Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pro bono

It's a term used generally to describe services rendered for the public good voluntarily, without payment.  I've tried over the years to offer pro bono services in areas where various areas of my expertise could be put to work.  For some years, my technology background came in handy as a board member at NPower Seattle, which offers technology training to non profit organizations. I drew upon my liberal arts background as a member of the Washington Commission for the Humanities.  At the Seattle Public Library Foundation, I use my leadership experience as well as those two areas in the decisions we make as a board of directors.

I agreed this summer to step in on an interim basis and lead the Washington State financial services coalition that I helped found in 2003 so that we could develop the next generation of leaders.  My agreement was contingent upon having a co-chair presently in the industry, and I was lucky enough to recruit Shelby Edwards.

I also agreed to help lead our neighborhood disaster preparedness team to increase the number of families participating.  There are 300+ homes and 17 coordinators for our neighborhood.   Being part of this effort helped me better describe in Advice From A Risk Detective how neighborhoods anywhere can organize themselves.

Don't wait until you retire.  Make time for a cause you care about now, and work it into your schedule.  As is the case with most pro bono efforts, you'll get back more than you give.

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