I have always been drawn to organizations whose mission is rooted in social action; the attraction comes from the fact that people are at the heart of such organizations rather than the bottom line. That’s not to say charities can dismiss the bottom line – in fact, it’s probably never been more important for the non-profit sector to be financially prudent. But the return on investment for these organization goes beyond just mere numbers – the impact they have contributes to the well-being of society as a whole.
Furniture Bank is one such organization, whose cause I am proud to donate my time and energy towards. The organization’s mission is impressively simple – the redistribution of unwanted, gently used furniture to those in need – yet hugely effective. But there are numerous tasks that need taking care of to fulfil this mission and that’s where volunteers like me help out in various roles. Coming from a social media and digital marketing background, I use my skills to cultivate interest in Furniture Bank’s corporate volunteer opportunities through the use of online campaigns. Creating opportunities for corporate donors to do more than just write a cheque allows them to see results first hand, and ensures the organizations’s sustainability in the long run.
I was especially enthusiastic about the opportunity because I feel passionately about using the web for social good. Social media has immense potential for the non-profit sector – you only have to look at the ubiquitous Ice Bucket Challenge to appreciate this. But the web can be used for more than just raising awareness and funds via trending hashtags – it can and is being used to achieve shifts in behaviour at the grassroots level, and affect policy. In financially challenging times for the charitable sector, I believe the web is an especially relevant and effective tool.
But most of all, I volunteer at Furniture Bank because of the immediate and lasting impact it has on the lives of clients. I never realized the power of furniture – having a roof over one’s head will give you a house, but the furnishings in it help to make a home. And making homes is what Furniture Bank does.