Hands Typing

SKILLED VOLUNTEERING

NATURAL SCIENCES SKILLED VOLUNTEERING BOARD

Step 2: Look for an option in the “Specific skills sought” column that seems like it could be a good fit, then follow the instructions beneath the table.

NO SUITABLE OPPORTUNITIES?

You can check the full list of options here.

If you still can't find anything, you can publicly list your willingness to volunteer and your expertise by submitting an entry to the “Effective animal advocacy community directory”.

Otherwise...

FOUND SOMETHING SUITABLE?

Step 3: Double check that you are able to fulfil the commitment.

 

Ask yourself: Do you have the time to commit to volunteering reliably for this, at least for some period of time? Do you already have skills or experience that you can contribute?

 

Some people are overconfident and oversell their skills or don’t think realistically about their time availability — this will waste your time and the nonprofit’s time (perhaps doing more harm than good). However, other people undersell themselves or feel reluctant to reach out to nonprofits for something that isn’t formally advertised on their website. This is a great shame and may be a missed opportunity. Remember: if you contact an organisation in a concise, honest, and clear manner, you probably won’t take up much of their time at all if it doesn’t work out.

 

Step 4: Pick your top organisations to contact

There are several aspects to consider here: 

  • Do you believe that the organisation does work that has high impact potential? This is not an easy question to answer, but many of the resources on this list will help you with thinking about that question.

  • Have they listed the “Skilled volunteering type” that you are interested in as being a high priority for them?

  • Do you know something about them that makes you think your skills are likely to be an especially good fit for their needs?

 

But don’t spend too long overthinking these things. Sometimes the best way to find out the answer is just to contact the organisation and work it out by speaking to them.

 

We suggest you reach out to one to three organisations at a time:

  • You might find that one or two organisations have listed something on here, but don’t have time to respond to you at the moment, have already found someone to fulfil the responsibilities that they were referring to, or it doesn’t work out for some other reason, so to save yourself time you might like to message more than one organisation. 

  • However, you don’t want to contact too many organisations at once, since you might waste their time if they read through and reply to your message but you are no longer available.

  • Some people find it hard to turn down opportunities when they’re being asked for help — so if you contact too many organisations at once, you might end up overcommitting.

 

Step 5: Contact the organisation(s)

 

You can use this email template.

You can find each organisation’s preferred contact method here.

Step 6: Volunteer and help animals!