On Thursday, June 4, 2020, Leo Otting, Manager of Volunteerism and Corporate Partnerships at Philadelphia Foundation, joined the Young Professionals Council to discuss virtual volunteering and ways young professionals can connect with non-profits to donate their skills and engage in serving the community during these times of need.

Otting opened with a few statistics on volunteerism trends in Pennsylvania, showing the degree to which individuals in our state turn out to support their communities.

In 2015, 28% of Pennsylvanians volunteered for a nonprofit.
0 million hours
That’s 330 million hours of service.
0 billion USD
This saved nonprofits $7.7 billion of what would’ve been paid work.

Currently, Pennsylvania is ranked at #23 out of 50 states for the most volunteering hours ⁠— we’re right at the average where there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Less than a year ago, on the Philadelphia Foundation’s 100th anniversary, the organization began a mission to increase the livelihood and quality of life for Greater Philadelphians over the next 100 years.

The Philadelphia Foundation’s Key Skills Hub is the result of this mission. This skills-based volunteerism portal allows individuals to volunteer the skills they already possess to an organization in need. This augments the existing landscape of volunteerism.

After making a profile, volunteers in the Key Skills Hub can explore available projects. On June 18, there were 162 posted projects from nonprofits looking for skilled volunteers. Volunteers can explore based on categories (finance, technology, etc.) or skills (programming, time management coaching, graphic design, etc.) and can also add their cause areas and skill sets to be viewable on their profiles.

Regardless of how you choose to support local nonprofits and organizations in your communities, Otting closed with three things for prospective volunteers to remember.

1. The best volunteer for a nonprofit is one that not only has the skill set and mission match, but is local.

Even though most volunteering opportunities are now virtual, no one knows the climate like a local. As a resident, you already know the culture, existing environment, and what the needs are of Greater Philadelphia’s communities and neighborhoods.

2. There is a demand from nonprofits for your talents, especially during this time.

Over the last two months, volunteers in the Key Skills Hub have tripled, available projects have doubled, and the costs nonprofits have saved has approximately tripled.

3. Your skills are more in-demand than you think.

Right now, digital skills are highly sought by local nonprofits due to the growing need for remote work. There are a number of organizations looks for help with their social media channels, troubleshooting on Slack, email layout and templating, and translation.

To learn more about virtual volunteering, feel free to reach out to Otting at [email protected] or connect with them on LinkedIn. You can also visit the Philadelphia Foundation’s Key Skills Hub.

Coming Up

[Virtual] Meet this Year’s YPC Spotlight Award Honorees
Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Exclusive to YPC Members

Although we’re not able to celebrate in person this year, we’re excited to honor three young professionals paving the way for Greater Philadelphia’s future success and growth. Join us to get to know the honorees and get insight into their professional and personal paths, including their approaches to leadership, development, networking, and volunteerism.