At the onset of the year, I wrote about my new strategy to give back to the community with a portion of my net business earnings being donated, based on my average quarterly income.
I am happy to say that I made my donations in Q1 as scheduled to PAW Team (veterinary care to the pets of the homeless), Hacienda CDC (LatinX community development), and Village Gardens/Janus (growing/sharing/educating re: healthy food), but neglected to write about them. First quarter was very good for my business with a lot of work coming in, however my net income had to be adjusted because of a lot of healthcare treatment expenses, so was not the normally strong percentage of my income I like to do. But I still donated as much as I could, which as my dad used to say, “is better than a sharp stick in the eye.” 🙂
So as we are in the midst of Q2 (wow!), I thought I’d give some love to the local nonprofits who I’m giving to:
As you can see, there’s a definite theme in this quarter, closely related with my personal mindset as a hopeful mum-to-be. The Children’s Book Bank and The Shadow Project logos pretty easily explain their missions, but Groundwork Portland has a special place in my heart for what these folks do, as it combines youth workforce development with eco-entrepreneurism and community engagement.
Giving back, as we all know, goes far beyond financial assistance to worthwhile organizations. What can we do with our time? Whether little or big, there are things we can do.
As most know, my husband and I have been volunteers with SMART (me for 3 years, he for 2), helping K-2 kiddos gain confidence in and enthusiasm for reading. Because he works in retail, he’s been able to make sure his shifts and/or days off coincide with this hour each week he spends, and as a self-employed person, I’m fortunate to have even more flexibility.
Professionally, while my schedule is busy, I give back however I can, from mentoring those who want to advance in recruiting and/or coaching, and getting them connected to the right people who can help them take another step forward, to supporting other women solopreneurs by promoting them on my website, LinkedIn, and introductions to my own clients when relevant, to working with nonprofits to provide pro bono career coaching assistance to those transitioning from poverty situations.
I also, as a recruiter, try to go above and beyond what most do in my work, making recommendations to my candidates whose resumes are not going to get across well to my hiring managers if I were to submit them as-is. Not only has it helped them articulate more clearly their existing skills, it also helps them understand why maybe their resumes in the past haven’t received the attention they deserve. Boy do I wish someone had helped me when I was in that situation – and that’s what paying it forward is all about. It doesn’t have to be huge, it just needs to be genuine.
What are you doing personally or professionally to pay it forward?