Volunteer Your Time, Yet Also Your Ideas - Guest Blog
For the next 2 weeks on the blog we welcome guest Subibe Choudhury, MBA, C.Adm., BCom. Founder and Principal Facilitator at Vis-à-Vis Leadership, Non-Executive Director and VP at AMCAL Family Services based in Montreal, QC. Author of 4 books available on Amazon Kindle. Subibe takes great pride in understanding that in today’s workforce, recognition, autonomy, proper health, and stress management, respecting diversity and differences and facilitating life balance are at the core of a humanistic approach to HR. His perspective on leadership can be summarized by one phrase, “leadership development starts with self-reflection.”
Volunteer Your Time, Yet Also Your Ideas - (Part 1 of 2)
A few years ago, when I was asked to put forth my candidacy for a seat on the Board of a local non-profit, my first reaction was, “I don’t think I have the time.”
Granted, like most people, I had done volunteer work throughout my life yet a seat on a Board seemed much more substantial and would require a sustained commitment. And, in truth, yes, such an opportunity does require a more sustained commitment than volunteering on occasion or for a one-off charitable event. And, let me just say, it is well worth it. Before I elaborate, for me, aside from engaging in a cause that I believed in, the opportunity needed to be one that was not just for the sake of placing on my CV. It needed to be an opportunity for me to contribute, yet also, learn and grow. We often hear the benefits of volunteering as an act of giving, yet from my experience, the rewards can go in both directions beyond what is typically considered. No doubt, your time, effort, and energy can be spent helping and contributing towards a good cause. Also, for your own benefit, you might meet new people and increase your socialization among many other typical benefits.
Digging a bit deeper, consider that a lot of non-profits function under tight budgets and face a lack of funding yet need to work in some respect as a business. These limitations may result in a lack of adequate staffing for the day-to-day work that needs to be done. The staff often wear many hats and that is where a volunteer that is committed and engaged can really make a difference in a non-typical way. Aside from working directly towards the cause or with clients, non-profit organizations must deal with Human Resources (HR), Marketing, Fundraising, Public Relations, Communication, Governance, Event Planning, Financial matters, Technology and more.
If you looked at the list above as a standalone paragraph, you might think I was listing the curriculum for a business school program. The beauty of this reality is two-fold.
First, if you have experience in these realms, your contributions can be greatly impactful and appreciated. Next, if you don’t have experience in these realms, this is an opportunity for you to join, learn and grow.
Stay tuned for part two next week!