What is the Role of a Community Engagement Officer?

ari-monkarsh-community-engagement-officer

There are plenty of career options when it comes to working in philanthropy and nonprofits. For most people, the extent of the experience they have in a nonprofit is volunteering, whether at a single organization for a significant amount of time or at multiple charities over time. However, there are lots of other ways to be involved with a philanthropy and it can even be your full-time job. One role vitally important to a successful organization, though not all charities have utilized this role, is the community engagement officer.

What is a community engagement officer?

Much like the name sounds, a community engagement officer is responsible for getting the community involved with the philanthropy. This purpose can show itself in various ways, such as finding volunteers or raising donations or simply making the community aware of the work the organization is accomplishing. The community engagement officer can also focus on spreading news about the organization to a larger community, such as the county, state, or on a national level.

Why is this position important?

Most charities rely on the surrounding community to help keep them up and running, often by providing volunteers, donations, or other vital services. Without someone focusing on engaging the community and spreading the word about the charity, it’ll be difficult for the nonprofit to achieve success. For many philanthropies, it can be difficult for people in charge to focus on also engaging the community when they’re trying to raise donations, fill out proper forms, organize fundraisers and other events, train volunteers, and various other tasks that fill a charity’s day-to-day responsibilities. This excessive activity is exactly why it’s important for organizations to have a single person dedicated to engaging and connecting with the community.

How can it be implemented elsewhere?

A few charities already utilize this position, but it should be done at more organizations as well. Many nonprofits may feel like they do not have the funds to make this position full-time, but it can slowly be implemented. Starting it as a volunteer or part-time position can work out if the person is talented at what they do. The position will eventually pay for itself as the community becomes more engaged with the philanthropy and funds are increased. Taking small steps toward having this position full-time can be beneficial and make for long-term success.

Tips for current community engagement officers

If you’re a current community engagement officer or are new to your position, it can be daunting to approach this position and attempt to achieve immediate success. It’s okay to start small and work up to larger events or goals. Focus on first getting the word out about your organization; many community members may not even realize your nonprofit is located in the community. Use social media to your benefit and advertise events and opportunities for people to get involved. Get out and talk to community members at local businesses and events and generate a buzz about your philanthropy.

Advertisements

6 Reasons Improving Education Should Be a Priority

ari-monkarsh-education-importance

No matter what your thoughts are on the education system, everyone can admit that there is room for improvement. While there is no clear answer about how best to accomplish this goal, there are many benefits that follow a great education system. As cliche as it sounds, children are the future and we must treat them as such. Focusing on their education needs to be a priority because it helps out everyone and makes the world a better place.

Future job prospects

The clearest reason education is important is that it helps students future job prospects. Most jobs require, at minimum, a high school degree and many more require a college degree of some sort. Providing children with the opportunity to get a quality education allows them to pursue better jobs and makes them better equipped to enter the workforce. Whether it’s going to a trade school or teaching more practical skills in class, education that directly helps future career goals is a must.

Financial stability

Studies have shown that increased education often leads to higher earning capability. General education on personal finance is also incredibly useful because it helps students make responsible financial decisions as they become more independent and begin their lives outside of their parents’ homes. Financial stability makes life much less stressful and helps people work toward their passions.

Good health

Refreshing your mind and learning new concepts has a proven benefit to your health. Whether it’s while someone is still in traditional education or if they’re continuing their education in less traditional ways, quality education leads to better health. It boosts your brain power and can reduce stress and also gives you the tools you need to take better care of yourself.

Better innovation

A quality education often provides the tools necessary for great innovation. As time goes on, innovation becomes even more important as we try to improve on the current methods in various industries. Students with great educations have the tools necessary to come up with innovative ideas and implement them.

Increased independence

When students have access to great education and it leads to better jobs and financial stability, it also allows them to be more independent. Many young adults live at home with their parents and struggle to pay off debt or find a solid job. Better education allows students to get the best jobs and make good financial decisions that allow them to become independent more quickly. The sooner students can become independent, the sooner they’ll begin to take leadership roles in society instead of relying on their parents. They can focus on solving important issues and improving the world instead of worrying about debt or finding a job.

Improves society

Finally, a quality education leads to societal improvements. When students receive a great, comprehensive education, it helps motivate them to find solutions to society’s issues and make a better future. Educating people about the issues in the world around them helps motivate them to find solutions to these problems.

6 Tips for Attending a Business Conference

ari-monkarsh-business-conference

Attending a business conference can present a tremendous opportunity for you to meet new people in your industry and successfully network. However, if you’re not normally an outgoing person, you may need some tips on the best way to network. By following a few suggestions, even the most timid professional can have a fun and productive time at their next business conference.

Volunteer at the conference

Even before the day of the conference, there are things you can do to help yourself make the most of the experience. For instance, you might consider volunteering in some way. By contacting the event organizer and volunteering to act as a presenter or greeter, for instance, you can stand out among the other attendees. This will help you meet the other guests.

Reconnect

Additionally, this is the time to reach out to past business acquaintances. If you know they’re going to the conference, use this opportunity to reconnect. They may be interested in meeting for coffee or drinks.

Attend sessions

Once the conference begins, there’s much to do, starting with the orientation. Even if this isn’t your first conference, it’s a good idea to attend the orientation, because it will help you manage your time more wisely. You won’t be able to attend every session, so it will be important to pick and choose the lectures that most interest you. Don’t forget to schedule in some breaks or you may stretch yourself too thin.

Talk to speakers

While you may be eager to learn, taking notes on every lecture you attend, don’t forget that networking is just as important. If you’re unsure where to get started, begin with the guest speakers. These individuals were chosen for their knowledge and expertise, so don’t be afraid to approach them. Mingle with the other guests, too. You may come across some conversations that will let you express your own expertise. By engaging in various conversations, you’ll meet more people and others will remember you at the next conference.

Follow up

Even after the conference has ended, there are still ways you can continue benefiting from the event. Reach out to the new contacts you made at the conference. Send them an email, connect on a social networking site, or give them a call. This can help you develop new business relationships.

Share with coworkers

You can also share the experience with co-workers who didn’t get to attend. Show them your notes and share your photos. This may convince them to attend the next event, or they may come to you with challenges that the conference prepared you to handle. Either way, using your new knowledge will help your organization and show management the value of a business conference.

4 Unusual Ways You Can Help Yourself Achieve Success

ari-monkarsh-achieve-success

There are the usual lists of ways to achieve success and be productive in your daily life, career, or whatever pursuits you’re focusing on at this point in your life. You always hear people mention the importance of putting in extra hours, creating a solid personal brand, or some other buzz word. While these pieces of advice are good, there are other, more unconventional ways you can achieve true success.

Get rid of bad habits

The first step you need to take in truly achieving success is doing away with your bad habits. While procrastination is something everyone can recognize as bad, there are other habits that may not seem as serious, but can still erode your path to success. Small issues like not getting enough sleep or not taking care of yourself. You might also suffer from self-doubt or be in denial about a bad habit. Take time to truly evaluate what you do and be honest; identify your bad habits and work on getting rid of them.

Create milestones

People always talk about the importance of setting goals and working toward them. At this point, for most people, goals do not mean much. We’ve heard the word “goals” over and over and it’s easy to tune it out. However, if you plan out milestones you want to accomplish, your future plans begin to look a lot different. Plan out what you want to achieve and how you’ll go about doing so. View your milestones as small steps to make along the way to an end result instead of some large overarching goal.

Take small steps

Like I mentioned above, creating milestones means starting a series of small steps to take as you work to accomplish these milestones. Carefully plan out each milestone along the way and what you need to do every day to get where you want to go. View these milestones as a journey toward something great. The experience you gain along the way is invaluable and can benefit you in plenty of ways.

Pursue unusual opportunities

Finally, take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, even if they don’t seem conventional. You never know how a decision or choice you make can affect your future, so taking every opportunity that comes your way can help you move further along your milestones. If there’s something you find interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily align with your career, go ahead and try it out. You might take a path you never expected or make invaluable connections.

5 Sustainability Tips for the Office

ari-monkarsh-office-sustainability

Now more than ever there is a growing desire to embrace more eco-friendly living and thankfully businesses are looking to do their part as well. It can be a little overwhelming when trying to figure out how to get started so we’ve put together a list of the best tips for creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly workplace.

Start a team dedicated to maintaining a sustainable office

A group of people designated to maintaining a sustainable office can get a lot more done than just sending out a memo. The team should be assigned projects such as putting together a recycling program, stocking up on green cleaning supplies, and making more energy-efficient options available for appliances. They can also engage other employees hands-on, providing them with the information they need to do their part in creating the most efficient office environment possible.

Create a challenge for everyone to participate in

Introduce a monthly challenge to the office to get everyone in the spirit. A type of challenge could include going a month without using plastic utensils and offering a small gift card as a prize. Or, you could encourage employees to use reusable coffee mugs when getting their caffeine fix.

Turn off all electronics at night

This includes lights, computers, and any appliances that could use energy while no one is using them. Make sure that the last person who leaves the office turns off all the lights. Better yet, set everything on a timer so you don’t have to worry about someone forgetting to turn off something that takes a lot of power.

Invest in office products that are better for the environment

There are all sorts of products that can have less of a negative impact on the environment from recycled office materials to more energy efficient computers. There are options for everyone no matter the size of the budget and any switch is better than no switch at all.

Research green power sources

Solar and wind energy are more available now than they ever have been and businesses both small and large can make the switch. If this is out of budget you can look into your energy provider and see if they offer a more sustainable energy plan.

There are many other ways to make the office more sustainable such as going paperless, adjusting the thermostat to run less, and even adding office plants and utilizing natural light to clarify the air and conserve energy. Don’t be afraid to get creative and applaud your employees for doing their part!

3 Ways to Get Your Team to Work Together

ari-monkarsh-teamwork.jpg

Teamwork is a skill that is sadly neither taught nor practiced well enough in the modern workplace. Some might argue it isn’t taught well enough to children in school either, which leads to issues in the workplace. This is an odd state of affairs given the obvious and proven benefits of good teamwork and the well understood principles of teaching and practicing it in all areas of life.

Unless you’re dealing with a group of wildly dysfunctional people, it is not difficult to get a group to work together, especially professionals who are being paid to do a job. Teaching teamwork is a combination of knowledge, leadership, basic psychology and will. Once you instill these ideals in your team, you’ll see a drastic improvement.

Camaraderie

Anyone who has watched an inspirational film or read a story about one or more characters facing difficult circumstances has likely experienced camaraderie. Those who have participated in any kind of ensemble activity like a team competition has as well. The battle cry of “we’re all in this together” is designed to inspire people to realize they won’t make much progress alone.

Instilling this sensibility in a group of people is the first step towards building a team.

Leadership

Selfish instincts must be replaced with regard for the people around the individual. The fastest way to make this happen is to identify strengths in each individual and require every person to teach their strengths to the others. This egalitarian approach to leadership forces team members to rely on each other instead of wandering off to look for a solution on their own. Teaching also encourages the natural leaders to step forward.

Rebuilding

One needs to only look at the armed forces to see this dynamic in action. A new platoon of recruits is broken down by the drill sergeant and then built back up. The key to the process is the fact they are all experiencing these dynamics together. They get stronger and more capable together. They earn the opportunity to take charge of the barracks, the gear, the weapons and the uniforms. Each recruit gets a chance to lead. This brings camaraderie and leadership together into a powerful mixture.

The measurable result of great teamwork is indisputable. There are decades of stories in team sports, military victories, and even academic settings that prove there are few things more effective in any environment where goals are set and achieved. Teaching teamwork is therefore one of the most generous and powerful things anyone can do.

5 Benefits of Having an Internship

People hangout together at coffee shop

More and more degree programs are requiring students to complete internships as part of the curriculum in order to gain useful experience for their future careers. Even if the program doesn’t require an internship, many students find internships very beneficial and learn valuable skills that are not taught in class. Here are five benefits of having an internship.

Self confidence

Starting a new job can be intimidating even if an employee has completed their education. They want to impress the boss and have confidence in their ability and knowledge and do the best they can at their new job. Internships help potential employees feel confident that they know what they’re doing, which results in less training time required and leads to better job performance.

Work experience

Many employees earn a degree without obtaining real work experience, which results in the employee knowing what needs to be done, but unclear on how to do it. Internships are generally completed under the supervision of professionals who work in the field, so students are learning how to perform the duties correctly and gaining work experience, which will be beneficial when applying for a job and while on the job.

Informative

Completing an internship also gives individuals the chance to see how much they’ve actually learned in the classroom and if they’re prepared to put it to use in a job. Internship candidates can also see where their strengths are, where their weaknesses are, and what they need to improve. Learning how to do something is slightly different than actually doing it.

Learning the industry

They say there is nothing like good old fashioned work experience, and that is very true. An internship gives an individual the opportunity to not only obtain hands-on training in their chosen field but also to learn more about the specific industry in which they’re working. For instance, a potential restaurant manager can gain work experience through an internship, but will only really learn the industry by completing an internship in the specific restaurant he or she wants to work.

Bonus on a resume

When applying for a job, potential employees often find that the resume is still a very important part of finding employment. Although degrees and training are important, employers like to see that the applicant has some kind of work experience on their resume. The more work experience an individual has, the less time will need to be spent on training. A resume that indicates the applicant has completed an internship can prove very helpful.

5 Challenges Facing Philanthropies that Prevent Their Success

ari-monkarsh-philanthropic-challenges.jpg

No matter what cause a philanthropy works toward benefiting, there are very real challenges the organization will face while trying to help others. Many people want to help out specific causes, yet it can be difficult to launch a charity and have it be successful. In order to better prepare yourself and your philanthropy for the challenge that comes with striving toward success, here are five challenges faced by philanthropists that prevent their success.

An endless battle for survival

It is always problematic for some philanthropies to take a step back and relax when they have minimal reserves and there is a need, often desperate, for more money. Nonetheless, it is of the essence to break the cycle by finding time to step back and breathe and then plan ahead. Thinking about the future and planning for it at present would help them overcome the same battle over and over again.

A reasonable time frame to consider could be five years for instance. In this duration, they should imagine where they want to be after the period elapses and what difference they want to make in the community. Once they have established their destination with clarity, they can work out how much money they need to fund their activities and work backward to create a strategy that won’t fail and can prevent future worries about money.

Limited time to commit to philanthropic activities

Frequently, it can be difficult to find enough time to spend dedicated to philanthropy. Naturally, one can not do everything, so no one should try and you need to pace yourself accordingly. However, they should try to stay focused on specific areas they can make a major impact. It is always better to do a few things well, than try to do a lot of things and then do them poorly. Learn to manage your time well so you can do as much as possible.

Lack of enough money to invest

Philanthropic ventures cost money and need money continuously invested in their causes. Philanthropists that are starting up often face a dilemma over where to place their limited resources and what aspects make for the best investments. It may be necessary to take any spare funds on investments to generate more money to fund the activities.

Developing skills

Sufficient training for small philanthropists can be challenging to achieve. With limited time and funds, it can be difficult to get workers and volunteers the training they need to do their jobs effectively. It’s important to set aside enough time and resources to properly train those working with your organization and then focus on continually develop their skills.

How to be unique

There are too many philanthropies that are doing more or less the same thing. Therefore it becomes a crowded marketplace that makes it tricky to attract support. It is essential for philanthropies to focus on sectors that make them stand out from the crowd. Before starting a philanthropy, make sure there’s a need for your organization and that there’s something that makes you different from other charities.

7 Questions to Ask Before Changing Careers

Business man success in job

If you are considering a career change, you are not alone. Many people change careers more than once in their lifetime and for various reasons. However, if you want to make sure you make the right choice, there are seven questions you should be asking yourself before making this major decision. If you do not take these questions into account, you might make the wrong decision and waste time and effort in a career that doesn’t satisfy you when you could have been working toward something better. So go through the steps below before jumping ship and then decide what path you’d like to take.

What

You have to define what it is exactly that you want. Without this, you will be fluttering in the wind without a direction. What is the ideal outcome that a new career will bring you? Evaluate the types of tasks you enjoy doing and figure out what you definitely do not want to do. Then, search for careers and jobs that best fit your preferences.

Why

Once you’ve defined what you want, it’s time to hone in on why you want it in the first place. If you want more autonomy for example, it might be because you want room to grow. So therefore perhaps a company that is young and rapidly expanding would be a good choice. Understand the reasons behind why you want to change careers or why you’re looking for a specific job can help you determine what steps are the best to take.

When

Without a timeline, dreams die. Don’t think you will do it “someday.” Schedule your move and stick to it. Learn to manage your time effectively and force yourself to work hard and get through the monotonous steps to finding a new career. Do you need more education or to speak with a mentor? Give yourself clear steps and deadlines and it’ll  be easier to transition.

How

Now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get there. What actions do you need to take? Do you need to upgrade your resume? Buy a new suit? Answer this before the next step and you’ll be better prepared to move to a new career.

Who

There is probably someone who has done what you want to do. Try to get their mentorship. At the very least, read about their story for clues. Talking with someone who has more knowledge and experience than you can be incredibly beneficial and help you avoid any major missteps.

When it comes to changing careers, it can be overwhelming at first. After all, you are completely shifting gears. Your old routines need to change. And most of all, you have to ask yourself the seven questions above which can take some time and energy. But don’t worry, if you go through the right process you will be able to find your ideal career and succeed in a way that fulfills you for the long term.

Tips for Creating a Successful Morning Routine

ari-monkarsh-morning-routine

It can be difficult getting up in the morning without the aid of a helpful routine to get you started and motivated to get out of bed. Feeling tired and slightly moody isn’t uncommon. The temptation to crawl back into bed and get more sleep is certainly real and often overwhelming. Before you give into it though, you can try these special tricks for establishing a successful morning routine and jumpstart your day.

Prepare your body

For some, rolling out of bed is deemed a huge success. Once this has been accomplished, it’s time to take a nice, slow stretch. This is believed to increase blood flow in the body and will have a person feeling wide awake within minutes.

These days, cereal with milk is a popular breakfast choice. The problem with this food is that the focus is on dairy, rather than on protein. A couple of pan-fried eggs or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are both good options instead of, or in addition to, cereal. Because of their high protein content, they’ll give a person the fuel and energy he needs to get through his busy day.

Besides these, an exercise routine comes in handy. During a workout, the body actively engages in various, quick movements, and a person will be left feeling more awake and energetic.

Get the mind ready

Drinking water is good for bodily health, but the simple act has exceptional benefits for the mind, too. It can improve a person’s mood in no time. A grueling, drawn-out morning routine that leaves much to be desired, can make an individual feel like he’s practically homebound. He can skip his usual morning shower and take it the night before instead. Also, he can save a few extra minutes in the morning, by setting the timer on his coffee maker then, as well. That way, the coffee will be brewed and ready to go the moment he gets out of bed.

That innocent looking snooze button on the alarm clock is supposed to be a friend. In reality, though, it’s the enemy. Not only does it interrupt your sleep, it makes it more difficult to accept the fact that the day has, indeed, begun. The snooze button is like the part of the brain that keeps trying to deny it.

By changing the usual, tedious morning routine, anyone can become a morning person. Getting the mind and body both on board may just be the key to the new one’s chance for success. It doesn’t hurt to try.