What’s in it for you

You need to create trust. Be honest about your intentions and what you want out of the relationship, i.e. more than just “giving back”.  In order for your nonprofits to feel comfortable working with you, there must be an exchange for your service.

Recent graduates are motivated to:

  • build their resume with concrete examples
  • obtain a reference
  • learn how to apply their education to a new industry
  • learn how to be a consultant
  • specialized training
  • entry level work experience
  • meet senior business people who could be your potential mentor

Others will want to:

  • stretch intellectually
  • share the expertise they have learned
  • reconnect with their education because their career path has gone onto other areas
  • volunteer, but fear doing mundane assignments
  • connect with a cause because of personal or family reasons
  • learn new skills (e.g. how to make a brochure in PowerPoint, how to create a website in WordPress)
  • meet new people outside their existing network, camaraderie, connect with their neighbourhood, meet others who share common interests
  • reduce boredom with retirement
  • fill time with meaningful, part-time work (money is no longer a motivator)
  • see the difference they can make, get a sense of accomplishment (in large organizations, it is hard to measure the impact one person makes)
  • feel needed and important by demonstrating their corporate worth

My rewards

As a Volunteer Consultant, my rewards differ between small and large clients.  Large nonprofits require more face time, so I benefit from that human connection and the intellectual stimulation of diagnosing their gaps.  For small nonprofits, it is the intellectual challenge of decluttering an old website into a clear and concise message; and the sense of accomplishment of a tangible website and brochure.  I have had to teach myself new skills (WordPress and Powerpoint).  And I want to share the expertise I have learned about nonprofits with new marketing volunteers.

by Lelia MacDonald, with contributions from Graham Boyce