This past week was spent at my first on-site project. We spent hours revamping an autism unit at a school for disadvantaged children. Over 60 volunteers came together throughout the week; some from the corporate sponsor, some from the school themselves, some people’s family members came out – it was truly a site to be reckoned with.
It’s interesting to be a part of the volunteer industry, especially being on the side that deals with corporations that are looking to take part in volunteer activities. It’s a niche industry to say the least. We have no major competitors in the corporate section – except for large charities that have their own recruitment plans put in place – but we are not in daily competition with them. Thankfully, since we are so unique, we have the opportunity to move about, and we do not have to constantly worry about competitors. Although, we are a small team, which can always possibly pose challenges. Our division is only four people in an organization of eleven. With a niche area and a small team, there can sometimes be a lot of requests coming in the door for volunteer opportunities, but we can only source the opportunities so fast.
What Volunteer Ireland provides though, is not only a unique service, but one that is put together, one that makes it easy for a business to find something can fit what they are looking for. Corporate Social Responsibility plans are something that a lot of corporations are consistently looking at and trying to better their company with, and Irish branches are looking towards aligning their company principles with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Volunteer Ireland can thankfully be at the forefront of these goals, helping companies every step of the way, and thus we are at the forefront of continental, and eventually global, change. More to come.