Post | November 2018 | News | 1 min read

Place-based vs skill-based volunteering

Place-based vs skill-based volunteering

As a Dutch nonprofit organization you may sometimes wonder what kind of volunteer opportunities the volunteers registered with Volunteer The Hague are looking for and how best to approach them.


In order to pin that down, we should realize that there are two types of volunteers. 

There is the volunteer with a focus on contributing to a specific good cause by helping others - place-based volunteer -, and there is the volunteer who tends to focus on gaining experience, networking and building professional skills – skill-based volunteer -.


Volunteer The Hague’s main target group consists of international millennials (those between 20 and 35 years old). This young group of people are often not able to contribute to your organization financially but they are the perfect candidates for skill-based volunteering. Just as most volunteers, they wish to give back to the community and feel good about their impact on a good cause. But they also see volunteering as a stepping stone to a successful career. Volunteering helps them polish up their CV and the networking could open up doors to future paid jobs. Why not use this knowledge to tie them to your nonprofit? 


Some tips on how to recruit international millennials for your organization: 

• remember that they are looking for skill-based volunteering rather than place-based volunteering;

• provide them with opportunities in which they can grow their network and at the same time make an impact;

• once recruited, show them your appreciation by offering them support, training and/or a reference letter.


Volunteering offers internationals an opportunity to improve their Dutch and a way to get a taste of Dutch culture. Recent research has shown that even though we live in a multi-cultural community using many words originating from the English language, Dutch is still the dominant language (source: nrc.nl). All the more reason for internationals to learn more Dutch by volunteering! 


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