Community Service Decisions

By MICHAEL SEIDEN
Scottsdale Leadership Class 24

We all have our own reasons for getting involved in community service. Some have a passion for a particular cause, such as battered women. Others may have specific expertise that they want to share with a worthy organization. Some may want to have something that looks good on a resume. Still others may want to use community service to make business contacts.  In selecting what form your public service will take, it’s important to find the right fit between the organization’s expectations and your own.

For example, take the case of joining a not-for-profit organization’s Board of Directors. Directors roles can differ greatly from board to board. Some boards are strictly focused on raising money, setting expectations for directors’ direct contributions as well as their support for fund raising efforts. Other boards may require the directors to have specific business or other types of expertise to help support the management of the organization.

Time requirements are also a factor. One must be certain of how much time the organization expects its volunteers to donate and those time requirements must fit the individual’s lifestyle. While your boss may well support your community service, you don’t want him or her asking you when you’ll be able to find time for your “real job.” There are other factors, as well. Like any other good management decision, picking the right opportunity for community services requires investigation, analysis and a well thought out decision.

What is your reason for getting involved?

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