Share Your Talents

It's the best way to change the world


Giving Tuesday is a great reminder to write a check to your favorite nonprofit organization. But beyond money, when it comes to planning where and how you will spend your time and energy, let your strengths guide you to ways you can help the people and community around you.

Writing a check or volunteering your time with your favorite nonprofit organization is a great idea. If you have extra time or resources to give, however, consider these creative ways to put your strengths to work when giving back this year.

1. Animal whisperer? Consider fostering some furry friends from your local animal shelter.

2. Avid reader? Pass on a book that could change someone’s life. The right book could help someone start a business, improve a relationship or provide a confidence boost.

3. Love fitness? Sign up for a charitable walk or run and give to a cause you care about. Better yet, ask someone to workout with you and be a fitness mentor.

4. Is your thumb green? Lead a community garden project or teach kids how to care for flowers and plants.

5. Talented teacher? Talk to a local school about volunteering to be a tutor.

6. Love events? Donate your time and talents to a fundraising event for a worthy organization.

7. Connected? How could you use your network to help someone else? The right introduction could lead to a job prospect, an increase in revenue or a new friendship.

8. Enjoy children? Volunteer to watch your friend’s kids for an evening or host a slumber party for your kids and their friends.

9. Extra cash? Think about buying something for a stranger. Pick up the tab for the person behind you at the coffee shop or the tollbooth on the bridge.

10. Great cook? Volunteer your talents at a local soup kitchen.

Stay true to yourself by giving in the realms that make you the happiest. When you give back with your own talents, it doesn’t feel like work—it feels like an expression of who you are. 

Don’t know your strengths? Want to learn more about yourself? Visit the Virginia Institute of Character and take their free 10-minute survey at VIAcharacter.org.