As we celebrate #GivingTuesday, I am reminded of the many ways the IABC Foundation gives back to our community globally. If you are not familiar with the Foundation, it is the charitable arm of our organization with four pillars of focus: The Gift of Communication; the Gift of Excellence; the Gift of Insight; and the Gift of Experience. Though I encourage you to learn more about the Foundation, and how it is working within our organization, I’d like to focus today on the Gift of Communication.
The Gift of Communication encourages members and chapters to give back to our communities by utilizing our professional skills and expertise to help local charities address communication challenges. Gifts happen year-round in chapters around the globe and at the World Conference each year in June. And in recent conversations I have had with IABC members, I have heard a resounding pride that our organization has a focus on giving back to our peers in the profession.
Earlier in my career, I had the privilege to work for a global nonprofit organization. I was the VP of Communications and Marketing and was lucky to have a small department staff, which is rare for most nonprofits. However, we were still challenged to support more than 30,000 people who received our services, a volunteer base of more than 20,000 and something like 500 events annually. The only way to find success with so much going on and limited resources was to be strategic, creative, and build partnerships.
Through these partnerships, I was able to build a volunteer communication and marketing advisory group of eight senior communication leaders, who freely shared their experiences, guidance, and resources. Their dedication to our organization, and those we served allowed us to run amazing award-winning communications and branding campaigns that greatly benefited our organization.
I think of that group often when I think of the Gift of Communication. Most nonprofits don’t have that luxury. In many cases, they may have one person that does fundraising, marketing, and communication all in one. Sometimes they want direction and guidance, sometimes they need solutions, and sometimes they desire peers with whom to bounce ideas. The expertise our members give so freely during Gift events allows the nonprofit staffs to be more successful for their mission.
If you’d like to participate in a Gift, I’ve listed a few upcoming December events. If you’d like to host a Gift at your chapter or if you are hosting a Gift, we’d love to hear about it. Reach out to IABCs Foundation Manager Kirsten Peterson for more information or to share your Gift news. If you’ve volunteered for a Gift, THANK YOU! Time is the most precious gift you can give.