Four Easy Ways to Get Involved and Make a Difference
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
If the past two years have shown us anything, it’s that, in spite of a lot of progress over time, the world still needs a lot of fixing.
There are many opportunities to make a difference for the greater good, even if it’s small, it has an impact. For example, what if your hour of picking up trash, of mentoring an at-risk child, of serving food at a homeless shelter does matter? What if that tiny ripple is a part of a larger wave?
At Ad Victoriam Solutions, we believe that it is. It’s one of the reasons we give every employee 40 hours of paid time-off to volunteer every year. It’s also why we have our own adopted highway and encourage our employees to get involved in their communities, to give back, regardless of cause or organization, to make their own ripple.
We talked to some of our most dedicated volunteers to get their perspective and came up with four simple ways anybody can get involved and give back. We hope they will help you find some inspiration and your own calling to give back.
1. Sign Up For Something
The simplest step is to sign up for something. From sites like VolunteerMatch and GivePulse, to company organized events through tools like Selflessly, signing up for a volunteer day has never been easier. If you’ve been on the bench for a while and are afraid to get back in the give-back game, sign up for something you know you can do.
AdVic Tatiana Romanko, an alumnus from our Elevate program epitomized that sentiment when she told us that, “I noticed pretty quickly that AdVic had a culture of service and giving back. Soon after I started, I saw a call for volunteers at the Gasparilla Music Festival and signed up. And I had a blast!”
And like Newton’s First Law of Motion taught us, an object in motion stays in motion. A simple Saturday volunteer shift led Romanko to continue that volunteerism throughout the year, adding, “That day reminded me how much I enjoy serving–I found myself signing up for volunteer events and raising my hand for company community initiatives like never before. This year, I set a goal to finish in the top three at the company for overall volunteer hours.”
2. Volunteer Your Skills
For those that don’t know, AdVic specializes in Salesforce implementations, which include custom build-outs, integrations that often require custom code, and an incredibly meticulous loading of existing data. In layman’s terms, we have some really smart people with an incredibly rare skill set.
As we move to the new normal of remote work, opportunities abound to give back virtually, especially for those with technical skills.
AdVic’s own Grant Keller spearheaded our first career development program with Goodwill of North Georgia, which brought in AdVic employees as mentors and culminated with a one-day event where the students put their new knowledge into use, building out real Salesforce orgs for four deserving nonprofits. “This was an incredibly fulfilling way to give back”, Keller says, adding that “a virtual opportunity offered me and several other employees the chance to give back in a city I didn’t live in, but in a cause I truly believed in.”
There are now a ton of virtual volunteer opportunities for those with technology (and beyond) skills. If commuting, work-life balance, or other time-related commitments are getting in the way of you giving back, think about volunteering virtually. (Pictured, below: Recent volunteer events for the AdVic Team.)
3. Join a Nonprofit Board
There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. And almost every single one of them has a board of directors, usually consisting of 8-10 volunteers. Using some simple math (and a calculator), that’s 12,000,000-15,000,000 nonprofit board seats that need to be filled.
While they require more commitment than a Saturday sign-up, few volunteer experiences offer the opportunity to give back, while also directing and driving the impact an organization makes. At AdVic, no one embodies this spirit like our Director of Corporate Culture & Strategic Impact, Nathan Stuck.
Stuck serves on four different nonprofit boards and chairs both Keep Athens Beautiful and B Local Georgia. He told us, “Serving on a board is incredibly rewarding. Not only do I get involved in community outreach events, but I also get to play a part in the overall strategy.” Through his work, Stuck has adopted clean-up highways, created awareness and fundraising programs, and helped nonprofits drive donations and scale their impact.
His advice is simple: “Follow some of your favorite nonprofits. They all have boards and some of those seats turn over every year. When you see the announcement calling for board nominations, submit one. You’ll be blown away by the incredible change you can bring to your community by serving on a board.”
4. Pursue Your Passion
At AdVic, we want our team to choose a way to give back based on their passion.. From mentoring students to picking up trash, we encourage everyone to find their civic passion and pursue it. So, find your own passion and find a way to give back.
Our best example comes from Marshall Hunt, our 2021 Volunteer of the Year. Marshall volunteered over 260 hours to his church and a youth camp at which he spent his 40 hours of VTO (volunteer time-off) chaperoning. “My church, and my faith, have given me more than I could have ever imagined. I live my life to pay back that debt and provide others with the same guidance and direction that I received,” Hunt remarked.
Marshall’s advice is rather simple: “Whatever cause you’re passionate about, get involved and jump in feet first. It’s been the most rewarding experience of my life.”
Take Action, Make Progress
No matter your passion, your skill set, or your available free time, find a way to get involved. Every hour of service adds up to the bigger change we need in this world. And it is our duty as citizens to give back, as Muhammad Ali famously remarked, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
You alone cannot fix it, but we all need to take action so we can make progress as a society. So open that browser, and search “Google opportunities near me,” and sign up. Heck, maybe we’ll see you there!
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