Be Kind Movement - my volunteering experience
As it is national Volunteers' Week, I wanted to share my experience of the volunteering I am doing at the moment. While everything at the moment seems so difficult in the world, I hope this is a positive reminder that kindness still exists.
Back in February, I went along to a 'speed networking' event organised by the Media Trust. The Media Trust connect charities and skilled communications volunteers, so marketeers like me can give back in a structured way. At the event, I 'matched' with several organisations and have since offered pro bono advice and support to six different charities all doing amazing work.
The seventh charity I began supporting, and continue to do so now, is the Be Kind Movement. Established by Premila Puri in 2015, the charity works hard to provide educational opportunities to empower children and young people to develop their emotional intelligence through acts of kindness.
So, what do I actually do? Well, the main purpose of volunteering with the charity initially was to offer social media support from a technical angle (leading on engagement, running campaigns etc). As I have worked more with the charity I have gone on to support the overall strategic direction of the marketing function. I get to use my skills for good and continue developing my knowledge of the sector.
However, this is not the reason I keep volunteering. The reason I show up every week is because of the people I get to volunteer with. Premila, the CEO, is so passionate about the power of kindness, it inspires to me to be a part of her vision. We have a group of nearly 20 volunteers all offering their time and exceptional skills to the movement. From legal and fundraising volunteers through to a full social media team, the people involved literally make the work possible.
What's the impact? Astounding! In March, the charity had 158 followers on Twitter who were not really engaging with the movement. By May, this number had grown to 254 and engagement rates were up, up, up! These may seem like small numbers, but that's a 60 percent increase! Facebook too has seen a huge improvement, with post reach climbing up 1030 percent in April alone. These numbers prove the power of a having a dedicated social media strategy, yet they don't tell the whole story. They don't say how each and every single volunteer involved in the charity has worked hard each day to bring the campaigns to life.
This is the power of volunteering, and in turn, the power of kindness. It's contagious, it's exciting, it gets the heart racing as you approach a campaign launch and it fills you with a sense of satisfaction as you see the impact you are making. Each day, Be Kind Movement is spreading a little bit of kindness in the world. It may be starting small, but it is mighty, and that is because of the people involved.
If you're thinking of volunteering, I recommend contacting a charity that has a vision you believe in. For me, that's a kinder world. A huge thank you to Be Kind Movement for letting me be part of the adventure!