Skills-based Volunteering, as the name suggests, involves choosing to freely contribute your skills and talents towards an organisation that you wish to help, ideally that is seeking the skills you can provide. Pro bono legal work or advice has been a long established tradition with the legal fraternity.
Skills-based Volunteering, or "Skillanthropy" includes the contribution of professional skills such as marketing, PR, web design, strategic planning, accounting, project management ....you name it! Some skillanthropy happens organically, where someone has a need and you or someone you know is able to offer their specific skills freely, in order to solve a problem or plug a skill gap. This often happens when people volunteer to assist on their childrens' school board or sporting organisation.
There now exist not-for-profit organisations such as Good Company, that act as a matchmaker between those with skills to contribute and those seeking assistance with a project requiring a certain skill set, as well as promoting the benefits of skillanthropy to individuals and companies. In Western Australian, Leadership WA operates a Skillsbank where Alumni of the Leadership Program gift their talents and skills to the community, through a matching with non-profit needs.
Volunteering organisations such as Volunteering WA also answer the call for skills-based volunteering and there has been a lot of growth in online and micovolunteering, whereby people can donate their skills during their lunch hour eg. proofreading some marketing documents or adding some web content.