Get out and give back to your community, writes Andrew Young of Mortgage Wise Financial. Because the potential harvest is worth more than the seeds you sow
Let’s face the facts: We work within our community on a daily basis. As we become stewards in our community, we have a responsibility to ensure that our neighbourhood is healthy and sustainable. Without a thriving community, we cannot prosper as neighbours, business owners or professionals. When you take care of your community, your community will take care of you and the best way to ensure the soundness of the community in which we work and live is to serve the community and volunteer.
We have already built relationships with the people in our centres of influence. Why wouldn’t we strengthen and solidify those relationships with demonstrations of charity?
Being a part of your community can be as flexible as your schedule allows. From being a Block Parent or member of school council, to committee positions and presidents of boards, you will need to make a decision on how much time you have to give. I am not suggesting that you should join boards and associations to secure business. I am suggesting that people want to know you are interested in strengthening your community.
As Anthony J. D’Angelo eloquently states, “without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” Through participation come personal rewards and community accolades.
GETTING INVOLVED IS EASY
There is an abundance of organizations that are looking for volunteers and partners to share their time, talent and treasure. All you will need is the inspiration, the energy and the willingness to help and your charitable story will write itself. Before you begin your non-profit adventure, you will need to decide what type of volunteer you want to be.
Perhaps you are best suited at the ground level and enjoy being hands-on. Your personal talents can help raise funds for organizations that are not beneficiaries of government funding or corporate grants. If your skills are more organizational, serving on a board or committee and applying your knowledge and experience may be the best approach. If your schedule limits your time to volunteer, perhaps you just want to write a cheque (there is nothing wrong with that, either).
You might need to get your feet wet to see what you like. Maybe you are a “cold-caller.” Maybe you are a social media whiz and wish to stay behind the scenes. Perhaps you are a networker: Do you like to be in the the middle of it all and experience things on a visceral level and like to see the effect you are having on the organizations that you choose to support?
No matter how you choose to volunteer or give, simply commit to doing it. If you don’t know where to start, seek out advice from other volunteers to help focus your efforts.
THERE ARE INCALCULABLE REASONS TO VOLUNTEER
Undoubtedly, there is someone you know who has experienced or has suffered from an unfortunate disease, condition or situation. Your time would be invaluable in helping to raise awareness and funding for the organizations that support those in need. Maybe you have an affinity for animals and you choose to foster those awaiting adoption. Chances are you will discover your passion on your journey. Through volunteering you will be giving back to the community that supports your business. By cultivating new relationships you will grow your community and grow your business.
In my personal experiences as a dedicated volunteer / committee member / board member and member of executive councils, I can guarantee that your engagement and commitment in your community will benefit you and others in ways you have never conceptualized. Since the beginning of my volunteering efforts, my life has changed in countless ways. I have met a multitude of people that I hold very dear to me. I have made personal relationships that will last the rest of my days. I have made professional relationships that will last the rest of my career. I have helped countless children, adults, families and animals by investing my time, skills and personal resources. I have helped to raise funds and awareness for homeless shelters and services, family support and crisis centres, animal rescue and adoption efforts and adults with autism spectrum disorder. I sit on boards, executive committees and have presented at large fundraising events. To say that this has affected my personal life and career is an understatement. It has granted me greater credibility as a professional and has introduced me to people that have changed my life for the better.
PHILANTHROPY IS A STEPPING-STONE TO UNLOCKING INCREDIBLE RELATIONSHIPS
In my involvement in the not-for-profit world, I have met VPs of national companies, CEOs of major conglomerates, accountants, lawyers, fundraisers, government officials. I have also met children and families that have been affected by homelessness, hunger, abuse, disease and misfortune. At Mortgage Wise Financial, we feed hundreds of children every year at the Boys and Girls Club. We proudly sponsor local minor league hockey teams. We support our local theatre and Child and Family Crisis support facilities. The entire team belongs to our local 100 Men Who Care chapter. The list goes on.
When you open yourself to the world of volunteerism, you open yourself up to unimaginable dividends. The return on your investment will be lifelong relationships, new friendships, new colleagues, new sources of quality business and the unequivocal tactility of helping those who may not have the necessary means to help themselves.
Shirley Chisholm professed, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this Earth.” Give your time, give your talent and give your treasure and the benefits will be amazing!
In 2014, for every deal that I fund, I have pledged to make a donation on my clients’ behalf to a local charity that they hold close to their hearts. This is a great way to give to the community and solidify your relationship with your clients.
Special thanks to Michael Maguire, Steve Biskup and my partners at Mortgage Wise Financial for fostering an environment that is focused on giving back.
Read this article and more on the latest issue of CMP magazine.
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