Responded to a non-profit’s question about membership only to make me realize that there is another intangible thing besides time which we can give.
Sparked.com once again provided me an opportunity to help out a non-profit. Today it was the Wilderness Education Society, which looks to improve the quality of outdoor leadership. Their question was about membership. Having some experience as a VP of Membership in Toastmasters, I did some quick research and provided a possible answer quoted from a site for non-profits called Blue Avacado.
The key point is that I did not give them the answer myself. I helped them find one possible answer from what I believe to be a reputable source based on my background. The value I added was connecting people with data. Today, I was a librarian.
This reminded me of a post by Seth Godin some time ago in his post, the future of the library. He postulates that the librarian of the future is the data wizard, capable of connecting people to data in new and innovative ways rather than just being the “clerk of dead paper.”
Seth is right. And with the internet at our disposal, we all are librarians. By honing our online research skills, and employing those skills at sites like sparked.com, we can provide valuable information to non-profits and philanthropic organizations around the world. That frees the non-profits to do what they do best.
We have access to more information than we may realize. And getting that information to where it can do the most good is another way to give back.