Doing Well by Doing Good

December 07, 2017

Periodically, we’ll be featuring a thought piece from one of our CNE board members. This piece is from Tim Rose, Treasurer. Tim is Chief Executive Officer of the University of Virginia Foundation.

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence is dedicated to helping “build, nurture and promote a strong community.”  This is an admirable goal, and one that provides a vision for a better place.  But what can helping nonprofits and our community do for you?

For many, our lives are a merry-go-round, or a roller coaster, or some other spinning contraption.  We wake, we get ready, we work and then get ready to do it again tomorrow.  In between the seams of this pattern is the opportunity to expand our lives.  We carve out time to serve on a school board, we volunteer with the homeless, we give blood, we stand for those who cannot.  Clearly, this service is of help to others; but what does it do for us?

  • First, by getting out of our normal routine, our thought patterns are changed.  We see things in a new light, with a new set of eyes, such that when we return to our routine, our vision is broader, richer and better informed.
  • Second, taking our minds off of ourselves is healthy.  It gives our souls a chance to connect altruistically in a way that is inherently uplifting, and which deepens our connection to others — a key contributor to good health.
  • Third, we step out of, and expand, our circle of confidence.  Interacting in new ways, with new people, in new situations, outside our comfort zone causes personal growth.  Once that growth occurs, it does not die back – once you learn, you cannot unlearn.

So, yes, volunteering to serve the local community is important for all the right, apparent reasons.  The next time you are asked to serve, however, don’t discount the value you will receive.  From the subsequent growth, you will change one life for certain – yours – and that in itself is of service to the community.

There is a growing body of research about the value of volunteering for the individual. CNE is grateful for the support of its volunteers, and offers programs like the Board Academy (enrolling now!) which help individuals find the full benefit of their volunteer experience.


Tim Rose, Treasurer
CNE Board of Directors

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