Meet Matt and Tanya. They’re from Vollie – a website for online volunteering, which connects talented people to non-profit organisations. Vollie volunteers use their specialist skillset to make a difference within an organisation, while at the same time, building their resume.
Where it all began
“I remember when we were volunteering at an animal sanctuary,” Tanya recalls, “I looked at the chicken poo on the shovel, and I said to Matt, ‘there must be a better way that I can help’ ”. Matt and Tanya sought to find a way to utilise the skills they already possessed, to better serve the charities they love. Matt came up with an idea – “It was the answer, it’s what’s been missing” he said. That idea evolved over time, into the organisation that Vollie is today.
To volunteer through Vollie, all you need is a skill, and a computer with an internet connection. Vollie offers the talents of food photographers, web developers, accountants, business executives, marketing professionals, PR professionals and SEO specialists, to name a few. “People out there want to do this stuff- we believed they would” says Matt. “There’s a big difference between saying you’re going to do something and actually doing something. So, the fact that people are applying for these projects and carrying them out is amazing.”
Boosting your employability
Imagine this. You’ve finished your studies, and are now sitting in a waiting room with a dozen other job candidates – all with the same qualification and no official industry experience. Now imagine the advantage you’d have after volunteering with Vollie. What you get as a Vollie volunteer is experience working on several projects- developing outcomes for organisations in your field of work, even before you finished your degree. “That project that you’ve completed can be added to your LinkedIn profile.” Matt says “It’s experience that gives you better job opportunities”.
“Hundreds of people turn up to job interviews nowadays, and the interviewer might say ‘so anything else?’ and you might say ‘I built a website for this organisation’ or ‘I was part of this case to change legislation around food wastage in Australia.’ There’s huge personal benefit to using Vollie.”
“Vollie is a great way to provide those graduates, and those about to graduate, with experience,” says Tanya, “so when they get to that point, they have something on their resume. It’s an incredible experience to give them that leg up above other graduates at the end of the day.”
“Charities want them,” says Matt “they’re desperate for them. When I’ve spoken to some of the biggest charities we’ve got on our platform, the idea of opening up to young, hungry talented students- they’re all about that. They want that sort of involvement in their organisation.”
Making a difference
Volunteering is not all about having a competitive edge in a job interview. Volunteers gain a lot of personal satisfaction out of working for an organisation they’re passionate about. They’re able to utilise their existing skills, and develop new ones to help make change in the world.
Matt and Tanya’s passion for helping others is inspiring – contagious even. “People in this country are fortunate to live a good life, and I think it’s very important to support one another. There are so many problems with the world and Australia that need solving, so people need to do what they can. ”
“People are really keen to do more,” says Matt “and Vollie launched at a good time. Don’t just post on social media about it- actually do something about it.”
Tanya adds, “Volunteering empowers you to do your bit and make a difference, and I think that’s really important right now. It’s incredible that we can bring [volunteers and organisations] all together and make it happen”. Matt agrees, “It feels amazing” he says.
Volunteering is essentially a three-way win – for you, your resume, and society at large. “When you’re giving your time and it’s going towards a good cause, that’s the sort of stuff you’ll brag about to your mates over beers” says Matt “That’s the stuff you feel incredibly proud of”.
So if you’re finishing up a degree, or just starting, volunteering is a great way to open up to future opportunities. You can do great things with the skills that you have – so get involved today, and you’ll never look back! For more information on Vollie, check out the Vollie website.