Skills-Based Volunteers filming at an agency in NJ

Overview

Since 1993 Jersey Cares volunteers have produced thousands hours of service to New Jersey's communities, including tutoring youngsters with access to few resources, reaching out to isolated seniors, working with the mentally and physically challenged, restoring the environment and revitalizing schools and community centers. Despite the great success of these hands-on volunteer projects, we realized that our agency partners also need assistance in other areas such as technology and marketing. In response to this challenge, we have expanded our area of service to include a new and innovative program, The Jersey Cares Skills-Based Volunteer Program (SBVP).
 
Skilled volunteering is a strategic type of volunteerism that enables professionals to utilize their skills to impact nonprofits to help strengthen their operations and services. The Jersey Cares SBVP works directly with agencies to identify their needs and also works with our volunteers to determine which impact area can be best served by their expertise. Similar to the concept of Pro Bono, which is professional consulting work done as a public service for no cost; Jersey Cares is expanding this concept to incorporate a range of skills in order to maximize the effect of our SBVP.
 

Getting Started

The first step in creating a successful program is to identify our non-profit partner's needs. We do this by asking agencies to complete an application. Simultaneously, Jersey Cares works diligently to find opportunities that utilize our volunteers' skills in impact areas of interest to them. The first step to get involved as a volunteer is to complete a short application which includes questions about your skills and interests.
 
Jersey Cares understands that skilled volunteers come from a variety of industries and possess a wide array of skills that can be utilized by the non-profit community. Jersey Cares will engage volunteers through two main project types, long-term engagement and short-term engagement.

Starting the Project

Once an individual or team of volunteers has been recruited for the project, we will facilitate a meeting between the volunteer and the organization to discuss the project and complete a detailed work plan outlining the goals/deliverables, timeline, how stakeholders will be consulted, and quality assurance for the project. Once all parties agree to the work plan, the project commences.
 

Support

Jersey Cares ensures that the SBVP is managed efficiently and that the goals of the project are met for both the volunteer and the agency partner involved. Throughout the duration of the project, Jersey Cares will provide ongoing support and oversee all aspects of the project. Jersey Cares maintains contact with the volunteer and the organization during projects to answer questions, provide best practices, and document the progression of the project.
 

Evaluation

At the end of a project, the nonprofit, volunteers, and Jersey Cares meet to discuss the outcomes. Volunteers are asked to provide a case study of the project and any deliverables that can serve as a reference for future volunteer groups.
 
If your company is interested in learning more or becoming involved in the Jersey cares Skills-Based Volunteer Program, please contact Michelle Dee at (973) 533-1993.