Hello, my Colleagues! During a recent Board call, we discussed all the volunteer opportunities we have at GOOD for individuals. It made us question if our community is aware of the options or how to get involved. As I began to write the President’s message for our newsletter, it made me think of one of my favorite television shows, which is New Amsterdam. Why might you ask? I like the messages that the writers bring to the surface. I like the quirky characters. And I certainly like the lead who is always trying new things, failing miserably but finding new creative ways to make a difference in the community, and learning personal lessons along the way. However, what I like most of all is the resounding “How Can I Help?” which is how this show started and continues to carry through every episode. This leads me back to GOOD and myself; I am always asking, “How Can I Help?” If you are anything like me, I would like to offer you some ideas on how you can help with our fantastic community.
When it comes to volunteering, we all have these ideas in our heads. I have had them myself. I want to share some false assumptions we tell ourselves about volunteering that can hold us back.
#1 I am not qualified: I often said this to myself when I wanted to be on the Board. However, I started small and built my volunteering muscles, while learning along the way. What GOOD needs are people that are passionate and have new fresh ideas. It is about everyone supporting each other and the community. Passion first!
#2 I do not have enough time: There are so many opportunities to volunteer. Some opportunities are small, requiring only a few hours for one occasion or purpose. Other opportunities are longer-term commitments, such as being on the Board or a Committee. Depending on the level of involvement you want, there are opportunities for you.
#3 I am new and young in this profession: This is why many people volunteer in the first place, to gain skills and expertise that they cannot get in their jobs but can learn in other areas. This was one of the reasons I volunteered the first time at a different organization because I needed to learn a new skill, and it was the perfect opportunity for me to do so.
The beauty about volunteering is that it is a two-way exchange. You serve others, but volunteering is beneficial to you as well. Let’s face it, we all want the “What’s in it for me.” We are all motivated differently, some intrinsically and other extrinsically”. Why would you like to volunteer? Below are just three (3) benefits to volunteering:
#1 Networking: We all join professional organizations to meet other individuals in an industry or profession of interest to us and we can learn from them. When you volunteer, you do this on a much deeper level as everyone shows up to be in service. I can say I have lifelong friends from GOOD due to my volunteering that I would not have otherwise. I genuinely connect with and cherish people because of their hearts, passion, and talents.
#2 Knowledge building: We all think we are lending our expertise, but truthfully, we learn so much more along the way. Depending on what you volunteer for, there is always a learning aspect involved.
#3 It is rewarding: If you are anything like me, it is just plain fun and rewarding. You can work together and see things come together, you might not have thought possible—the conference, rate reductions, learning content pivot due to COVID as examples.
The community of GOOD and volunteering has been an important part of my life for many years. I have gained so many gifts from this incredible organization and learned so much. I will continue to volunteer and serve because of the amazing people we have here. There are so many opportunities. We are getting ready to start the nominations for the 2022 Board of Directors; there are Communities of Practice you can lead; we have committees you can be a member of from conference to strategic planning. We have mentoring. This organization has something for everyone to lend their voice, their expertise, and their time.
If you would like to join me with the question “How Can I Help?” GOOD has all types of volunteer opportunities for you to get involved. Don’t wait, act today! Visit https://goodnetwork.us/Nominating-committee/and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a 15-minute call. Together, we will help you find the right role. I genuinely believe you will gain so much more than you can ever give.