There has been a rise in discussion, both in personal and professional circles, about the concept of “impact” be it through philanthropy, community service, corporate social responsibility, time and other methods that define this topic. These conversations have been inspiring and indicative of a cultural shift that further blends aspects of home and work life.
I currently hold leadership positions on various community and industry councils and boards for a multitude of reasons all of which are rooted in the ethos of impact by giving back. I feel the intrinsic value of aiding my community to be a better place, thrive on interacting with individuals who share similar passions and see first hand the positive impactful results. Some of the biggest returns I’ve gained great personal and professional insight and meaning through these experiences. Below are ways you can take your involvement to the next level and embrace the power of impact.
Be a Voice
Whether chatting with colleagues at the water cooler, or posting on Instagram, we are inundated with opportunities to communicate positive messages about the issues that matter most to us. Use platforms that you feel most comfortable with to educate your communities. It can be as simple as bringing up a recent news story or report, or inviting someone to check out an exhibit or volunteer at an event for the organizations you support. Starting a conversation can be the spark needed to get more people involved and make an even stronger impact. Without a voice, nothing will be heard – let people know what is important to you.
In 2012 I had the privilege of joining New York City’s Coalition for the Homeless’ Art Advisory Board that raises awareness and funds through the annual fundraiser called ARTWALKNY. Through this organization, I’ve helped raise millions of dollars that directly impact the lives of New York City’s homeless while building a sense of community with like-minded leaders. Together we tackle the issues and provide positive change. I took this relationship further and saw an opportunity to expand the community fighting homelessness when I began partnerships at Huntington Learning Center and teamed up with the Coalition for their yearly back-to-school supply drive. Now in our third year as a partner for the Coalitions “Project: Back to School”, multiple Huntington Learning Centers open their doors to serve as collection centers to help collect over 5,000 backpacks full of the tools students need to succeed in the classroom.
Influence the Culture
Community development, volunteer hours and event appearances have all become a part of my personal and professional routine. I am energized by participating and engaging with others who value and recognize the power of giving back. Impact takes on a variety of forms and is an individual process to identify which methods are most rewarding. The more that we can help build actions of impact into the habits of others, the greater influence we can have on building cultures of inclusion of philanthropy. In your own business, you can organize a company give-back day, or offer to match donations to your employees’ charities of choice. Empowering others around the initiatives they’re most passionate about will help produce a culture of giving back and empathy.
Impact comes in many forms, which means that there are countless opportunities out there to get involved. Decide what moves you, and let your passions be your guide.