According to Wikipedia:
“Pro bono publico (usually shortened to pro bono) is a phrase derived from Latin meaning “for the public good”. The term is generally used to describe professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment as a public service. It is common in the legal profession and is increasingly seen in marketing, technology and strategy consulting firms. Pro bono service, unlike traditional volunteerism, uses the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them.”
I recently attended a luncheon held by the Raleigh Public Relations Society in which Megan Henderson, owner of Looking Glass Communications, gave a presentation on the importance of doing pro bono work for not only yourself, but for the community.
Before committing to joining a non-profit organization or taking on a leadership role such as becoming a member of the board of directors, there are several things to take into consideration:
- Availability – Make sure you have time to devote to the organization or activity at-hand. If your time is limited, then perhaps take on a smaller role such as on a committee versus on the board of directors.
- Talent – What special skills do you have that you can bring to the organization? Do your skills align with what the organization’s needs?
- Additional Resources – If you can’t commit time, then perhaps a monetary contribution or contribution of goods would be a better fit. For instance, if the organization is hosting a fundraiser through a silent auction, perhaps you have something to donate for the auction, or if your getting rid of an old desk, perhaps the organization could use it in their office. Even if you’re tight on time, there are still other ways you can help out!
Most important – Be passionate about the non-profit organization you are working for! Most often we get passionate about the things that apply to us personally or we have an emotional connection to. For some people it may be animals, children, senior citizens, people with disabilities, etc. At the end of the day, this additional activity should not feel like a burden or chore.
The more we are passionate about something, the more we are willing to invest – which helps both you and the organization!
Do you currently work with a non-profit organization, providing your talent and time?