustee is a rewarding role and with the broad range of charities looking for Chartered Accountants to serve in their leadership there’s lots of scope to find a role that matches the time commitment you’re able to give. As well as a fantastic way to ‘give something back’ it’s a great way to develop professional and personal skills.
Start the new term as a school governor: similar to a trustee role, there are lots of schools, academies and multi-academy trusts looking for governors or directors to join their governing bodies. Overseeing a large budget within challenging financial constraints, recruiting senior staff, understanding the curriculum, and ensuring that premises are well-maintained are just a few of the issues school governors deal with. It’s easy to see why individuals with finance and business skills are so important to the education sector. And you don’t need to be a parent to be a brilliant school governor.
Impart your knowledge as an adviser or mentor: maybe a charity in your area needs some guidance to strengthen its internal controls, or someone to act as a sounding board for the development of a new service or social enterprise activity. Can you use your expertise to support them by providing one-off or ongoing guidance to the trustees or senior staff? There are also lots of charities that provide advice services to beneficiaries – such as tax advice to older people, budgeting to low-income families or financial planning within a prison setting – who often need volunteers with specialist knowledge to help beneficiaries.
Support a small charity as an independent examiner: smaller charities aren’t required to undergo an audit but must still ensure their accounts are examined externally. Carrying out the independent examination for a charity with a cause close to your heart can provide valuable support without requiring an ongoing commitment. With different financial year ends, you could support a collection of charities throughout the year!
Looking for something a bit different to the day job?
Become a coach for your favourite sport: the inaugural Coaching Week UK is taking place 4-10 June 2018 as a week-long celebration of great coaching taking place across the nation. What better time to explore becoming a coach in your free time?
Do your bit to fundraise: charities are always looking for ways to sustain and grow their income, and the range of fundraising activities they’re engaged in is broad. Whether it’s checking the figures in a funding bid, giving insight into how to reach out to potential corporate donors or helping to organise a fundraising event there are lots of ways to help charities raise more for the causes they support.
Explore one of the hundreds of other regular or one-off volunteering roles available: from helping run a Scout group or local Girls Brigade to getting stuck in with a gardening or DIY project to help maintain a charity’s premises, being a ‘reading buddy’ in a local school or library to serving a shift in a theatre café or charity shop, there’s no shortage of charities that need people like you to help bring out the best in society.
What will you do today to do your bit? Need more inspiration? Check out the roles on www.icaewvolunteers.com.