Savvy students volunteer to help charities in times of crisis

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted students’ academic lives, but Studenteer is the perfect way for aspiring fundraisers (or just civic-minded students) to support great causes in their spare time. This smart collaboration not only provided vital help to charities in need, it also allowed eager students to take the first step towards a graduate role.

Written by
Anna McDaid
Added
April 29, 2021
Students volunteering before the pandemic.

The initial idea for Studenteer was born out of Furlonteer, an organisation first set up during the coronavirus pandemic. With millions of people being furloughed, the founders of Furlonteer wanted to create an easy way for furloughed professionals to share their valuable skills and time with a good cause or charity. The organisation grew and expanded, and before long the Furlonteer model was replicated with a twist; connecting university students and recent graduates with charities that needed help and resource. 

Rebecca Moy, Co-Founder, Studenteer
‘We started out by recruiting a team of hard-working and proactive students from Sheffield Hallam, Dundee, Cardiff, Bournemouth and beyond. With the support of the experienced team at Furlonteer, we developed the website, liaised with charities, and built traction through press and social media. A few weeks later, Studenteer was born: a platform run by students, for students.’ – Rebecca Moy, Co-Founder, Studenteer

What is Studenteer?

Studenteer provides a much-needed, flexible service for pro-active students who want to volunteer their spare time by supporting a good cause or charity – all while gaining valuable work experience. 

Many students and recent graduates can find themselves stuck in a constant cycle of looking for jobs/placements/internships, getting rejected because they have little or no professional experience, but not being able to gain experience because they have no experience! 

And that is where Studenteer can help. It provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience, with the only requirement being that you have the right attitude. Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from this, of course. Good causes or charities who need a helping hand, but are limited on funds, are the perfect match for hard-working students wanting to use and develop their skills.

How has Studenteer helped charities fundraise?

Throughout the pandemic, our band of Studenteers have been helping a variety of good causes with a number of tasks, depending on their skills. Specifically, some have been a great help to charities and non-profits who are looking to raise funds and spread awareness of the work they are doing.

We spoke to Grace Oggudah from Donate A Wig, an international charity helping cancer patients cope with the appearance related side effects of their treatment. She told us how Studenteer’s Ellie had helped their organisation dedicate more time to completing funding applications, a vital part of ensuring the organisation can continue their good work: 

Our Studenteer, Ellie, joined us in October 2020 and has been a valuable addition to the team. We were struggling to complete funding applications because we were so stretched as a young charity with limited resources. Ellie has lifted a weight off us and continues to be a valuable member of the team. It feels like she has been with us from the very beginning. Her passion for the work we do comes through in her dedication and commitment to the team.’

Similarly, we spoke to Chelsea de Villiers from The Adventure Boutique Foundation, who support communities around the world to improve their livelihoods, as well as focussing their efforts on hospital aid and disaster relief. She revealed how the social media and marketing skills of Studenteer’s Molly had helped their organisation:

‘We needed help to reach more people, to get our name out there and make the public aware of what we do. We then wanted to find fun and creative ways to raise funds by approaching our new network. Ultimately, we needed social media and marketing expertise. Molly has brought a new look to our social media which means more people are seeing the work we’re doing. She has great ideas and knowledge of fundraising. This will help us to expand our network and in turn be able to host more events that will raise funds for our cause.’

Also, congratulations are in order for Molly, who has managed to secure her dream graduate role, largely thanks to the experience she has gained through volunteering.

‘In the interview for the grad role, I was able to give examples of marketing campaigns I'd worked on and show how I had contributed on my own, and as part of a team. I think having extra experience, especially in the charity sector, helped me secure my graduate role. The Studenteer internship has been a great way of developing my employability, which is even more useful now in such a competitive and challenging graduate job environment.

Julie Wynne from Wrenbury Together, an organisation that provides support to local residents who may need help, are self-isolating, or live alone, explains the direct impact Studenteer’s Abbey has had on their fundraising: 

‘Thanks to our Studenteer, Wrenbury Together now has the information and knowledge we need to focus on fundraising for any future plans and developments. We are now in a much better position to be able to deliver to these projects.’ 

The feedback above is just a small selection of how Studenteer has made real differences to charities and good causes throughout the pandemic. But this innovative and collaborative idea has also provided students with valuable work experience opportunities. It has given them an environment where they can use, develop, and improve their skills – something that is invaluable to students looking to secure a job in the current job market.

Could you use a Studenteer at your organisation?

To find out more about Studenteer, become a volunteer, or register your cause so you can benefit from their help please visit: https://studenteer.co.uk/

Studenteer is run entirely by volunteers. If you want to help these savvy students gain experience and support even more charities, please make a donation here: 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/studenteer?utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

About the author: Anna McDaid

Anna McDaid

Anna McDaid looks after copywriting and digital at Studenteer.

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