Charity work is a win-win. The cause benefits and, on a personal level, this type of work brings great personal satisfaction.
Beyond short term emotional perks, social responsibility has long term benefits for your personal brand. As seen elsewhere on Libertine, consumers now expect more from brands in terms of giving back, with 87% of people globally believing that companies should place at least equal weight on business and society.
So if you’re looking to get behind a cause, here are some steps to getting started.
1. Think about your time and resources
What do you realistically have to give? Don’t commit to running a marathon if you haven’t got the time to train for it. If you’re going to do it, do it well. There are different ways to work with charities other than running 5k or holding a tea party, such as taking on the responsibility of becoming a trustee.
2. Look inwards
With so many worthy options out there, it can be difficult to decide which cause to support. Start by selecting one that aligns with your brand’s values and vision. What problems or areas you want to see transformed or improved? Which issues hit home the most?
3. Consider your strengths
Ask yourself or, if you’re brave, some people around you, what traits make you a valuable member of your team, community or family. Consider whether you want to offer your help and professional skills as an extension of what you do at work – for example, by offering to help with marketing if you already work in this area – or whether you want to do something different.
4. Get your foot in the door
Once you’ve identified a cause that’s a good fit for you and your skills, start to research charitable organisations behind that cause. Does the organisation have someone coordinating volunteers? If not, propose specific ways you can add value to the charity. You could, for example, write a mini job description for your proposed role.
Connect with people whenever you can. You share a passion with these people so there’s something readymade for you to talk about. Nurture these connections as you never know where they might lead.
5. Don’t be discouraged
Some charities might not have the infrastructure to handle all volunteer requests. Consider the following questions:
- Have you contacted the right person?
- Have you followed up with a phone call?
- What other ways can you try getting your foot in the door (e.g., attending a fundraising event or networking)?
- Is there another time to try to engage them that might be better (e.g., other than before a big fundraising event, march, or run)?
Once you’re working with your chosen charity, don’t be afraid to tell people what you’re doing. Share your involvement over social media; tweet about events or initiatives and post pictures from fundraisers. Part of charity work is spreading the word and getting others to come on board. People will start to associate social responsibility with your brand, too.
Bringing together her experience and passion in both psychology and branding, Dr. Lisa Orban founded Golden Notebook. A chartered clinical psychologist, Lisa trained and practised in New York City for eleven years before relocating to London. Lisa takes a unique approach to personal branding that combines psychological assessment and theory with branding strategies to create individual change and personal impact.