According to Webster’s Dictionary, to volunteer is ‘to act under one’s own free will without valuable consideration or legal obligation.’ With the events shaping our nation during the last year, many have turned to volunteerism to make a difference in their communities and work for a more peaceful and just world.
Donating time and energy allows people to make important contributions to worthy organizations. In return, participants get a great sense of accomplishment and involvement in local and global communities. While many organizations rely on volunteers for support, and volunteerism is often essential to a group’s continued vitality, it’s important to remember that volunteering should also be fun!
Public relations and communications professionals can play a vital role in a nonprofit organization’s efforts. Since outreach and communications are usually central to an organization’s mission, PR professionals can provide an essential link in the communications chain by communicating effectively with targeted publics. We believe in volunteerism and encourage others to use their gift of communication to help organizations really make their mark as we have.
News Generation continues to dedicate time of volunteer PR support to Safe Shores, the D.C. Children’s Advocacy Center, in Washington, DC, and the Partnership Against Domestic Violence in Atlanta. We are committed to volunteerism as a way to get involved in our communities and really use our communication skills to make a difference. To help ensure the best volunteer experience possible, we’ve included some tips to help match up your talents and interests with organizations in need and questions to ask yourself before committing to a cause.
QUESTIONS TO ASK: What am I interested in doing? Should I do something I am good at, want to learn more about or that is related to my career? How much time can I dedicate? Think in terms of each week, day or during certain seasons or periodic times. Do I have an area of expertise that would benefit an organization? How would the logistics work? Would I be there in person or do the work online? Is the location convenient?
TIPS FOR WORKING TOGETHER: Understand and believe in the mission. Keep lines of communications open. Set out a list of goals early and make clear responsibilities. Stay organized, provide long lead times for meeting planning and incorporate plenty of cushion time to avoid surprises. Have a crisis communications plan in place.