Hand in Hand: The Connection Between Volunteerism and Professional Networking

Volunteering is a great way to positively impact others, promoting convergence of the public and a more unified community to surround yourself with. Often, unpaid volunteers are the unseen hands that work to keep communities together. At McCauley Marketing Services, we advocate for community as an option for expanding your network while positively outreaching, making new friends, and enhancing your networking skills.

professional networkingVolunteering offers you the chance to try out a new experience or career without making a long-term commitment, which could contribute to the reason why professional social network LinkedIn has added a new Volunteer Marketplace to complement their extensive list of features. The new feature will allow users to search for volunteer opportunities that require particular skill sets, such as open board seats at non-profits.

According to a Mashable article, since August 2013, more than 600,000 people have expressed interest in these types of opportunities. Over 3 million users have added volunteer experience and supported causes to their profile since 2011, a time period where LinkedIn experienced rich growth as a network when users realized the power of its ROI (return on investment). 500 postings went live in the last week, with plans to add more in the coming weeks according to LinkedIn representatives.

The process of posting a volunteer opening or board seat mirrors the procedure of posting a job. The only thing dissimilar is price point: where normal job postings cost between $20 and $40, volunteer postings cost 10% of that. The company plans to reinvest any revenue back into the program.

The hours you log volunteering may expose you to professional organizations or opportunities that could lead to growth in your business. Additionally, volunteering can aid in mastering skills you already have, using them to generate and benefit existing connections within your community. For example, if you are already a successful salesman or marketing professional, raising awareness for a worthy cause as a volunteer advocate can also further develop public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.

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