Finding your fit: Passion, skills and values

""

You may be interested in becoming a trustee, or sure it is something you want to do, but with thousands of charities out there how do you find a charity that is a good fit for you? 

I'd suggest that there are three questions you need to ask yourself to help you find your perfect fit:

  • What are my passions?
  • What skills do I have to offer?
  • What are my values?

It is important to ask yourself these questions because being a trustee means dedicating time and energy to the charity. Aligning your passions, skills and values to the charity makes it much easier to commit yourself to the organisation. Life can throw many things at you; family, friends, work - and at the moment a pandemic. These challenges can conflict with your commitments as a trustee. To paraphrase Marie Kondo – you need to align yourself with a charity that “sparks joy” with you or even “anger” as you want to help them right injustices.

What are your passions?

Look on your social media feeds – the algorithms designed to make you part with your cash can also lead you to your passions. Scrolling my Facebook feed, clearly, cats and animal welfare are my passions as well as challenging social injustice. Also, examine what you donate to - what charities out there are guaranteed to open your wallet or PayPal account? This may indicate what areas you have emotional connections to. What do you spend your time doing which makes you lose track of time? What makes you angry – injustice, violence, cruelty? These are all indicators of where your passions might be.

What skills do you have to offer?

Charities need a diverse group of people who have skills and expertise to help to run the charity.  These can be professional skills such as marketing, accountancy, taxation or digital. However, they could be communication skills, networking, and lived experience of the problems the charity is trying to solve. All are important, but rarely ever does any one person have all those skills. A good board is like a jigsaw puzzle – each trustee brings a piece to the table that completes the picture.

What are your values?

Values are core beliefs that guide your life and work. What values did your parents teach you? For example, fairness, kindness or honesty. Have there been times where you have joined a club or had a job where you felt uncomfortable with the attitudes or culture of other people involved? I bet you didn’t stay long. Values are important but it’s something we don’t think about as they are often so subconsciously ingrained you need a team of archaeologists to unearth them. There are some really good resources out on the internet to help you identify your values. An exercise you could do is to look at a list of core values and identify the five values that you have a real connection to – not the ones you think you should have, but the ones that resonate with you. Not only is this exercise good for identifying your values as a trustee, but is also great for career development.

Here are some useful tools for you to explore your values:

Mind Tools

List of core values

Being a trustee entails responsibilities so it’s important to make sure you align your passions, skills and values with the charity.

Not only will this help with your commitment, but will be the start of a long and productive relationship.   

Salford CVS
Author: 
Anne-Marie Marshall, Services Manager

contact us

sign up


Join us

Get In Touch

Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
Registered address 
The Old Town Hall 
5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 
Email: office@salfordcvs.co.uk

About

Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

Latest Blogs

I started with Salford CVS as a Neighbourhood Volunteer Worker in the middle of the pandemic in

Volunteers’ week takes place from 1st -7th June every year and is always special to us at Salfor

As life slowly gets back to some form of normality, we need to look at restarting face to face a