Volunteer your time. Make a donation. Attend a charity event. Serve on a nonprofit board. Share a cause on social media. There are numerous ways to give back to the community.
What happens when your heart is in it, but your time, money, or resources in general, are in short supply?
That's when it's time to get creative and take the lead in a different way.
Discover ways to magnify your efforts to create meaningful engagements that resonate far beyond the end of the project or campaign.
1. Develop leadership skills (and those of others)
Ever organized and led a campaign, drive, or "Day of Caring" for a group? Beyond contributing or showing up, stepping up to the plate and organizing the largest and smallest of details is a growth opportunity of the most rewarding variety.
From coordinating with the benefactor and all parties involved, to recruiting and inspiring a team to help, and then drumming up the interest and support to execute on the plan.
If leader is not in your technical job title, after the demonstration of your skills in this area, you will be seen in a leader in your own right, and for meaningful reasons.
Regularly in this role? Purposefully find ways to let others take the lead and expand their skills and influence.
2. Create a halo effect with your networks and reach new audiences
In a perfect world we would only engage and do business with those who share our value systems. With today's complex and blended ecosystem of partnerships, vendors and networks, there's not enough time to get too deep before opportunities pass us by.
Focus on creating service opportunities that educate, involve or empower your extended networks to connect through the common ground of serving others. Don't be afraid to ask or propose partnership ideas with target groups, even if you feel yourself in a David and Goliath situation. It can also serve to attract the types of peoples and organizations to which future alignment and partnerships can thrive.
3. Capture and share the moments
Be the one who serves to document and share experiences via photos, videos, interviews, blog posts, etc. This is not with the intention to "humblebrag," but to use a variety of media to shine light on the cause and gain attention. This is one way that you or your brand can use your permanent digital footprint to your advantage.
Go deeper than the customary group photos of smiling service groups. Talk with the nonprofit leaders and grab quotes, key stats and inspiring thoughts to include with your posts. If you're interacting with clients and have permission, capture moments or conversations that will strike a chord.
By bringing attention to your cause or work, you may also spark piggyback ideas that work specifically for the audience that engages with your content.
4. Create opportunities for yourself to lead, share and grow
I recall this quote regularly when the task lists mount, the pressure rises, and time gets short.
"The antidote to busyness is wholeheartedness." source
You might not have the bandwidth to chair a major fundraising event or even take time out of your week. Everything matters - big and small - when it comes to helping others, and you create a sense of renewed energy in your life.
Feed the ideas and opportunities that move you to become a stronger person and model for others, and you'll soon discover ways to share your passions through new paths and incredible people.