Transformation Through Virtous Philanthropy

Mission: To inspire generations to abundantly fulfill their wealth legacy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Volunteers: worth their weight in gold

Kelly Bruce Beard
By Guest Blogger Kelly Bruce Beard

The beautiful thing about philanthropy is that it comes in all shapes and sizes. You don't have to be a multimillion dollar donor to make a big impact. Your community, or organization of choice, will be forever grateful if you volunteer your time or talent - which are "treasures" in and of themselves.

I had to chuckle to myself during a recent volunteer project when an older woman standing next to me said to the group, "How did we get someone under 20 to volunteer?" Being the youngest in the room, I knew she was referring to me - and was quite flattered she thought I was under 20! (That new face cream must be working!) I quickly introduced myself, surprised our paths hadn't crossed since I had been volunteering quite actively for the organization for close to two years.

Nevertheless, it was surprising to me that a volunteer "stereotype" still existed in my small town. I had been raving to my family and friends about how charity- and volunteer-driven the young people in my community are. But for many, the word "volunteer" still brings to mind retirees and rich housewives.

I can confidently say that stereotype is changing. I am so proud to be surrounded by volunteers of all ages while helping out a number of organizations. One of the main reasons is the community service hours assigned to local high school teens - required for graduation at many schools. It's also a prerequisite on most college applications these days. And while it may be required at first, volunteerism is fostering a group of caring, community-oriented, dedicated young adults. And I believe most of these teens will continue to serve their communities wherever the future takes them. (And I am thrilled to think of them as tomorrow's leaders and our country's future).

I might not have grown up with a community service quota, but I still find myself deeply involved in my community. For me, volunteering stems from a desire to help others and create a brighter future for the next generation. I'm newly married, the owner of a "fixer upper" (our first home) and a small business owner, so I don't have a lot of money to give. Volunteering is the natural choice for me, and I am constantly rewarded with smiling faces and the satisfaction of seeing the events that I helped coordinate become a success.

In the end, volunteers do raise money and offset costs, a true treasure for budget-strapped communities and not-for-profit organizations everywhere.

Learn more about how you can make the most of your donation of time, talent and treasure in "Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation," or visit www.margaret-may.com.  

Kelly Beard is the owner of New Growth Media, LLC. Visit her website at NGMedia.biz to learn more.

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