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10 reasons why you should volunteer: Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month?


March 28, 2013

Have you ever thought about joining the ranks of the hundreds of volunteers who help make PRSA possible? 

If you have, then you’ve probably also thought about all of the existing demands on your time: your family, work, personal interests, other commitments — and your constantly buzzing smartphone that requires your attention 24/7.

Whether you’re interested in serving on the National Board or volunteering in another capacity, there are many good reasons to donate your time to PRSA. April is National Volunteer Month — and we just issued a call for volunteers to serve on the National Board — so now is a great time to consider the reasons for serving.

Although there are many reasons to volunteer, it’s important to note that our best leaders are motivated by an altruistic desire to help out — an interest in strengthening our profession and our organization. They quickly find, though, that their interest pays off in many ways. Or, to put it differently: Come volunteer because you want to make a difference, and stay for the benefits! As a volunteer leader, you can:

  • Learn new skills. You might prepare or review budgets, participate in strategic planning, assess an investment policy or build a membership drive — things that you don’t do every day.
     
  • Teach others. Our volunteer groups are strong because each individual brings a unique mix of talents and skills that they share and transfer to others.
     
  • Network. You’ll meet other highly motivated ambitious professionals like yourself and make relationships that  last a lifetime.
     
  • Build your résumé. Being a volunteer can help make you more attractive to a potential employer.
     
  • Rise above the crowd. PRSA has more than 21,000 members — and 600 volunteers.
     
  • Gain work experience. Especially in lean economic times, it can be difficult to advance in the workplace. If you are a new professional, then one way to convince your boss that you are ready for a promotion is to tell him or her about the volunteer assignments that you’ve successfully taken on.
     
  • Give back. Help people. We can feel deep satisfaction from assisting others. It’s hard to describe but easy to recognize — it happens when you hear someone say,  “thank you, you’ve really helped me.”
     
  • Help build something bigger than yourself.  The potential to make a lasting impression is immeasurable.
     
  • Strengthen your health. That’s right — studies have shown that volunteering for about two hours per week can generate measurable health benefits.
     
  • Have fun. Volunteering is serious business, for an important cause. However, you can also have fun — there’s laughter and camaraderie even as you are working hard.

So if you are thinking about serving on the National Board, then you might wonder what’s involved. PRSA National Board members fill five specific roles: to serve as the public face of PRSA, to provide resources and knowledge, to help identify their successors, to provide high-level fiscal and strategic oversight of PRSA, and to evaluate different aspects of PRSA’s performance.

PRSA’s 2013 National Nominating Committee is now recruiting candidates for 2014 Board Officers and Directors.  The submission deadline for applications is June 21. If you are interested in learning more about PRSA Board service and the nominating process, then visit here for more details.

And for those volunteer leaders who are currently serving, or who have served in years past, on behalf of  all of our members everywhere,  “Thank you.”  You’ve made a lasting difference in more ways than you’ll ever know.

William (Bill) M. Murray, CAE, is the chief executive officer of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
Email: william.murray at prsa.org



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