Volunteering presents a unique opportunity for individuals to diversify their skill sets by leveraging their volunteer experiences. As a result, entrepreneurs and business leaders tend to volunteer more often, are more likely to consider philanthropy as part of their identity, and appreciate the benefits that volunteering has on their professional development and career achievements.
According to the UN Volunteer’s 2022 State of the World Volunteerism Report, nearly six in 10 (58%) of the global working-age population volunteers. Volunteerism is one of the most notable sources of universal free will because it is not motivated by hidden agendas.
Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders know that to stay mentally fit they need to engage in activities that are non-work related. These activities can include going to the gym, meditating, reading a book, cooking, or even volunteering. Taking a break from critical issues can provide a fresh perspective and enable them to view it with greater clarity.
Here are some top benefits of volunteering for entrepreneurs:
Puts you at the forefront of the issue
It makes people more confident, more creative, more efficient and better problem solvers in resource-constrained environments. You’re forced to have a deep understanding of the issues, often gained from personal experience, direct observation, or field research.
Strengthens teamwork skills
When you participate in volunteer projects that use your skills, you can see how other leaders lead. You get to solve problems in new environments. You get to collaborate with various teams in various ways. All of these improve your ability to do your own job.
It can provide an excellent way to understand and experience the teamwork required to help a business grow. Collaboration is key. It’s all about working well with each person so as to be effective and efficient as a team.
In addition, the soft skills you develop are self-discipline, empathy, clear communication, initiative to tackle complicated issues, motivating others, building relationships, presenting ideas, working collaboratively, and emotional intelligence.
Leverages on the network effect
Doing good is also good for business. It also provides a new avenue for meeting new people. Expanding your network is always good for business.
Making the right connections can assist you in recruiting top talent, discovering new opportunities, and selling more effectively. You get to network with professionals from different fields, each with unique skill sets and experiences. This network can bring vital connections for future opportunities, partnerships, mentorship, investment, or at the very least, new friends.
Builds up your community
Volunteering lets you show that you genuinely care about the state of your surroundings and fosters a sense of involvement in your local community. It also provides a place for like-minded individuals to connect to support a shared purpose.
One example is our CEO, Jan Hase, who volunteers on weekends as an apprentice at the local fire station. When their neighborhood village turned 735 years old, he along with some other volunteers shared a firefighting exercise for the community.
Adds to your overall wellbeing
Volunteers report experiencing greater levels of happiness and reduced symptoms of depression.
As an entrepreneur or business leader, you probably spend a substantial amount of time engaged in activities other than relaxation. According to experts, focusing your attention on improving something or someone other than yourself can disrupt the typical stress-producing patterns your body becomes accustomed to.
When volunteering in roles where you can really make an impact, you see that no matter who you are, people are grateful for your presence. And no matter your quality of work, people appreciate your efforts. It’s a way of reconnecting to the fun of doing meaningful work.
Inspires the future generation
Volunteering also provides a risk-free environment for individuals to explore new fields and develop skills. When entrepreneurs volunteer to connect with young people, they unlock the potential of the next startup generation or workforce. Today’s volunteers are tomorrow’s leaders.
Volunteering helps people understand their true potential and promotes love and empathy. From volunteering at dog shelters and cleaning up your local beach to serving meals at food banks and welcoming refugees into your home, the list is endless. Post your intentions on LinkedIn, your local community board or get connected to an organization in your network. You’ll be glad that you did.