Part of the Explore your Why – 9 part series
I had the pleasure of attending a Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising event. This international charity works with young people by providing voluntary mentors. During the event, one of the speakers explained the various roles someone can play to contribute to youth. She suggested you could be a donor, sit on the board, be a big brother or sister, or participate in fundraising. Each position is distinctive, and you will want to consider where you are most motivated, what you enjoy, and where to utilise your strengths best.
If you like to brainstorm ideas, you may choose to be on a board to have a voice in the direction of the organisation. You may prefer to work solo and find yourself drawn to fundraising where you can get things done on your terms. Or you may like to get involved at the grassroots where you experience your impact firsthand. In this case, providing mentorship to youth could be most fulfilling.
Your purpose may connect you with a cause, or initiative, but you may not know how to serve it. There are many roles available, be it at your child’s school, on their sporting teams, to a charity, or at the boardroom table. Assess which environment brings out the best in you and which organisation’s vision you believe in, this combination will catapult your impact.
The environment best for you could be taking the lead and closing a social gap. Lydia Muso, the oldest child of seven, was drawn into taking care of others. She followed her strength thread and enjoyment for care to become a nurse in Sudan, where she was exposed to so many neglected children. Returning home to Lesotho, she found there were no social programs available for vulnerable children.
Lydia researched the state of child neglect in Lesotho and decided to be part of the solution. She became educated in counselling and then social work, and then started The Lesotho Child Counseling Unit. Lydia now lobbies for policy change to protect children rights. Although Lydia takes on many roles, the one she receives most fulfilment is where she can connect with the children. Lydia opened her home to abused children giving them a temporary place to feel safe while preparing them mentally and emotionally to go back into the world.
Lydia excels in an environment where children are her roommates and creating an environment where everyone is safe and happy.
When considering who & where to contribute, consider what you enjoy doing, and with whom. Reflecting can assist in the type of people you will serve, but also how you will serve them. Will you want to collaborate with others, or will you want to fly solo? Will it be a monthly commitment, or weekly? Do you want to connect with like mind people, such as on a board, or connect at grassroots?
Asking yourself these questions before getting involved in a contribution initiative will increase your likelihood of contributing long-term, and therefore having a more significant impact on the effort you support – something most of us crave when volunteering our time, or in our career that fills a social or environmental gap.
As mentioned, knowing an organizations vision will also be a determining factor if it will be a fit for you. You will also want to consider their values. We will cover values in the next weWedneday as we continue the Explore your Why series.
Until next time, make your contributions count.
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About the Conscious Contributor
Suzanne F. Stevens, CSP, Conscious Contributor™ Cultivator
Social entrepreneur |International Speaker | Pioneer | Host | Philanthropist | Author
Lead tomorrow’s legacy today.
#YouMeWe Group of Initiatives | Cultivate, Celebrate, Co-create conscious-contributions™
Book launch coming soon: YouMeWe: lead tomorrow’s legacy today
2017 National President: Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS)
Awards: TIAW World of Difference Recipient for women economic empowering
Accreditation: Suzanne is one of 64 Certified Speaking Professionals (CSP) in Canada and is in the exclusive 15% of speakers who have this designation internationally.