Monday, December 28, 2009

Veterans + Social Media + Small Nonprofits = Community

image via United States Army Garrison Livorno

I’m always sorry to see the end of the year because I love the feeling of the holiday season. I’m not a Christian, but – as do most other faiths – mine encourages one to be kind to others, considerate and giving. The end of the year celebrations, with their anticipation of togetherness and shared joy allow me to share the traditions of my friends and extended family, forging a connection rather than highlighting a difference. But what has this got to do with your small nonprofit?

Maybe it has to do with the connections part.

The California Arts Council recently did a Facebook post about a poll showing that those returning from military service are not being approached to serve their communities as they would like to be. The article referenced by the CAC said that “less than half” of the veterans who responded to the poll feel engaged in their communities, though an overwhelming majority of them want to be of service.

What’s really nice is that, by helping others the vets are helping themselves. Service in the community eases a vet’s transition back into public life – they are useful, they are part of things, they are forging a connection to civilians and moving away from years of life in another country, with a focus on us versus them rather than us as a community.

These are disciplined folks – mature and responsible, with training and experience in seeing projects to completion. And they want to help. Your small nonprofit can use help, right?

And social media is tailor-made for finding these volunteers. Reach out and invite them to be part of your community. They know what it is to serve a mission, and they will serve yours well.

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