In an era of decreasing foreign aid and rising donor scepticism, the amount now being channelled through independent NGOs operating in developing countries is actually rising. With over 300,000 now operating across Africa and more than 1 million in India alone, the most important question in International Development today is how to improve the impact and accountability of these organisations whilst ensuring the long term sustainability of their worthwhile activities. Never has the demand for sound financial management support across the sector been greater.
In a time when the job market is recovering and many accountants are looking for a more rewarding career, volunteering is a great way to develop vital practical skills. Many of our volunteers look at volunteering as the only way to pick up essential charity sector experience. Skilled volunteering is a socially responsible way for accountants to develop key skills while at the same time giving charities access a vast pool of otherwise unobtainable talent.
A survey carried of the UK’s leading businesses by Time Bank UK found that 94% of employees who volunteered had benefited either by getting their job, improving their salary, or being promoted. 73% of employers said they would employ a candidate with volunteering experience over one without. Now over 20% of our volunteers work in the charity sector and without exception all say volunteering inspired them to make the change and opened the right doors. Please take some time to read about these inspiring individuals on our Career Changers pages.
Why volunteer with AfID?
Each volunteer will receive a very personal tailored service, whereby our experienced programmes team will create assignment options from over 400 partner organisations in 53 countries individually tailored to your own unique personal profile. Focus areas will be aligned with your skills and experience, be it day-to-day accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, audit or more strategic planning or management. Assignment options will take into account your preferred travel dates and assignment length, favourite locations, your budget and any interests you may have in the programmes of our partner charities.
We are conscious that volunteers are keen to ensure that their travel costs are kept as low as possible and as a result we will always create assignments that closely match your budget. Our team will advise and assist on all travel related matters such as visa, vaccinations, in-country travel and flights. We have detailed information on the facilities and costs associated with all our assignments and therefore are able to source exciting assignment options for a broad range of budgets.
In the less developed world it can be relatively simple to create a new non-profit organisation therefore it is critical appropriate checks are made before any type of support is provided. Even more so when that support takes the form of a volunteer. All our partner organisations are very carefully evaluated with both their donor organisations and past volunteers providing detailed references. In majority of cases you will follow on from another AfID volunteer that will have completed a detailed scoping exercise and he/she will be available to assist with your preparations. You will have access to all past volunteers and their reports, providing tremendous detail on what is required and how your skills can have an immediate impact.
AfID have now placed over 1000 accountants on assignment and we can guarantee that your placement will be timely and appropriate and part of a well thought out, carefully prepared, long-term programme of support. Our collaborative approach means all the necessary stakeholders will have been consulted and a warm welcome is assured.
Peace of mind
All of this we hope will provide peace of mind that the assignment is right for you and will give the reassurance you need that if something unexpected happens experienced people that care about your welfare are close at hand to assist you immediately. But please don’t take our word take some time to browse through the many testimonials.
Will I enjoy this experience?
Don’t for one minute think that just because you’ll be working on serious issues that it won’t be any fun. Many of our volunteers are surprised at how much they genuinely have in common with those they came to help and how much laughter they share together. A good sense of humour and the ability to laugh at oneself are probably two other qualities you’ll need.
We are confident you’ll encounter a variety of new challenges, share new experiences with a diverse range of people and learn new skills that will give you confidence to face challenges in other areas of your life. You’ll be inspired and get back so much more than you give! Dont take our word, please take some time to read through our Past Volunteers blogs, interviews and case studies