Be a Superhero – Think Pro Bono

Post by BVU Staff:  Judy Tobin, Director, Leadership Development

super hero

It is the start of the day and time to make all that magic happen again. You know that you do great work, you are appreciated and you actually enjoy your job, but at times you may, as we all do, struggle with finding inspiration for your work– day after day. I like to run after a long day at work, and recently an old (some of you may think ancient) song streamed into my ear phones. Although the beat was perfect for running, it almost made me stop in my tracks. In their song, Do it Again, The Kinks sing the following lyrics: “And you think today Is going to be better, change the world and do it again. Give it all up and start all over, you say you will but you don’t know when… Day after day I get up and say com on and do it again…” It made me think. What one thing will I do today that is different, interesting and positive compared with what I did yesterday? Many people find inspiration in helping others. Pro bono volunteerism is one way to feel good and share your area of expertise. The week of October 20th is Pro Bono Week. Taproot Foundation is leading many pro bono providers during this week to educate and inspire individuals and organizations to use pro bono services. Pro bono, which means for the public good, has been around for a long time – but it has been on the rise in the last few years! Nonprofit organizations are in great need of various types of expertise, in the form of volunteer consulting, to help sustain and grow their organizations to meet community needs. Business professionals, retirees and college students are jumping on the pro bono band wagon to find a different level of volunteerism. Typical pro bono engagements may be helping a nonprofit develop a technology road map, marketing plan or business plan, or even coaching a nonprofit executive. Engagements such as these require expertise in the areas of finance, marketing, IT, human resources, architecture and legal. Most projects are defined with a beginning and end in mind. WhatWorkersWant_InfoGraphic_800pxMany studies are showing that organizations that offer volunteer opportunities for their employees have greater retention rates and report higher levels of employee satisfaction. Likewise, many job seekers, particularly younger generations, are attracted to employers who make community engagement a company-wide priority. According to the 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey millennials who volunteer with their organizations are twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive compared to those who do not volunteer. Net Impact’s Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012 states that they surveyed individuals who spanned the generations from students to baby boomers and found that workers with societal contributions at work reported a higher level of satisfaction at work (49%) compared to those who did not have volunteer opportunities through work (29%). Net Impact suggests that for job seekers, there are non-negotiable attributes (salary, location) and there are differentiators, such as the organization’s position on community engagement. Often times it’s differentiators, such as this, that will set employers apart, allowing them to attract and retain top talent. So, tomorrow when you wake up to “do it all over again” think about it from a different angle. Is there a nonprofit out there that could use your type of expertise? Where can you make an impact using your skills and expertise? To reference an REM song, which is still old but maybe not as ancient as the Kinks, put a new kind of inspiration into your work and be a Superman (or woman)!

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