Volunteer with us
All of DataKind’s projects are undertaken by pro bono data scientists. Our DataDives, DataCorps, and Office Hours support are all powered by data experts who give their time and their skills for free. Find out how we work and how to get involved below.
Who are we looking for?
There is no 'average' DataKind project - the data science needs of the social sector are diverse, and we look for a diversity of skill sets to be able to deliver DataKind's projects. This includes:
If you have the skills we're looking for and would like to volunteer your time, please get in touch!
What do our volunteers do?
We have a mixture of roles for volunteers, dependent on your skills, experience and level of time commitment. If this is your first time volunteering with DataKind, we recommend that you begin with a DataDive. Read more below!
DataDives are two-day data science 'hack'-style events. During the Dive, volunteers come for a weekend-long exploration of a social change organisation's data, in order to tackle a specific set of challenges that have been set out by the organisation. A team of Data Ambassadors (volunteer team leaders - ask us more about this role at the Dive!) have worked with a social change organisation for at least 2 months ahead of the Dive, to make sure the project fit their mission, is data science-ready, and that the datasets are as clean, ordered and labelled as they can get them.
We hold Dives in London and Southampton, and are hoping to have our first Edinburgh-based Dive in 2020!
If you think of a DataDive as an opportunity for a social change organisation to learn what is possible with data science, DataCorps offers a chance to turn these possibilities into business as usual. These projects are longer than a Dive - usually 6 to 12 months. Project teams usually consist of around 4 DataKind volunteers (skillsets dependent on the needs of the project), 1-2 staff from the social change organisation, and oversight and support from the DataKind UK staff team. See our programmes page for more information.
A team of between 10 and 15 data experts run our monthly 'Office Hours'. This scheme enables any social change organisation to talk to a data expert, whether their issue is operational or strategic, well-formed or speculative. We have provided advice and light touch support to more than 80 social change organisations through this scheme. Office hours is open to any non-profit organisation - charities, social enterprises, public sector bodies - based in the UK.
Running DataKind UK
Around 40 core volunteers help us to run the organisation, sitting on 5 committees. These groups review project applications, assess our impact, onboard new volunteers, provide light-touch support and ensuring we are always learning and improving. Meet the chapter leaders who run these committees and learn more about our volunteer-led structure.
To achieve our mission of transforming the impact of the social sector through data science, we need to be sensitive to the needs of the sector, produce high quality work, and be kind and open with each other as we do so. These are just a few of our community's values - read on below to learn more.
We are approachable and welcoming, whether you’re a nonprofit, a data scientist, or just someone interested in learning more
We are sensitive to the fact that we are not just dealing with numbers, but that we are dealing with human lives
We are completely transparent in what we do - and in how we think about the world
Committed to excellence
People rely on our abilities and those of our volunteers, so we are committed to excellence, and continuously learn and improve
We are an inclusive community, being aware and open to difference and proactively seek out diversity of viewpoints, skill sets and backgrounds
We operate with the planet in mind, minimising our carbon footprint whenever possible
Not in the UK?
Our projects take place in the UK, with at least some face-to-face time. If you’re not based in the UK, don’t panic! DataKind UK is one of six DataKind chapters - in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Singapore, Bangalore. If you're located in one of these places, get in touch with your local chapter. If you're not, check out our list of Data for good initiatives around the world.