How many times when you were younger did you daydream of being a superhero? Played a game where you’d don your cape and pretend to fly?
The likelihood is, these aspirations to save the world have slowed considerably since you’ve joined the workforce and you might not think that you have the chance to make a difference any more. However, you don’t have to be able to spin a web and swing from building to building in order to save the world. Instead, why not utilise what you’re best at and passionate about by volunteering your skills and time to a cause?
Outreach Digital is a Pro Bono, volunteer-led organisation that operates in the digital community. It focuses upon running free workshops and talks, pro bono and social impact projects and, generally, connects the minds that are curious about the digital world. The combined power of a team of digital experts becomes almost limitless when acting together in order to help drive charitable projects forward.
Pro Bono work refers to the volunteering of a set of skills to a particular cause, instead of in exchange for a monetary value. Completing Pro Bono work in the industry you’re employed within will not only be giving back to the community but can also act as a means of personal development. What better way to practice and learn new skills than to also be helping someone at the same time?
In the Community Life Survey Report 2014-2015 47% of people participate in some form of volunteering, be it formal or informal. Whilst some of the most common justifications for not getting involved are being unsure of how to volunteer, what to do or work getting in the way of it, organisations, such as Outreach Digital, give the opportunity for you to get involved in a project that you’re truly passionate about and ensuring that you are able to make the most from your skills.
Outreach Digital has built a strong community of over 6,000 members in London, which meets at least once a week at free knowledge sharing events. Born just under a year ago, Outreach Digital organised over 60 events already. With topics ranging from PPC to UX, SEO to start-ups, the events are targeted to suit a range of different interests and you’re guaranteed to learn something new at each one. Plus, there’s always an opportunity to catch up with some like-minded people and network after the talks.
The volunteer force is a world-class A-team, with organizers who work at major companies like Amazon, TripAdvisor and Sony, and international speakers including a senior manager from Google in Turkey, a founder of Search Engine Watch and several entrepreneurs from abroad.
Pro Bono Work
Outreach Digital has worked with several charities and social enterprises such as LonDIN, the London Digital Inclusion Network, and The National Colleges for Clinical Mindfulness and for Clinical Research into Stress. Most recently, they partnered up with MyRefuge team to facilitate a workshop on running a crowdfunding campaign in the run up to MyRefuge’s own campaign.
Denisa Turkova, a digital marketing expert, and a filmmaker Ben Pollard shared their previous experiences of running crowdfunders, explained how to plan communications, what to consider when creating a crowdfunder video and setting up a campaign page. A practical workshop followed and the event guests had to come up with their crowdfunding campaigns using MyRefuge as a case study. The benefit was mutual: MyRefuge walked away with new perspectives and ideas for their campaign, whilst the guests got a better understanding of what it takes to run a campaign and what things they need to address in preparation.
This is just one of the formats that Outreach Digital uses to encourage their audiences to put their newly gained knowledge to practice and support charitable and socially or community oriented organisations that are in need of digital expertise.
The team of Outreach Digital is growing fast and this year they are looking to expand the range and scale of events.
If you’re interested in volunteering to join the Outreach Digital team or have a charitable project you need digital support for, then you can get in touch with the team here.