A charity runner in a chicken mask being given a foot rub by another charity runner


When you give, you can get back and learning is the currency of this.

Helping charities as a volunteer is a great way for people to give to the community. This is particularly the case for skilled volunteering – where you are using your workplace or professional skills to make a difference. Seven out of ten charities are looking for support in the form of professional skills, but only four out of ten find it. Charities need skilled support.

However, apart from the satisfaction that comes from doing something good for others, working with charities can also help employees in business get back, by developing their personal and professional values.

Charities operate with a mission to create positive change in society, often through addressing social, economic, or environmental issues. A core set of values guides their operations, and they are often a great example of what it means to embody a values-led culture. By working with Pilotlight, our Partner Businesses, and their employees, learn a lot about how to create and embed a value-based culture that benefits both the company and society at large.

Charities are empathy accelerators

First off, working with charities can help employees develop their personal values. When they work with a charity, they gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by the community it serves and the impact of social issues. It provides them with an opportunity to develop empathy and compassion for those in need. I have dubbed our own work at Pilotlight as an ‘empathy accelerator’.

Working with charities also allows employees to broaden their horizons, learn new skills, and meet new people, which can help to enrich their lives. I guarantee it is some of the best learning and development there is. Participants in our programmes time and again come back to their business as usual inspired and humbled with their eyes opened to challenges at the heart of society. And what they’ve learnt sticks that much better because of this experience.

Developing a sense of social responsibility at work

Secondly, working with charities can also help employees develop their professional values. Employers today value staff who are socially responsible and demonstrate commitment to making a positive impact both on their colleagues, and society. Working with charities, provides employees with an opportunity to demonstrate these values, developing skills that are valuable in the workplace along the way: leadership, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.

These are essential skills that they can transfer to the workplace and help grow in their career. The more senior you become, the more important these ‘soft skills’ are.

When employees feel that their work has meaning for others, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated which can result in higher productivity and better results for the company. This helps foster a positive work environment, which benefits business in the long run.

In addition to developing personal and professional values, working with charities can provide employees with a sense of purpose and fulfilment. It allows them to contribute to a cause that aligns with their personal values and beliefs. When they work with a charity, they become part of a community that shares the same goals and aspirations. This can be a rewarding experience that brings a genuine sense of satisfaction and purpose to their life.

As I know myself, working with charities can also help to develop your social skills. When you work with a charity, you interact with people from all walks of life, and this can help you learn to communicate effectively with others, build relationships, and work collaboratively towards common goals. These skills are richly valuable both in your personal and professional life.

We call it ‘learning by doing good’. If you're looking for a way to do more for your world and more for yourself, contacting us at Pilotlight is a perfect place to start.

Written by
Profile picture for user Ed Mayo
Ed Mayo
Chief Executive - Pilotlight

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