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Community SERVICE

Connecting Your Chapter to the Community through Volunteering by Josh Seides

What should we do for community service? This is the tough question many FBLA chapters are asking themselves this time of year. With so many meaningful opportunities for service out there, here are a few tips to make the most out of your members’ time. Do not wait for them to come to you. Volunteering is hard to navigate in today’s market with the plethora of organizations and service projects out there for youth to choose from. Many of your local community organizations will not have time to come and look for you; your chapter needs to go to them. The first step in contacting organizations is to meet in person. Most professionals just do not have the time to go through dozens of calls to get back to you. Instead, consider taking your local community outreach officer, president, and any other active members to the organization’s office. Stop by, introduce your FBLA chapter, and talk to them about what opportunities are available for your members. This way, organizations can ensure your chapter is committed, professional, and willing to work. Get the PR on your tail. Fast. One of the major focal points in your volunteering efforts should be the media. After setting up potential dates with the organization, have your community outreach officer, or other officer in charge of media relations, contact a local newspaper or bulletin. Explain what your FBLA chapter is doing, how many members will be involved, and how this will impact your local community. You will often need to submit a press release to newspapers to get them interested, typically chocked full of captivating pictures. Getting press for your volunteering activities can attract a variety of potential business partners and possible sponsorships for your chapter and your service project. Make sure to publicize through Facebook and Twitter as well!

Organize early. Before the actual date of your activity, your chapter needs to make sure all the logistics are in place. Specifically, focus on member sign-up. At a local chapter meeting, inform members about the volunteer project and get interested students to sign up. Create a list, possibly on Google Drive, to keep track of who can help, available times, and their contact information. Assign participants roles in the project early on so they can prepare ahead of time for the service project. With these tips, you can ensure your volunteering efforts will be time well spent for your community. Not only will your community have benefitted, but your members will also feel a sense of responsibility and pride as well. Make sure to reach out and stay involved to give back, one project at a time. Josh Seides is a junior at Alpharetta High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and vice president of his FBLA chapter. He is the founder of the nationally‑recognized Technocademy, Inc., a nonprofit that teaches technology to senior citizens nationwide (technocademy.org). His work has been published or is forthcoming in Philadelphia Social Innovation Journal, Nonprofit World, and American Careers, among others.

Congratulations to Steven Brown of Warren Township High School! Steven placed second in the Men’s Wearhouse Prom Rep program and won $15,000.


Tomorrow’s Business Leader

Profile for FBLA-PBL, Inc.

Tomorrow's Business Leader (Fall 2014)  

Tomorrow’s Business Leader Fall 2014 Volume 45, Issue 2 (ISSN 0279-9685). Published quarterly (summer, fall, winter, and spring) by Future B...

Tomorrow's Business Leader (Fall 2014)  

Tomorrow’s Business Leader Fall 2014 Volume 45, Issue 2 (ISSN 0279-9685). Published quarterly (summer, fall, winter, and spring) by Future B...

Profile for fbla-pbl