Join us as a volunteer: Q&A
Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
- Are you fascinated by social capital?
- Do you want to know more?
- Would you like to contribute to the development of social capital?
- Are you ready to give something back?
The Social Capital Research Group is launching an association very soon, and to help us take the next steps we are looking for people to join our volunteer team. We’re seeking dedicated people of all ages, from all over the world, with the desire, skills, and knowledge, to help us build a diverse and vibrant community of academics, practitioners, and people interested in social capital.
If this sounds interesting to you, we have designed some answers to common questions. below. Click the question to read more. If you don’t have any questions, you can start your application now.
We are an international group of people interested in social capital and its potential to change the world for the better. We are academics, PhD students, Practitioners and everything in between, located all around the globe. Originally started by Tristan Claridge (find out more about Tristan here), the group, our resources and our community have grown and grown. Recently, we realised that our extensive and knowledgeable community has potential to have wider impact, so we have come together and created an association which will be launching very soon. This is why we are seeking volunteers. We need your help to create a vibrant association with social capital at its heart.
At the moment, we are run completely by volunteers, so you will be joining a team that is committed to the concept of giving back and creating benefits for the greater good.
Being a volunteer with us isn’t just about us taking – it should be mutually beneficial. Through participating as a volunteer, you can gain a range of valuable skills, experience, contacts and career-enhancing benefits. Perhaps you are at the stage of your career where you have great knowledge to share and you’re ready to give something back, whilst enhancing your academic or professional reputation. Or you may be relatively new to social capital and working or studying. In this instance, being a volunteer can help you to develop wider networks and gain deeper knowledge about the topic of social capital. For anyone working in a role with people, social capital connects into so many areas of life. You don’t have to be academic to be part of this – we welcome different perspectives.
What are your skills? It’s likely that whatever your skills, there is something you can contribute. Here are some examples of tasks our current volunteers have done recently:
- Creating images on Canva for our social media
- Writing articles about social capital
- Organising our online shared file systems
- Building our website
- Facilitating workshops about social capital topics
- Organising events about social capital
- Speaking directly to our community to ask them if they want to come to our webinars
- Making surveys to find out more about our community
- Creating a marketing campaign for our volunteer recruitment
- Completing funding applications
- Organising a local meetup of people interested in social capital
- Emailing members of our community to tell them about events coming up
- Designing strategies for our organisation
- Hosting a special interest group online
- Sending messages to our community members on Facebook
- Managing volunteers
- Writing minutes for meetings
- Developing systems and process to help things run smoothly
- Organising Trello Boards to keep directors on task
- Deciding on organisation goals and aims
- Running a small discussion group
- Speaking at a webinar about a social capital topic
Absolutely not! These tasks all require different skills and we don’t expect anyone to be able to do all of these things. Our work as volunteers is varied, so if you have a superpower or specific skill, tell us about it in your application and we will see how we can use that to enhance our social capital research community.
Some of our volunteers contribute weekly and others every other week. What they all have in common is regular and consistent contributions. Usually, we ask that volunteers commit to at least 2 hours per week, or the equivalent of one day per month. Some of our volunteers contribute considerably more, up to a day or two a week.
Occasionally, we have one-off tasks with which we need help. An example of this is proof-reading. We are currently recruiting for our bank of native English speakers who can proof-read transcriptions of our webinars for accuracy. This can be a one-off task and volunteers in our bank will be contacted individually to ask if they are available to review a transcript.
Successful volunteers display the following behaviours:
- Communicate with and respond to others quickly and professionally
- Like to solve problems, find solutions and carry things through
- Engage in their tasks consistently and reliably
- Are open to different ways of doing things
- Willing to take initiative and learn new skills for given tasks
- Can use technology relevant to their tasks (e.g Google Drive, Zoom) or willing to learn
- Do what they are assigned and communicate if they can’t do something
- Listen to and respect others’ ideas and different perspectives
- Have a keen interest in social capital
These are some of the things that help to make our organisation run smoothly. Each person brings their own perspectives and ideas, and this gives us strength. The main attribute that we are looking for is a willingness to get involved, whatever that involvement might look like.
We aim to support each other to achieve what we want from being a volunteer. This is different for everyone. Our volunteers say they get the following things from being involved:
- Feeling part of something bigger
- Building authority and citations
- New networks that will help career-advancement
- Finding people with similar interests
- Having access to potential writing partners
- Learning new knowledge about social capital
- Feeling better connected to the academic community
- Understanding how volunteer organisations work
- Gaining professional experience
- Identifying new areas of interest in relation to social capital
- Developing specific skills such a collaborative working and leadership
- Helping others and having an impact
- Meeting people from around the world and building friendships
- Improving mental wellbeing
- Having fun
There are all different types of tasks. Some require expert knowledge and other tasks don’t. We suggest that you make an application and we will see if we can match you up with some tasks and a team that will be able to support you to develop. If you’re feeling unsure about anything, you can put this in your application and we will take this into consideration when we are matching you up with a role.
We will need volunteers in the future. You can join our list to find out about future volunteer opportunities.
Stay connected to us on Facebook and LinkedIn, because very soon we are launching some exciting other ways that you can be involved.
Connect to us on Facebook.
Connect to us on LinkedIn.
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to finding out more about you and connecting.