Vail Daily column: The importance of giving
An important personal belief that I try to apply to business is the concept of “give before you get.” This was reinforced recently when I saw an article on this exact topic on LinkedIn.
The article reinforced why I try to live by the idea of giving in my professional life. I am happy to give freely of my time, and even to offer up my “expertise” in various subjects when asked. I’m quick to help new, young professionals entering the workforce. I’m on many nonprofit, community and industry boards in an effort to give back to the community and to industry groups. You may even say I’m a giver.
Don’t take this as some great call for altruism — I do expect things in return — but to concept of “give before you get” ensures that you don’t set up relationships to be transactional in nature. Rather, relationships are set up on a solid foundation of mutual benefit rather than a foundation of just asking for assistance.
Venture capitalist Mark Suster may have said it best when he stated in the above referenced article that “the more you invest in relationships the more you will get when you need.”
Creating a Foundation
There’s the rub. People asking for assistance, feedback or help only when they need something is not a solid model. Asking for something only when you “need” something is often a dead end if you haven’t given something to build that foundation and haven’t invested in your relationships, your community or your industry.
Relationships with Nonprofits
Shifting gears a bit, but still under the umbrella of “give before you get,” it’s important to note that giving is not limited to time, energy and expertise. Needs are not limited to individuals or industry groups. An important sector that relies on giving and the philanthropic kindness of our community are our nonprofit organizations.
Relationships with our nonprofit community are equally important as individual relationships, as these groups impact both our professional and our personal lives in ways we can’t begin to measure. These groups continue to give in our community and they rely on the community to give back to them.
Eagle County is a wonderful place to live, work and play in part due to our vibrant nonprofit community. These organizations help ensure that we remain a wonderful place to live by supporting the things that make us unique and by supporting those in our community who need our help.
Colorado Gives Day
Dec. 10, less than one month from now, is Colorado Gives Day. Colorado Gives Day is an initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Presented by Community First Foundation and 1st Bank, Colorado Gives Day has taken place during a 24-hour period each winter since 2010.
Learn more about this important effort at http://www.coloradogives.org, which has a stated goal to inspire and unite Coloradans in supporting local nonprofits.
‘Give where you live’
Locally, Eagle County Gives (www.eagle cogives.org) is our collaborative of nonprofit organizations working to strengthen the collaboration, fundraising capacity and awareness of the nonprofit sector to enhance the quality of life in our community.
Their motto sums up their efforts nicely: “Give where you live.”
Eagle County Gives (and Colorado Gives Day) allows individuals or businesses to give to your favorite charity by clicking through to the online profiles on Dec. 10 from midnight to midnight. Donations can also be scheduled in advance. Some notes related to Colorado Gives Day:
• The value of every donation will be increased by the First Bank Incentive Fund
• No credit card processing fees will be charged! One-hundred percent of your donation will go to your favorite charity
• This past year more than $450,000 was donated to organizations that protect and nurture the quality of life in Eagle County
This year, 34 different Eagle County based nonprofit organizations are participating in Colorado Gives Day. These include almost every sector of our nonprofit community, which ensures that you can find an organization to donate to that matches your values, as each participating nonprofit provides a tangible benefit to our community.
Check out the website, learn more about the participating nonprofits and remember to give. Follow the motto of “give before you get” and support our local nonprofit community. After all, as Richard Branson says, “Alone we can’t do much. Together we can change the world.”
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.