Sustainable human resources13 Aug 2013
With volunteering now a key component in employee engagement, the ICAEW has launched a new platform to connect the private and third sector
Lord Hodgson’s review of the Charities Act 2006 concluded that charities “struggle to find trustees with specialist skills” and “many also need the managerial skills business can provide.” Yet volunteering provides a great opportunity for people at any stage of their career development to gain experience and put their business skills to the test.
All good sustainable businesses can only be sustainable if they look after all their resources, which include staff. Many now allow flexible working and/or time off to pursue voluntary or charitable activity, but more can be done. In parallel the challenge which many charities face is in finding volunteers with business and finance skills. It made sense to put these two together.
The Charity Commission found that some charities “struggle to find trustees with specialist skills (such as legal or financial skills), and others reported difficulties with recruiting a diverse board.”
Lord Hodgson also said: “I have been impressed by the evidence from several organisations that volunteering in the charitable sector has improved the employee’s commitment and performance at their commercial place of work.”
All of this indicates that building links between private sector businesses and charities or not-for-profit organisations can boost their expertise, community ties and, more importantly, improve the quality of that priceless human resource.
ICAEW has developed a website www.icaewvolunteers.com which serves employees and charities alike by providing a no-obligation free-to-use opportunity for skilled staff to browse volunteer roles to see what’s out there. The site has been specifically created with ease of use in mind, to help those who want to volunteer, find the right project or role for them. In addition it is a resource for organisations who would like to encourage their employees to volunteer as part of their corporate social responsibility policies.
The website has been designed to be very intuitive and easy to use. Charities can upload their roles and proactively search for the people they’re looking for quickly and easily. Users can set filters for skills, location, and expertise to find their ideal candidate.
Nick Brooks, Chair of ICAEW’s Charity and Voluntary Sector Group said: “The driving force behind the website came from a desire to help charities find volunteers with the expertise needed to fill specialist roles. This will support the thousands of people who are eager to volunteer their skills.
“We repeatedly encounter charitable organisations that are struggling to find the right people, particularly those with relevant specialist skills in areas such as business and finance. I was convinced that a way needed to be found to marry up the two groups. ICAEW Chartered Accountants have experience across a wide range of different sectors and roles and charities can be confident that chartered accountants are trained to the highest technical and ethical standards. ICAEW ensures these skills are constantly developed and recognised so charities can have the value of skilled volunteer or trustee working with them.”
ICAEW sponsors the Sustainable Business Award, which recognises organisations from any sector that can demonstrate a good return on investment in processes, policies and strategies for long term growth / impact and corporate longevity. Finalists for this award have been announced and the winner will be revealed at a glittering ceremony on 12th November at the Grosvenor, Park Lane, with 1,200 business leaders in attendance. If you would like to attend, contact Anthony Akoto on 020 7234 8710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.