Who hasn’t wondered occasionally if all the time
they spend volunteering in various associations and charities is really worth
it? For emotional reasons, we justify
many of our philanthropic activities, as well we should.
But when you volunteer for a business group, such
as NetVU, how do you know that you are getting back as much or more than you
The easiest way to find out is to talk to your
peers. They will tell you! For example, our volunteers tell us that they
learn as much by teaching as by becoming a student. When they take that
information back to the office, and apply it, it changes the dynamics of their
work flow, and money is saved.
The easy part is coming out and teaching, even
though you have to prep and plan and rehearse.
The hard part is actually going back to the office
and implementing the 5, 10 or 15 things you learned from the students in the
room who spoke up during class.
Or, who hasn’t benefitted from Real Time at some
level or another? The hours saved due to the elimination of double entry
equates to real money! It took someone
(or should I say a lot a “someones!”) volunteering at various industry
functions many years ago, getting the word out and pushing for the changes that
we all knew needed to happen. Today, we all
reap that benefit. We pass that benefit on to our legacies.
The math isn’t that hard even for conference
attendance. Just show up! You don’t even
have to teach, or volunteer. Spend some time in classrooms and the hallways
talking to other folks using the same systems as you do – if you find one good
idea that saves just 15 minutes a day on a customer service function, you have
saved money. [One example: 15 minutes x
200 workdays / 60 minutes per hour = 50 hours saved a year x $25 per hour =
$1,250 a year x 3 CSRs = $3750 saved every year!]
You can do your own math here.
Some ROI doesn’t come in the form of dollar bills.
The leadership skills you gain by being active in any volunteer group can help
you in your career or with other volunteer jobs. You may find you are less
stressed at work because of the skills you learn while helping others. Maybe,
you just have a little fun with friends! And couldn’t that be the best ROI of