Not only does volunteering in your community provide a means to give back, make friends and feel good about yourself, but it also builds your personal brand.
We work with a host of businesses that encourage their staff to volunteer whether multiple times a year or a weekly basis. You don’t have to look far to find a cause that you could get involved with.
If you’re looking to donate your time wisely I would recommend using the skills you have that others may not. For example, whenever I am asked to join a board or committee one of the first things I ask is ‘what’s your PR plan’ if the response is well thought out, and there is already a member of the board or committee who is tasked with this role, I feel that the organization is good hands. If there’s room for improvement then I take this into consideration.
I think it’s also important to share the love, as they say. I look to organizations supporting different areas of the community or causes that strike a cord. So, I currently share my time between a professional organization, which supports women of all ages; Illinois Women in Leadership, one that supports the arts; Springfield Ballet Company, and Friends of Memorial because I have witnessed the excellent work the group is doing and not only want to be a part of that but also want to ensure it is getting the recognition it deserves. Finally, I also join groups that I do not sit on the board but am able to help with public relations activity such as Rotary and The Junior Chamber of Commerce.
If you can’t give up the time to volunteer on a weekly basis there are plenty of organizations that have projects that need support, whether that’s planting trees, ‘shaking buckets’, or making/delivering meals.
A client once asked me, ‘how do I get my name out in the community?’ My response was ‘join a civic group or two and volunteer your time and expertise?’ The client was shocked when he found that one organization I had introduced him to required three days of volunteer work per year. I was disappointed he thought that was too much.
Between me and Chris, my husband and business partner, I estimate we volunteer 20% to 30% of our time, each week, to non-profits or community causes – of which I am exceptionally proud. Not only have we made friends and given back to the community, but we have also developed a network of contacts that we can introduce to one another when they have something to give.
Through Eighteen21.com we are hoping to further spread the word about organizations in Springfield, and Central Illinois, that need – deserve – our support. So if you’re involved in a non-profit and trying to get the word out get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not already involved in volunteer work and want to be we can certainly point you, your staff or colleagues in the right direction.