It is wonderful to see people and organizations come together during the holiday season to encourage the gift of giving. Now it’s January and the non-profit organizations have delivered their gifts to children with care. Families in need have been served with warm holiday meals. Non-profit organizations always see an increase in donations both monetary and volunteer time during the holiday season but the “giving season” does not have to end on December 26th.
Being part of the community-at-large is important, and many law firms donate money and time to non-profits that operate year-round. Often, the dedication that attorneys show to their cases and billable hours is similar to the way they invest their time and funds in non-profit organizations they believe in. Attorneys can find ways to serve non-profits with the very skills that make them successful attorneys - time management, endurance to fight for a cause, and of course, oratory skills to reach and capture an audience.
There are various non-profit organizations that are supported throughout the legal community. Some of them are local art museums, YWCA, Healthier Kids Foundation, Family Supportive Housing, Silicon Valley Law Foundation, Legal Advocates for Children & Youth (LACY), YWCA, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), United Way and so many more.
A local Bay Area non-profit organization, Family Supportive Housing (FSH), provides assistance to homeless families through housing and other supportive programs. Michael Warren, an attorney in a Silicon Valley law firm and Board Member for Family Supportive Housing, believes that blending his professional work and volunteerism benefits both. “Through my work, Family Supportive Housing organization is able to reach out to a wide variety of people in the legal community, many of whom want to support those in need and are just looking for an opportunity. By sharing my involvement in the organization on our firm’s website and social media, with my colleagues, clients, and friends, we can increase the donations and awareness of Family Supporting Housing.” This organization always sees an increase in donations during the holiday season, but he knows that the need does not end when the calendar changes. “I’m always looking to invite my colleagues and clients to large networking events that benefit this organization and our community as a whole.”
Attorneys also contribute another major skill - their knowledge and understanding of law to assist children in their community. Elizabeth Pipkin, also an attorney, donates her time and energy as a Board Member for the Silicon Valley Law Foundation (SVLF). This organization provides legal representation to low-income individuals and families. “I am fortunate to be able to do what I love and work with an organization that provides support and hope to families every day right here in the Bay Area. I am able to provide support as an active Board Member because I make sure to include my firm in this organization’s mission of social justice to those in our community.”
On the other hand, if an attorney cannot be hands-on with non-profit organizations like Warren and Pipkin, there are other ways to help support community non-profits. Many attorneys for example, will attend luncheons throughout the year to show support and provide monetary donations to causes. As we all know, non-profit organizations rely heavily on monetary donations to stay afloat, so they can keep fighting the good fights.
Fundraising can be accomplished with greater efficiency year around. Non-profits love it when attorneys use their name to help stimulate interest and website traffic for a great cause; and who better to help with that then those who truly understand the meaning of “time is money?”
An added benefit is that these luncheons can give attorneys the opportunity to network within the non-profit community, the legal community, and beyond. Those who have embraced working with the non-profit community will tell you that the time spent helping others is also great for marketing themselves and/or their firm. For instance, the 2018 YWCA Annual Luncheon was graced with the presence of over fifty companies and more than 2,000 individuals which provided a wonderful networking opportunity.
It should always be ‘Tis’ the Season’ to share a little hope, joy, and encouragement throughout the community. Now is a great time to start considering which non-profit(s) you may want to support and make a difference in 2019.