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Three Ways to Use Philanthropy to Boost Your Career

Three Ways to Use Philanthropy to Boost Your Career

There are countless reasons why women should become involved with philanthropy, but did you know that it can also have a profound effect on your career? If you have reached a point where you begin to question why you are spending all of those nights handing out business cards at networking events, attending workshops, and taking on extra projects, and you feel that there is a better, more connected way – there is. Here’s an option that will give you the extra push you need: adding philanthropy to your career building practices.

Getting involved in philanthropy is an investment that will continue to reap benefits for years to come. For career-minded women, it can be a rewarding experience that offers many professional and personal advantages. The benefits of serving a non-profit organization include: expanding your professional network with well-connected individuals, building your resume with leadership skills, and empowering your self-worth and purpose.

1) Do you need to develop more leadership skills to get ahead in your career? Join a non-profit board.

If you are looking to excel in your career and want to build relationships with potential mentors and established professionals, a non-profit organization board or committee is the perfect place to do just that. Even volunteering can help young professionals feel more equipped to advance in their careers.

Serving on a board can be challenging and rewarding, but gives the perfect opportunity to sharpen your leadership skills. Being a board member is a one-stop shop experience that exposes you to different teamwork dynamics, business strategies, and insights, while at the same time improving your financial acumen.

Non-profit organizations are always seeking for fresh leadership that can elevate their achievements to a new level. Helping an organization that pursues a mission that you believe in is personally fulfilling to an immeasurable degree.

[Related: Planning Your Next Career Move? Don't Forget to Join a Nonprofit Board]

2) Do you need to build confidence and purpose? Be a donor.

Passionate people give to the organizations that they care about. The causes that you support and the reasons behind your donations shape you and your image to your friends, family, and community. Just like working hard, networking, and thinking strategically about finding your path, giving to the causes that you love can be used strategically, as well.

A donation of any size is always appreciated by an organization. However, if you want to get recognized for an impactful gift without an current outlay of significant funds, consider a legacy gift. You will be recognized now for a gift that you will make much later.

These value-based gifts can be significant to an organization, and their donors are given recognition for support toward their mission. The benefits of legacy gifts to your career include humanitarian recognition within the community, opportunities to network with other donors like yourself, and insider views of the workings of an impactful organization.

[Related: Incorporating Purpose and Impact into Organizations With Melissa Jun Rowley]

3) Do you want to develop transferable organizational skills? Work in a non-profit.

Non-profits are organizational machines. Whether you work in a large, national organization or a small, grass-roots non-profit, you are sure to gain a tremendous amount of experience, including programmatic and fundraising skills.

If you choose to take these skills to the for-profit sector, they morph into the highly-desirable skills of product creation and new business development. Same skills, different sector.

Any interaction you have with philanthropy can be personal. But utilizing a deeper engagement with philanthropy as an untapped area of skills-building and networking will help to grow your career and prospects for years to come.

[Related: Giving in the Digital Age]


Lori Kranczer, Esq. is the Founder of Everyday Planned Giving. She works with nonprofits to develop their legacy giving programs, providing a sustainable revenue source for the future and better engagement with their donors.

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