6 ways to give back with your professional talents

6 ways to give back with your professional talents
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The Queen City is filled to the brim with savvy, skilled professionals. Chances are, you are one of them. And whether you are a web designer, accountant or assistant to the regional manager, you could be using your professional talents to give back to the community.

Sure, you could just run a 5K, donate some clothes to Goodwill and call it day. But there are far more rewarding ways for you to get involved. In celebration of Giving Tuesday, here are a few ideas:

(1) Use your social media skills

Calling all social media mavens – nonprofits need you. Especially smaller ones. Plug into a local organization and complete an audit of their social media accounts. From helping expand their footprint to simply finding more efficient ways for them to communicate to their audience, your social media powers can be put to good use.


(2) Give a website a makeover

The cost for a nonprofit to have their website refreshed by an outside agency can range from $20k-$40k. In case you were wondering, that’s a lot of dollars.

Deepak Shamarao, a Technology Architecture Executive at Bank of America, saw the need for nonprofit design work and created a project for employees in BofA’s Global Technology and Operations Group to provide website refreshes to nonprofits.

Shamarao says every project has a team of around 8-10 employees, leveraging each of their different skills. These teams put in as many as 1,000 hours to create websites that are fully optimized and self-sustaining for the nonprofits they work with. Some of the recent website refreshes include Charlotte Bridge Home and Read Charlotte.

(3) Plan a fundraising event

Nonprofits throw events all the time for fundraising and, big or small, events require experienced planners to manage all the details. Opera Carolina, for instance, hosts a fundraising gala each spring called Printemps. This year, Kara Brown, a Bank of America employee, has partnered with Opera Carolina to help plan the event.

“I’ve assisted with all aspects of the planning process, including site selection, volunteer recruitment, menu selection, event flow and décor,” says Kara. “It’s been a phenomenal experience.”

(4) Lend a hand in human resources

Are you currently employed as an HR professional? You can be a valuable resource to local nonprofits. Hane Tarris, who’s worked in HR at IBM and BofA for over 20 years, is using his knowledge base and skills to help out Big Brothers Big Sisters.

He’s helped BBBS with compensation matters, staffing and talent issues and other HR items. With Hane’s help, BBBS doesn’t have to outsource for some HR work. “Instead, they can use that money to help focus on the core of what BBBS does – creating and maintaining meaningful mentoring matches,” says Tarris.

In addition to helping BBBS with HR-related tasks and serving on the board, Hane is a ‘big’ to a little dude named Caleb. Super cool.

Hane & his 'little', Caleb

Hane Tarris & his little, Caleb.

(5) Become a mentor

Mentorship can be one of the most rewarding ways to give back. It’s an opportunity to use your talents to empower others.

Chris Payton, Line of Business Staffing and Operations Executive at Bank of America, helped create a skills-based mentorship program with Urban League. The program connects HR professionals at the bank with Urban League clients to support and mentor them as they prepare to start their career or re-enter the workplace. Chris says the program has been a significant success, especially with connecting people across different backgrounds.

(6) Get your workplace excited about a cause

Still not sure how to use your professional talents to give back? Pick a cause close to your heart and get your workplace pumped about it. Plan a fundraiser or put together a team to do some volunteer work. Not only will you get points for leadership but you’ll be bringing your colleagues together for the great good.

Plus, it’s an excuse to make t-shirts.

Ready to put those profesh skills to good use? United Way and ShareCharlotte.com can help you find local nonprofits to support. Ready, set, go.

(Note: This content was co-created with Bank of America.)

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