Balancing work while incorporating philanthropy can seem impossible. You may not feel ready financially to make meaningful donations, and there’s a finite number of hours in a day to volunteer. However, being philanthropic doesn’t have to mean an overwhelming dollar amount or time commitment. If you’re looking to support local charities and give back to your community, there are hundreds of organizations that offer a wide variety of flexible opportunities to fit within your schedule. And most organizations are happy to receive any type of donation, no matter how small. Set realistic saving goals for yourself and work up to a place that feels right to you.
Over the last few years, I had the opportunity to work with a local organization in Charlotte, North Carolina, called Heart Math Tutoring. The organization’s mission is “to ensure all elementary students develop the strong foundation in math and enthusiasm for academics needed for long-term success, by helping schools use volunteers as tutors.” During my hour-long commitment (taken during my lunch break), I provide two 30-minute one-on-one math tutoring sessions at an elementary school located a short distance from the Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) office. Watching a student’s face light up when he solves a new math problem is something I’ve cherished.
Getting involved in your local community as early as possible is not only rewarding but can have unlimited benefits in terms of building important connections in your city. One way to find an organization that offers flexible volunteer opportunities in your area is to check out VolunteerMatch.
Are your colleagues also looking to get involved? Find a friend or create a team to volunteer alongside you to make a difference in your community. Here are a few BBHers doing just that.
Scott Hooper, Senior Relationship Associate, Nashville, Tennessee
I got involved in the Phoenix Club of Nashville (PCON) when I first moved to the city four years ago. PCON has a dual mission to benefit underserved youth in Middle Tennessee and to develop members into leaders in the community and business. One of my colleagues is on the board and mentioned how much he enjoyed the group from a philanthropic perspective as well as being able to meet new people around town. I did not know many people in Nashville when I moved, so PCON was a great way to get involved in a philanthropic organization while also meeting young professionals throughout the city.
There are a lot of different avenues to get involved within the club, from simple volunteer opportunities to working with corporate sponsors to coinvesting alongside the club on our nonprofit grants.
Michael O’Connor, Senior Relationship Associate, New York, New York
Over the past eight to 10 years, I have become passionate about running. What started as an occasional 5K turned to half marathons, and half marathons became full marathons. Fred’s Team is Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s running program, providing opportunities for those who love to run to raise money for lifesaving cancer research.
When an immediate family member was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney cancer, I knew I wanted to help them and others going through the same thing. That’s where Fred’s Team came in. This year, I ran the New York City Marathon as a member of Fred’s Team, enabling me to integrate my passion of running with giving back to an organization that has helped my family and many others.
Caroline Flores, Senior Relationship Associate, New York, New York
I volunteer with Rock The Street, Wall Street (RTSWS). The organization’s mission is to inspire and equip girls with the skills to succeed financially, and potentially pursue a career in finance. My participation has included both volunteering in person at a high school in downtown Manhattan and teaching programs virtually during the pandemic.
When I was first introduced to the organization through BBHcares, I was immediately drawn to its mission. I greatly admire that RTSWS aims to have a lasting impact on participants’ lives by going beyond teaching about budgeting and spending (where most financial literacy programs end) and providing education on savings, investments, and potential career paths.
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