Written by: Tony Eldridge
In the past, I have talked about how volunteering can increase your visibility while doing good for others. I believe this win-win situation can do wonders to help many people as you use your skills with an organization. But today I want to talk to you about how you can gain marketing skills or sharpen your current skills through volunteering with others.
Before we do, I want to share a request that an author passed on to me where you can do some good for a great cause. Author Michael Balkind is raising money for an 8 year old, Jake “The Snake” Santoriella, who is fighting a huge battle against leukemia. For a $12 purchase from now through October 15th, 50% of the profits go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on behalf of Jake. You will get a book from this sports mystery writer and an entry into a contest to win a huge ESPN Banner signed by sports analysts and anchors. What a great gift idea! Where else will $12 do so much? For more information, read Michael Balkind’s LLS fund raising and contest page.
Now, on to the post for today…
I have recently joined a couple of non-profit organizations that I volunteer with. One is the American Red Cross of Dallas. I am trained to be a disaster responder if a terrible thing ever happens, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I could use some of my other skills to help that organization. For example, I found out that they need more people to help conduct the training classes so I am putting the building blocks in place to prepare me to become a trainer for them.
I also found out that they have a social media team and a broader communication team. I was invited to join the social media team as a volunteer and with my background, they asked me to tour their communication offices and see if there is any other area I would like to volunteer with.
Of course, any volunteer opportunity can easily consume your life if you are not careful, but my experiences are opening my eyes to needs that I never knew exited. As a marketer or author, you can think outside the box and find many opportunities to lend your skills to great causes.
It only stands to reason that large organizations need far more help than simply “boots on the ground” so don’t assume that you might have nothing to offer. But I will tell you that if you get involved in the core volunteer posts, it will make you a better volunteer for that organization. That’s why I made the decision that no matter what I do with the Red Cross through training, social media and communications, disaster relief will also be a part of what I will do for them.
I encourage you to contact an organization that you really believe in, pick up the phone or visit the website, and see what work you can do for them. Not only will you be helping a great cause, but you will have a chance to use and hone your skills on an even greater level.
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