(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)
At LEAP Foundation DC, we talk a lot about the importance of donating to a meaningful cause. For many, what may first come to mind is a financial contribution, but, while nonprofits are driven and fueled by gracious donors, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. In order to meet our mission, we place tremendous value on the three Ts: Time, Talent and Treasure. We understand that, while everyone has a special talent or skill, not everyone has disposable income to contribute financially. Or, perhaps, they are seeking a hands-on way to get involved and make meaningful use of a bit of free time. Whatever the reason, we are eternally grateful for our contributors who devote their time, talent and treasure to ensure our mission is successful: To bridge the gap between hope and achievement for the disadvantaged and overlooked.
If you are interested in becoming more involved with an organization that is doing great things, here are a few reasons your time is an excellent place to start:
You’ll better understand how donor dollars are put to good use.
Your own experiences are valuable to others – in our case, the youth mentees who count on us for guidance and support.
You will know that you have contributed to your community’s ability to thrive.
You’ll be able to better advocate on behalf of the organization.
If donating money isn’t an option, donating time can be just as fulfilling.
Giving, whether it’s time, talent or treasure, can boost your own happiness.
Nonprofits need board members and volunteers to help bring fresh ideas to the table and make better, informed decisions.
Critical programming is able to continue when a solid volunteer base is in place.
Those around you will begin to see the positive effects of donating time, both for yourself and for others, and your willingness to become involved could spread to others.
Serving as the member of a Board of Directors looks great on a CV.
Your involvement with one nonprofit may lead to a better understanding of the health of your community as a whole.
Nonprofit organizations often partner with others that share a similar mission. Becoming involved with one is a great way to explore the ways in which your friends, colleagues and neighbors are working toward a common goal.
We understand that time is precious, but knowing that your free time has been spent in a productive, enriching way can provide a sense of accomplishment and achievement.