Mike is a man who has worn many hats throughout the course of his career. Growing up he wanted to be a truck driver; as a teen his first job was as a courtesy clerk at his local grocery store; off work hours he is a self-proclaimed BBQ pit-master; and nowadays in the office, he acts as a Technical Solutions Provider. His latest role: technology and strategy volunteer extraordinaire.
Connecting with the community
I do pro bono because I feel like the work from my 25+ year career is put to best use by helping those in my community – my neighbors. During my professional career I’m proud of the data I’ve collected, the tools I’ve developed to collect it, the products created by my teams, and the teams I’ve been a part of; yet these all serve to boost a faceless head of some shareholder meeting. I’ve seen first-hand the work done by nonprofits and, in some cases, have seen the people whose lives are impacted for the better because of that work. To me, this is the definition of humbling.
My very first experience volunteering my skills pro bono was a team-based project where we worked on a detailed report that helped Women Helping Women’s (WHW) form a new strategic plan. Gathering the information needed for the plan required that I dive right in and get my hands dirty interviewing and analyzing their partners and competitors. This exposed me to the intricacies of nonprofit services offered to the public. My consultant team delivered our report, and I was hooked. WHW hasn’t let me leave since! I’ve continued on as a volunteer with their organization; we’ve now made them into a data-centric organization around their Salesforce deployment that helps automate many business processes, and have more plans to help them magnify their mission!
Since that first project, I’ve now completed 600+ hours of pro bono volunteering in technology and strategy. In the future, I’m looking forward to continuing to work on Salesforce-related projects with nonprofits in my area. Tech products like Salesforce have evolved so quickly recently, I’d love to help make the technical pro bono projects more flexible to help nonprofits use tech to do more.
I keep coming back to pro bono because I love spinning up the client to get them excited about what will be possible with the outcome of our work. In many cases, recruiting skilled volunteers is one of the first steps nonprofits take as part of a larger initiative–it’s always fun to get the ball rolling on something great.
To anyone out there considering doing pro bono: do it. Do it today; you won’t miss the time that you give and you certainly won’t regret helping out your neighbors.