Philanthropic Friday: Time and Talent
Every quarter as I sit at the finance council meeting for the church, I hear the same concern brought up. “How do we emphasize ‘time and talent’ to our parishioners?” This is a common dilemma for organizations, non-profits, churches and clubs. It isn’t always about the money. Sometimes the issue is simply having bodies to help do the vast array of jobs that need to be done.
With my example of the church, every committee relies on volunteers. New member welcome committee, religious education, building and grounds, parish council, angel tree and finance council just to name a few. Each week, the success of the mass itself relies on the ministries volunteers who do such tasks as greet parishioners, sing in the choir, read from the bible and handle the donations and offerings. Even the altar servers are all volunteers, mostly children. Larger churches have even more groups and committees and often have a list readily available for people to look over.
When I was in high school, a mandatory assignment for seniors was to have service hours working with the elderly. You know what they wanted us to do? Sit, talk and listen to senior citizens. Why? Because there was a need and it was something that only required an investment of time. As I got older, I saw first hand the value of spending time with an elderly or home-bound person when I made regular trips to visit my 90-year old grandmother, have lunch with her and sit and chat. It made me appreciate the high school assignment even more because I was able to witness the effects through different eyes.
High school students around here are required to have a certain number of service hours to graduate. There are some limitations but for the most part, what they do to earn those hours is entirely up to them. Some volunteer baby sitting services, others work at a local sporting event or assist with elementary school fairs or festivals. A handful even create their own charitable organizations.
People hear the word philanthropy and generally think of money. For some, financial contribution is a viable option but for others it is not. In those cases, “Time and Talent” are the answer. An accountant, business person or someone with a knack for math is ideal for a financial position at the church, working with Junior Achievement or serving as treasurer on the PTA, for a club or charitable organization. People who are social or good with children can help with religious education or vocation at church, assist at the library, serve as a scoutmaster or coach a sports team. People skilled with their hands can assist with building projects or maintenance. Everyone has something they can contribute, it is just a matter of finding what and where. Volunteers are needed at animal shelters, schools, libraries, museums, blood drives, soup kitchens, chamber of commerce and more.
If you want to get involved but aren’t sure what to do, check with your city or reach out to organizations within your community and ask what they need help with. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Chamber of Commerce
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Habitat for Humanity
March of Dimes
Meals on Wheels
You know what you are good at… if you want to make a difference, consider giving of yourself to an organization that needs you.
39 thoughts on “Philanthropic Friday: Time and Talent”
What a great idea to remind people to give. My mom had MS so that is a big one for me.
it’s good to give back and you’re right, its not always just the money!
Great list and you are right, it isn’t about money but taking the time to care for our fellow man.
What a great topic! service is so important to communities. Without people donating time and talents nothing would ever get accomplished in our area. We all know we have ot work together and donate our time and talents to have a neighborhood that we want our children to grow up in. There are a lot of different places we all contribute and when everyone pitches in, it’s a great oiled machine that runs smoothly. In my sisters neighborhood though; no one wants to do anything for anyone else and it’s not a place she likes to live. Nothing gets done. The neighborhood looks a mess and frankly a little scary.
Great resource – thank you so much
I love mandatory volunteer time for students. I wish our school implemented that at the middle and/or high school levels. 🙂
I think giving is important whenever we can. I much prefer to give to local charities so I can see my money or donations at work as opposed to giving to big organizations like you mentioned. I figure, start small.
In order to attend my jr highschool I had to complete annual community service hours. At first I did not like it, but it was actually fun contributing to the community. I think it’s a good idea for it to be A high school graduate requirement.
I think it is so important to give back to those who are less fortunate in your community.
Many times volunteering our time and talents gives back so much to us -It’s funny how that works. I volunteer in my sister-in-laws classroom and I love it. She is so appreciative and her students are wonderful.
I find volunteering more rewarding than a financial donation.
I give my boys a list of our approved charities, the ones that actually help the people that need it and not their CEO’s and they must contribute a certain amount of hours each year to help (once they reach a certain age of course). When they are younger they are taught to donate their unused items to charities that help.
I love that you show different ways to get involved in this. I’ve been to quite a few churches that SAID they cared about “time and talent” but really only cared about $$$.
I’ve thought a few different times about becoming a Big Sister. My husband and I don’t have children, and don’t plan on having any. I love being an Aunt and think being a Big Sister would be a good way to give of my time.
Thank you so much for sharing this list, I look forward to it.
Excellent topic! Help & Support is really so essential to communities
I need to give more of time plain and simple. My youngest will start preschool in the fall. I’m going to make an effort to volunteer somewhere.
This is so true …. I have never been a part of a church that had too many volunteers and I am sure there are no organizations that do either. We really do need a change in mindset on this.
I usually volunteer my time at a special needs organization. I find time is something that many organizations value.
I totally agree with you! I already work with my 9 year old on community service. It is a valuable thing to teach our youth.
Thanks for sharing this. My kids and I used to volunteer at various local organizations. We need to get involved again.
As someone with both MS and renal issues I’m a huge supporter of all research facilities. I will give to any cause looking for cures.
What a great a post – I try and give back when I am able – so many people have been wonderful to me I just want to give a small amount back. x
These are all great charities. I like Habitat for Humanity. I believe everyone should have a roof over their heads that they can be proud of
I love that kids are required to volunteer their time to graduate. I spent many years as a Girl Scout leader and saw what a difference volunteering made to the girls and the organizations that they helped. It’s wonderful to know that there are so many caring people out there!
This is great! I like that there’s a way to use your talent to help others. It’s so important to volunteer, wonder how many people know about this.
My kids’ school didn’t require the hours, but who are we kidding? Colleges practically require it.
That’s a great list of company’s to volunteer for. I volunteered my time in hair salons doing a co op position and I loved it.
This is a great reminder to do what we can to help others. We all have some sort of talent that we can lend to a cause, even if we don’t have extra money to give.
I’ve been involved in volunteer work all my life and I think it’s one of the things that brings me joy. The most significant was building homes for homeless families in Bolivia – their stories were so heartbreaking.
I think it’s very important to offer our skills and service to help others. If there are charities that speak to our heart, we should help them too.
Wise choice of topic. It’s great that you’re highlighting that people sometimes need to give back to the community, not always in the monetary sense.
What an awesome idea. I will check these out.
I have heard of ALS. This is really sad but I am glad to hear that technology can help others with this illness.
When I was in high school, a mandatory assignment for seniors was to have service hours working with the elderly. You know what they wanted us to do? Sit, talk and listen to senior citizens. Why? Because there was a need and it was something that only required an investment of time.
There are a lot of different places we all contribute and when everyone pitches in, it’s a great oiled machine that runs smoothly.
When I was in high school, a mandatory assignment for seniors was to have service hours working with the elderly. You know what they wanted us to do? Sit, talk and listen to senior citizens. Why? Because there was a need and it was something that only required an investment of time
With my example of the church, every committee relies on volunteers. New member welcome committee, religious education, building and grounds, parish council, angel tree and finance council just to name a few.