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Initiative bridges skills gap for Australian charities:

The World of Difference program, an initiative by the Vodafone Foundation, is offering Australian charities the opportunity to source a full-time employee to help grow their charity for free, for a year.
By Motherpedia
Date: February 04 2012
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While 6.4 million Aussies volunteer their time each year to Australian charities, there is a significant gap in skilled full-time volunteers in non-profit organisations across the country according to Volunteering Australia.

Peter Cocks of Volunteering Australia said: “It is tough on charities to find and engage people with expertise and skills to assist with larger projects. While there are many people willing to volunteer a few hours each week, there’s a big difference when you can commit to a fulltime position.”

The World of Difference program offers up to five Australian charities with the opportunity to source a full-time resource for a year. The Vodafone Foundation will cover the cost of their salaries- up to $60,000 and also their expenses- up to $15,000.

Tanya Bowes, Chair of the Vodafone Foundation said, “Our experience with Not-for-Profits has told us that often the area they need most support in is resource.  Funding will often pay for an activity but not necessarily the resource to run it.”

“This program is all about bringing together inspiring individuals in Australia wishing to use their skills to make a difference, with Australian charities that need a skilled helping hand.

“We’re calling for members of the public involved with a Not-for-Profit who want to work for them on a permanent basis, or those looking for a career change who have the ability to make a difference to a Not-for-Profit, to apply,” said Tanya.

As part of the program, the successful applicants will be supported throughout their 12 month journey with training, mentoring and support so the participants can focus on their World of Difference goals for the year.

Since its inception in 2004, World of Difference has supported 39 big-hearted Australians in lending a full-time helping hand to various charities across Australia, including the RSPCA, OzHarvest, Oxfam, St Johns Ambulance and the Australian Men’s Shed Association.

“Most of us want to give back to the community as individuals. Corporate giving is no different. At Vodafone we don’t believe cash alone is the cure which is why we invest in people. It’s a unique way of making a difference,” said Tanya.

One of the current awardees, Emma O’Connell, is working for Musicians Making a Difference, and has urged volunteers to apply for the program.

“This program changed my life, it’s changed the charity for good, and it can change your life too,” Ms O’Connell said.

“Before Vodafone’s world of difference program I had to split my life and my heart between two jobs. This program has given me the opportunity to work full time for a charity that I care so much about.”

Applications are now open for the 2012 World of Difference program, and close 4pm (ADST) on Friday 17 February, 2012. For more details on how to apply and full terms and conditions visit:

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