What this amazing volunteer learned from 100 days of volunteering

Most of us likely won’t manage 100 days of volunteering in our lives, but Sarah Swaysland set herself the task of doing 100 days in a row! We were fascinated to learn about her motivations, experiences and what she learned during the process.

Sarah was a freelance marketing consultant in the hospitality industry. Sadly as Sarah points out “who needs a freelance marketing consultant when you can’t open your restaurant”. So, like many, Sarah has recently found herself without work during the pandemic. However unlike many, Sarah decided not to indulge in the daily Netflix binge, instead breaking the monotony of job searching with an ambitious goal… 100 days volunteering. 

When I asked Sarah why she was driven to do this, Sarah said “It’s nice that I’m doing something for someone else that’s basically adding value”. Sarah started by taking up traditional voluntary roles like manning the lines at Shout, where volunteers speak to those who are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to. However, Sarah realised how much value she could add by applying her marketing expertise and began helping charities with things like Google Ads, design work and writing press releases.

So how did Sarah go about finding the volunteering opportunities and areas in which she could help? Well it wasn’t as straightforward as it should’ve been. Sarah said that “organisations don’t make it as easy for people to volunteer as they should do”  and often it involved Sarah “constantly following up for things to do”. Sarah found there was no standardised volunteer management system or processes. She often received limited responses to her emails and was asked to fill out Google Sheets shared by other volunteers. It was safe to say that Sarah felt the process could be improved.

I finished our chat by asking Sarah how volunteering could be improved and the answer wasn’t surprising but it is something that is often not prioritised by charities. Sarah said that

“Organisations need to make it easy for people to volunteer with them

Sarah felt that there needs to be an easier way to let your volunteers know the things that need to be done and can allow them to put themselves forward for these opportunities. Well Sarah, needless to say we agree and it is the exact reason we built Volunteero. As volunteers ourselves we wanted a way in which we could be more proactive and easily find and complete tasks that our charities needed, whether this be traditional volunteer tasks or those leveraging professional skill sets. This is exactly how Volunteero works, it is a fully customisable volunteer management system that allows charities to create and publish missions whilst volunteers use our app to claim, complete them and report back.

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