Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Making Room for Nonprofit Work: Every Day is Payday

By Joanna Kulesa
With the various day to day tasks we all have to finish, it is easy to fall into a “business as usual” pattern and forget to make time for those under-the-radar projects we truly want to engage in—like working with a nonprofit whose work maps to your values.

In this social media-driven climate, a company’s overall image matters more each day. What we choose to make time for, on top of what we must do, isn’t only rewarding and fun, but it matters. Many companies are trying to achieve more than mere profits, and people are paying real attention to businesses with a ‘work for good’ side.

I’m a huge fan of Sir Richard Branson and recently downloaded his new book, Screw Business as Usual. In this book, he illustrates how “doing good is good for business.” In the past few years, I’ve come to learn first-hand that setting aside time for nonprofit work is not only fun and rewarding, but also an important component to overall success. The benefits of nonprofit projects are threefold: the nonprofit benefits as a result of the collaboration, you feel good for contributing to something you care about, and your team enjoys a richer work experience.

I’ve always had a passion for animal, environmental and other issues close to my heart. But my interest in working with nonprofits professionally was piqued three years back after my daughter and I watched a PBS special on the story of Koko the gorilla, and the Gorilla Foundation’s efforts to save gorillas from extinction. I was moved by Koko’s story and found myself wishing I could contribute something beyond money to their cause.

So, when an email from the Gorilla Foundation arrived by chance in my inbox asking Kulesa Faul to potentially partner on PR and social media efforts, there was no question in my mind. The Gorilla Foundation became our first nonprofit client.

Both passion and profits can drive you, and I’ve found that the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. By doing good and contributing our talents to causes we care about, we’re building a richer business, a diverse network and an even more passionate team.

And now Kulesa Faul is proud to announce our second nonprofit client, Rock the Earth. Rock the Earth is a fantastic organization that works with the music industry and its fans to encourage advocates of the ecological future of the planet. We are energized by the pro bono work we do for our nonprofit clients and their causes, and every day feels like payday!

Joanna Kulesa is principal of Kulesa Faul, in San Mateo, CA. Kulesa Faul focuses on public relations, social media and communications strategies for enterprise software and consumer technologies companies.—

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