In researching inventions and social innovations, a D+P colleague recently pointed out that the concept of “Paying It Forward” originated with Benjamin Franklin. He understood that when something good happens to you, you return the favor by doing something good for someone else.
At D+P we have had a lot of good things happen to us – and what’s more, we realize that we have talents which are useful to many non-profit organizations, in particular. I’ve encouraged all of our employees to pursue areas of interest and volunteer to help non-profits. I am happy to report that we very recently had staff members join the boards of Students Run Philly Style as well as The Rock School for Dance Education. Others became more involved in their college alumni associations and helped assist with our corporate pro bono projects.
“Paying It Forward” has become a very important part of the culture here at D+P, and I’m proud of my colleagues who are generously giving their time. I’m reminded, though, that most of them weren’t sure where or how to get started in volunteering. Fortunately, I have an abundance of requests for our help, so I have been able to act as matchmaker between these inquiries and my colleagues’ interests – everything from marathon running to ballet. I imagine that there are many other communications professionals who want to volunteer, but are seeking direction. I’d love to see our industry launch a local ‘communications talent bank’ for non-profit organizations, cataloging both communications professionals and their interests, as well as non-profits looking for marketing and media assistance. Who’s with me?
Credit Ben Franklin for one more great innovation. He’s still inspiring ideas in 2013!