Using Your Expertise to Make a Difference: Ways to Volunteer in the IT Sector

Posted on: August 11th, 2015 - Written by: Tyler Gordon

Do you know someone who spends time volunteering on a regular basis? Maybe that person is you, or perhaps you’ve been thinking about getting involved in volunteer work. Everyone is busy these days—probably busier than ever before—so why take precious time and dedicate it to volunteer service?

We believe volunteer service is a great way to broaden your horizons, both personally and professionally.

Here are a few reasons why it’s great to engage in some sort of volunteer service:

  • It helps you maintain a healthy work/life balance.
  • Giving back to the community provides a huge sense of accomplishment.
  • Volunteer work can be a great way to relieve stress.
  • You meet new people when you volunteer.
  • Volunteering, especially in a team setting, helps you broaden your ability to work well with others.
  • Volunteers often gain new experience in a specific niche or expand their previous experience.
  • Service work can be included on a resume.

Whether you volunteer throughout the year or give your time for specific events based on your schedule and what is needed, you can reap the benefits of giving back.

But where should you volunteer? How can you start?

Many people might feel overwhelmed when they think about volunteering in an area that is completely new or foreign to them. It’s tough to find time and energy to learn something from scratch. That’s why we’re big proponents of volunteering to causes that need your specific set of skills. Though being stretched mentally can certainly be a good thing, sometimes a great place to start with volunteer efforts is by just staying in your wheelhouse.

You can do a lot of good by volunteering in your area of expertise. What is easy for you may in fact be quite difficult for someone else.

Coding is a great example of this. The people who are skilled and experienced in coding may be able to solve a technical problem in about five minutes; this same technical issue would likely take a layperson much longer to unravel. We all have skills that can benefit others. Many nonprofit organizations do not have money allotted in their budgets to cover costs associated with coding, UX/UI design, database creation, and other technical aspects of keeping things running. Yet in today’s world, technical bases must be covered—even in a nonprofit company.

If you have IT experience, a bit of free time, and a desire to help, we’ve collected a few resources to help you get plugged in and have given a brief overview of each one. Take a look:

As you can see, there are some really great ways to donate your time and technical skills to worthy causes. If none of these seem like a good fit for you, another way to find volunteer opportunities in your area of expertise is simply to ask around—coworkers, city officials, and nonprofit leaders may all know of ways to help in your area or abroad.

Volunteering is a great way to enrich your life. As Winston Churchill said,

“We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.”

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