I don’t have to limit my passions after all!
Since posting my last blog about limiting my passions I have thought a lot about narrowing my passions or not needing too. And thanks to some great conversations…
I decided I can do everything, I just have to prioritize and limit myself to the dedication to each organization.
It is up to me to make sure I am working with all the causes important to me, while making sure to not overburden myself.
I have plenty of options for working with a variety of nonprofits and causes at once, including:
Serving on a board – I currently serve as Co-Chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids. This commitment is currently one of my more time consuming commitments, but the impact the organizations makes covers many of the things I am passionate about, including helping individuals work better for the causes I/they believe in.
Giving – I don’t give too much right now, besides my time. I am in a start up position and saving money for a house, etc. But giving is a good option to help a cause you/I believe in, without having to give more time than you already have.
Serving as AdHoc advisory to a board or working on a special project – Sometimes I don’t have a full year to commit to being on a board, but many organizations offer the option to serve on advisory committees or in focus groups, to help them improve their services. I have been working with the Global Leadership team at my church to help in the planning of our missions work in Africa. My work with them does not take up a lot of time and is only temporary.
Volunteering – Seems pretty obvious, but I don’t always think about it. I don’t necessarily have to provide a ton of time and effort to an organization, but walking for breast cancer once a year keeps me involved in the cause.
In My Work – In my job I have been lucky enough to kind of choose what I want to work on and structure my professional development around nonprofit capacity building efforts I am specifically passionate about. I know others may not have this opportunity, but it is important to make sure your boss knows what your career plans are. Special projects may come up that you can become involved in outside of your everyday job in order to fulfill some of your goals.
Blogging – Although for me it has taken up sometime I have learned a lot and have been able to talk about the things that I am passionate about. A blog doesn’t even have to be public, but becoming part of a network is worth it.
Involvement in community efforts – I have been working with the League of Women Voters in Grand Rapids on the We Vote project. We Vote is an effort to raise voter turnout in Grand Rapids school board elections. This is a special project I have been working on over just a few months and I have the opportunity to work with them later as well. This project was a great one to work on because it encompassed many of the things I hope to advocate in the community. There are many projects like this one all over the country that any one can be involved in. And another plus is working with and learning from other great community members with your same passions.
And last but not least, Learn – an effort I have been trying to make lately is to either add Google Alerts or blogs to my Google Reader that talk about the passions I relate to. I can take a 1/2 hour every day, or my lunch period at work to skim through everything and make myself knowledgeable about key changes in the work others are doing to support the causes I believe in. Another great source is magazines, I personally love GOOD magazine. Learning allows me to exude confidence when talking about my cause and make others aware of it too.