Showing posts with label volunteer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volunteer. Show all posts

Monday, January 28, 2013

Be Engaged, Be Social, & Be a Leader


Spending time at work, with family & friends, and volunteer efforts makes up a big portion of our lives and are often intertwined.  We're all busy, but we're never too busy to be a leader.  Leaders have an unrelenting desire to look past personal agendas and into the heart of the collective whole - humanity.

We are all capable of being leaders. So, how do we hone our leadership skills and become the leader we're destined to be?


When we interact with each other through our career, our family & friends, or volunteer efforts, we do it to feel a part of the collective whole.  Whether we engage others in-person or through social mediums, our engagements help us grow as people.  Leaders realize that none of us are alone, and that everything we do is for each other.  

Being Social vs. Being Engaged


Being engaged is a critical component of being a leader, but being socially recognized through our engagements is quite another.  It's been said in various ways by various people, but if you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem.  Becoming part of a group with a specific mission and vision is a great first step, but, for a leader, it's not enough.  A leader actively participates to make the vision a reality.

Everyone is a Leader  

Even a leader needs a break every now and again.  Since no one is born a leader, and we are all capable of being a leader, we should all strive to carry the torch for the collective whole - humanity.  Act well your part.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Don't Underestimate the Marketing Value of Volunteers

Have you ever volunteered for an event, or cause?  Did you feel underappreciated or that your effort and time were abused?  You're not alone.

While I must admit that this thought stems from experiences in my life from community and industry led volunteer efforts, I'm sure you have your own war stories.  When your volunteerism is devalued, it creates unnecessary drama and heartache for both you and the organization, business, or group you're working with.  And who needs drama in their lives . . . unless, of course, you're watching a good movie or live theatrical performance.  

For the organizations, groups, and businesses leading a cause or event, volunteers can be some of your greatest marketing assets.  By treating volunteers respectfully, everyone wins:  the leading organization, group or business, the cause or event itself, and even the volunteers.  Volunteers help the marketing effort primarily through viral marketing, spreading the word about your cause or event to people you might not otherwise reach.  But if you abuse their time you lose them and the people they know.

Here are some considerations to show appreciation for volunteers (or for volunteers to look for in a volunteer-driven cause or event):
  • Some volunteers are okay with casual or even formal word-of-mouth or paper certificate recognition (and some are fine with nothing), but most appreciate those little (or big) extra perks.  In my experiences, community organizations often put limitations on the perks or rewards because they feel they will get a better ROI; don't do this.
  • Just because a volunteer runs a business and has expertise in a specific area that they might otherwise charge for, doesn't mean that the business, group or organization asking for volunteerism should expect they'll get everything for free.  I have found this unfortunately and primarily true for industry led and business partnership volunteer efforts.
  • Organizational and (especially) business leaders sometimes automatically expect that the volunteers should be as professional as they are and should devote countless hours toward the volunteer effort; this is simply not true.  Let the volunteer arrange for their time and effort.  In my experiences, this is more often a problem for community organizations holding events requiring hours and hours and volunteer preparation time.
Asking a lot from a volunteer is also asking a lot from their own personal and business relationships.  This a consideration never to be abused.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Little Things That Grow Business & Change the World

What Social Good programs does your business and staff practice daily? Recycling efforts, community volunteering, and other social good programming are all noble and necessary, but completely negated if you don't have your whole team on board.  From C-level executives to part-timers, every team member should constantly be involved to maintain social good best management practices. 

This isn't an original thought. It is, however and unfortunately, one that we need to keep reminding each other of on a daily basis.  In business, it's easy to get caught up in maintaining budgets in an effort to be fiscally responsible, and then, in turn, to forget our fiduciary responsibilities to ourselves, our staff, our customers, and the world of tomorrow by not living healthier lifestyles, especially in the office.

We have to go beyond just setting out blue trash bins for cans and bottles.  Instead, remind the entire staff in your regular meetings about the importance of cutting back on their use.  You can't make your staff eat or live better, but you can keep reminding them with positive, encouraging processes.  

  • Establish fiscal line item budgets to maintain social good efforts or increase the one you might have already.  This is a big pill to swallow, especially when you're off the financial mark and in the red. When you and the staff are practicing social good programming more often, then everyone starts to feel better and, ultimately, happier.  
  • Keep yourself updated with up-to-date news and healthy / sustainable living trends.  Staying informed is not only vital to personal and business growth, but it also shows your staff & your customers that you care about an ever evolving world.  
  • Get creative!  Try something new.  Try something different.  But, don't stick to one path. There is no one answer but there is always a better answer.

Your staff, customers, prospects, and business partners will notice these social good changes and will feel better about working with you.  These little things add to your business and marketing strategies and allow your business to grow.  The ROI is hard to see, but that doesn't mean that it's not there.