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Nonprofit organizations depend on monetary donations to keep their operations running and support the communities they serve. Many people, however, want to do more than write a check to local organizations they support, so they become volunteers.
When people choose to donate their time, energy and skills to support a community organization, the impact can be immeasurable. Plus, volunteering allows people to be actively involved in their community without feeling the budget crunch at home.
People don’t always realize what they gain personally when they volunteer, however. In addition to feeling a sense of community and accomplishment, people can also improve their networking skills, connections and professional development as they help others.
“Improving leadership, networking and job skills is important in any field, and doing so through community involvement is a rewarding way to give back,” says Elizabeth K. Warn, senior vice president of community relations at TD Bank. “Volunteering provides the best of both worlds – supporting your local community while developing professional skills that may help you in the future.” Many companies encourage their employees to volunteer, whether on their own time or through work. TD Bank, for example, provides several volunteering opportunities for its employees, including TD Tree Days tree planting events. The bank’s year-round Employee Reading Program encourages employees to help children keep their reading skills sharp by reading to them in schools, libraries and at youth organizations.
In addition to recognizing their employees’ commitment to volunteer service and the financial needs of community organizations, many companies, such as TD Bank, will also provide financial donations to the charities where their employees volunteer. These donations give an extra boost to the organizations and causes that are personally important to employees, are usually based on the number of hours an employee volunteers, and allows a worker who might not otherwise have the financial resources an opportunity to direct funds to his or her favorite charity or organization.“The benefits of volunteering really are limitless,” adds Warn. “Even a few hours each month can help a neighborhood, a family in need, or an organization attain its goals and make a positive, meaningful impact in the community.”