CSV scheme to place 9,000 volunteers gains £700,000 from Cabinet Office

Lucy de Groot, chief executive of CSV, says charities need more volunteers with commercial skills

Lucy de Groot
Lucy de Groot

The Cabinet Office has provided about £700,000 of funding to the volunteering charity CSV to run a scheme that aims to match 9,000 volunteers with 400 small charities.

The Professionals scheme, funded through the government’s £20m Social Action Fund, encourages people with professional skills to provide specific help to more than 400 community groups in activities including recruitment, IT support, fundraising or marketing.

CSV has already been using the funding, given in April, to match 1,750 people with 180 organisations.

It has a team of 12 staff across England encouraging people with the appropriate skills to get involved in the scheme. It will run until September 2013.

CSV has also released the findings of research among 50 organisations of all sizes into the skills that they needed. It found that nearly half of those surveyed needed skilled volunteers. Two-thirds of them needed help with fundraising, 61 per cent with marketing and 44 per cent with accountancy and finance.

Lucy de Groot, chief executive of CSV, said: "Our findings reinforce what we are hearing back from charities. It is clear that in the period of austerity we are all going through charities need more volunteers with commercial skills.

"They also need to make better use of the professional skills of existing volunteers to ensure their organisations are more businesslike and achieve greater charitable impact."

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, will today officially launch a partnership between CSV and National Grid that will see the energy company encourage its 10,000 employees in England to take part in the Professionals scheme.

"I have seen what a difference someone with business experience can make to a local charity," said Hurd in a statement. "It is always striking how much they too get out of the experience personally. This campaign is a chance to inspire more people to use their talent and knowledge to put something really positive back into their community."

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