Sitting on the board of a nonprofit, charity, or chamber sounds exciting – or at least having that title, association, or membership seems like a great designation for your resume or building your online profile. However, hopefully that is not the reason people consider volunteering! In order to be successful in your efforts and obtain personal satisfaction from your time commitment, you must be passionate about your goals, and enjoy the work and the people you work with while you volunteer.
Tax professionals tend to be tapped for a financial role on an advisory board or for the treasurer position. For me, that would be torture; I enjoy working with people, teaching or sharing my knowledge with others, and seeing or imagining the results my hard work can accomplish.
My current volunteer roles as president, advisory board member, and alumni council member for accounting and educational organizations give me the opportunity to inspire and create, well beyond just making sure these organizations are relevant to their members or the students they support. By combining my accounting foundation, interests, and roles in the different organizations, I have been able to reach more people and students than those I come in direct contact with on a regular basis.
I believe that this is the magic of volunteer multiplication, and welcome you to follow your passions and interest to do the same.
Benefits of volunteer service
Among the many benefits of active volunteer work or board membership when a professional uses their technical knowledge for their professional or other group include the following:
- Shape the future of the groups your organization supports: students, other professionals, the small business community, and, depending on the organization’s mission, other audiences.
- Enhance the financial literacy of students and student organizations.
- Influence or enhance software design in your professional sphere.
- Connect people, organizations, and companies for their mutual benefit.
- Create community.
- Create and strengthen valuable programs.
- Influence or enrich the lives of people you will never meet.
- Expand the reach of your knowledge, which expands the value of your knowledge.
- Support professional members through challenging times during natural disasters and most recently, COVID-19, enabling members to support their staff and clients.
- Provide professional members with the tools to properly advise their clients and bring value to their professional relationships.
- Give feedback to students on the presentations they create and deliver for academic achievement in various competitions, such as Virtual Enterprises International, Inc.
- Impact IRS and state policy.
- Impact federal and state tax laws.
- Expand your sphere of influence as a member of a team.
- Meet new and interesting people from different walks of life.
Give back in different ways
Even though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took the tax saving incentive away from financial giving, it’s still important to give back. You can donate something more valuable than money: your time, heart and passion.
If you follow your passion, and share your knowledge and energy, you will be rewarded by the connections you enable, the information you bestow, the ideas you spark in others, and the satisfaction you get from knowing you are relevant.