UPFRONT Community connections

A newly launched website www.skills-exchange.org.nz provides link between businesses and community projects that need either skilled or unskilled labour input.
Skills Exchange is an online tool developed by AUT and founding partner Vodafone. It enables community organisations to lodge projects – anything from needing marketing plan written or fence painted – for participating businesses and their employees to review, select and do.
Vodafone employees do an enormous amount of volunteering in the community, according to the company’s director for customer care Andrea Midgen.
“Skills Exchange is great way to help us manage the process for everyone’s benefit. Our people get more job satisfaction for doing work they are good at, and the charities get really valuable work in return.”
AUT’s community relations manager Ian Leader says one of the great things about the new site is that it gives businesses and community groups hard data about how the volunteering process is working for them.
“It can generate reports on whole myriad of topics useful for presenting to boards and other important audiences.”
It also provides useful bridge between community groups and workplace-based volunteers for one-off projects. And the group which provided the bridge between AUT and Vodafone was the Robin Hood Foundation which specialises in bringing together business and non-profit communities.

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