Supporting cultural organizations, it should be remembered, can be much more than just opening up your wallet. Their need for human resources can be just as great. If you can offer your time, these organizations would be more than happy to benefit from your knowledge, experience and interests.
There are a number of ways to get involved:
Your time and energy could be directed towards a wide variety of tasks, from usher to accountant, from ticket seller to communications strategist.
A good starting point is to offer your services to an organization that you already know and love. If you have no particular organization in mind, consult the website of Bénévoles d’affaires. They will put you in touch with organizations that would be delighted to put your talents to good use.
Here are some examples of how your time can make a real difference within an artistic organization:
- As a volunteer working at the reception desk of a concert, benefit gala, etc. There’s always a need for friendly staff to welcome audiences, and make them want to come back. A simple task, but so important!
- Assisting in the preparation of buffets for exclusive events. At benefit galas or V.I.P. cocktails, appetizers and wine are normally offered. Artistic organizations need volunteers to help them out with the preparation and serving.
- Bookkeeping. Are you an accountant? A fundamental task of all registered organization is keeping accurate, up-to-date books. You could help free up the artists in the organization, allowing them more time for creation.
- Assistance in subsidy applications. This is an ongoing activity for arts organizations, one that requires communicative skills and a familiarity with the organization. A task that is recurrent and time-consuming. You could save them an enormous amount of time!
- Devising a business plan. Are you rigorous, strategic and versed in the rudiments of business development? All artistic organizations have to formulate business plans, if only to apply for funding. You could guide them in this process by offering your time and writing skills.
Before contacting an organization, think hard about what you would like to do and the amount of time you can devote to volunteering. Be realistic—it’s important to be clear about what’s expected of you, about your level of involvement, of what you can realistically hope to achieve for the organization.
Once you have a clear idea of what you can contribute, and once you’ve decided on an organization that matches your skills and interests, it’s simply a matter of phoning the organization. The rest will take care of itself!