Volunteering With Spreadsheets, Not Screwdrivers

During this period here in the U.S. between Memorial Day and Independence Day, it’s not hard to think about expressing appreciation to those who have worked to protect and preserve our society. Many also think about ways they, too, can render vital community service to make the world a better place. But it can be a challenge to match one’s experiences and skills with the right need or cause, particularly if you’re better with calculators than you are with, say, a hammer.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had cerebral types in mind when it developed a program, announced this past week, to help professionals volunteer abroad. The program assumes that volunteers want to not only help others, but do so in the places where it will do the most good. Volunteers want to take full advantage of their own unique professional talents, such as finance, marketing, law, human resources and project management.

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