how-to-volunteer-while-drinking-your-starbucks-non-fat-caramel-brulee-latte

HOW TO VOLUNTEER WHILE DRINKING YOUR STARBUCKS NON-FAT CARAMEL BRULÉE LATTE

You want to be part of a global movement calling for social justice. You’d like attitudes to change, laws passed, true equality to become a reality. There are issues that you really care about, and change you’d love to see take place.

BUT … there’s only so much time in the day. You work ten hours a day, add on the consulting gig on the side and the startup you and your former college roommates are trying to get off the ground. Who has time for anything else, let alone volunteering in an office or in the field?!

Guess what, you can do A LOT for charities while sitting at Starbucks, sipping your favorite flavor of coffee. 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there and voila! You’re making the world a better place. Here’s how:

A Discerning Eye
Are you a Photoshop expert? Know how to edit video clips? Enjoy storytelling and the visuals that go with making a story come to life? Then every charity out there needs you!

With so much noise and distraction out there, it has become increasingly difficult for charities to tell their stories in a way that grabs the attention of potential donors. Pictures and video help demonstrate impact and bring a charity’s activities to life. You already possess killer graphic skills. Why not put them to good use and create visuals that your favorite charity can use in its online and offline promotional materials?

Writing is Your Passion
Nonprofits are constantly writing. The monthly e-newsletter, donor reports, press releases, blog posts, web content, brochures and everything in between. Charities are always looking for talented writers who can tell a good story, get the important points in front of the reader and initiate a call to action which will resonate with the readers.

Does that sound like you? You’re hired! While there might not be much pay involved, it is incredibly satisfying to know that your writing contribution helped recruit more volunteers and raised much needed funds. And hey, now you even have some new pieces to add to your portfolio!

I Tweet. Therefore You Are.
You tweet. You snap. You post. You insta.

Your social media skills, your ability to use the web to research, your familiarity with the online world could be of great value to a small charity in your hometown or an international organization thousands of miles away.

There’s critical legislation pending and a charity needs the help of people like you to help organize a protest in front of the state capitol building. You can help spread the message quickly and mobilize people to join in. All from your phone in a matter of minutes.

If the cause is really close to your heart, use your social media presence to intro friends to it. Serve as a charity’s online advocate and ambassador and help bring eyeballs to the charity’s website. Let people know why the mission is important and what they can do to help. If you come across an interesting charity addressing issues you never even knew existed, let your friends know about it. Maybe they’d also find it interesting. Maybe they’d have an idea as to how they can help. It might even inspire them to address something else that they have always been passionate about (in the back of their minds). People share, people repost, people retweet. It is so easy for you to get that chain reaction started.

Data Plan for Good
You have always been very persuasive when you talk, whether in a public forum or on the phone. Why not donate a few minutes of your monthly data plan? Speak to friends about an upcoming charity event that you’d like them to attend or call that one major CEO that you’ve got a close relationship with and persuade them to donate. Convince people to join you in volunteering in the field. Call your local city councilwoman and explain why she should vote against the latest proposed ordinance. Sometimes, all it takes is one phone call and two minutes of your time, and you’re an agent of change.

Change doesn’t happen overnight or by itself. It takes a dedicated team of both paid employees and volunteers. But not everything has to be done in the office. So before you start another 10-hour day of staring at your computer screen, take a seat, drink your fav morning beverage and take on any of the above tasks to help your preferred charity! Best of all, you’ll feel accomplished before you even reach your desk!

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