Guest Commentator: Brad Watts, Commercial Insurance Broker, The Graham Company @BradWattsTGC @TheGrahamCo; member of YPC’s Advisory Board, and Co-Chair of YPC’s Volunteer Committee
Why is it important that young professionals give back and support causes that uplift our community?
There are so many benefits to volunteering in your local community. First, doing good is just that…it’s good. By donating your time, talent or resources to nonprofit organizations, you’re helping people in need and supporting efforts that truly make a difference. And of course, volunteer experience looks great on a resume.
Outside of these standard benefits, there are dozens of more reasons why young professionals should volunteer and back initiatives that uplift our community. Personally, I’ve found that giving back to nonprofits allows me to achieve change through action. Too often, young people today are quick to pick up their phones and turn to social media to voice their opinion about a problem in the community. Volunteering enables you to learn firsthand about key issues and understand the needs of the people or areas being impacted. You can actively create change, versus trying to do it from behind a screen.
Professionally, I’ve made some of my most beneficial connections through volunteering and attending charity and fundraising events. It’s not just another happy hour in the city where people are walking around handing out business cards. You’re actually making meaningful connections with people who are doing great things for the community. There’s an immediate common ground – and what better way to follow-up with a potential contact or prospect?
Volunteering also allows you to take a step back and look at things differently. You adopt new and unique ways of thinking about problems and identifying solutions to your corporate projects by engaging with nonprofits. As a business-minded, results-driven person, volunteering has aided me in interacting with different people, which in turn has taught me to be creative, open and adaptable.
I feel fortunate that Graham Company provides us with dedicated time to volunteer. We also have our own charitable giving committee that supports many local charities important to our team, including those that aid veterans, city youth and the homeless. I hope more companies adopt this mindset, because giving back to the community has great upside for employees – both personally and professionally.
Brad Watts currently serves as Co-Chair for the YPC Volunteer Committee, which hosts four events each year.