I volunteer for a group that fundraises money for the local cemetery in town. It’s called the 10/10 Club. It’s $10 a month for 10 months. Each month all paid-to-date members name are put into a bin and 4 names are pulled. The prizes are $100, two for $50, and two for $25. That’s 50 chances to win during the 10 months.
At the end of the 10 months, a dinner is held. I’m talking about a complete dinner with salad, rolls and butter, red or white wine, half-chicken with red roasted potatoes, green beans, coffee, and dessert.
The captains of the club, including me, go a few hours ahead of time to decorate the dining room. This year it was the black and white theme. There were black and white paper lanterns and black and white fans. It looked festive and semi-formal, all at the same time.
Last week we gathered at the organizer’s house to make up the raffle baskets. People donate items and we wrap them up in baskets with themes. For example, we have liquor baskets, car care baskets, home spa, kitchen, gardening, food baskets and the list goes on. This year we had 42 baskets to raffle.
The club also has the 50/50 raffle. We sell tickets and then divide the amount in the pot in half. We pull a number and the winner gets half of the pot. This year the winner received $385.00.
Why am I telling you this? Because sometimes in business you have to give back to the community. It can be difficult to get new clients, but donating your time and maybe a little money pays off.
Many people in the town now know that I am in business and they know the name of my business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, and what I can do for businesses. Although most of them don’t need my services, they may know someone who does.
Getting to know people in a casual setting is probably a better way to meet people than at a networking event. When we meet for a meeting or at the dinner, I get to interact socially with other members without feeling that I have to get a client or I have to get a couple of prospects. By getting to know me socially, they feel comfortable talking to me, learning more about me and my business and feel comfortable referring me to someone that may need my services.
Networking events are great, but I find them stressful. I still put pressure on myself to come away with a few leads rather than just meet and talk to other business professionals. I have my “pitch” and pretty much stick to it.
I don’t have to worry about this, when I’m participating in a community project. This cemetery fundraising project is the perfect setting to learn more about the cemetery and the history of the town as well as get to know the townspeople.
Many people are grateful for this group, because we’re preserving the final resting place for their parents, grandparents, and ancestors. They appreciate the effort we make to ensure that this cemetery is properly taken care of.
Sometimes, being in business requires you to get out from behind your desk and get your hands dirty. Community involvement like this is a catalyst for action, a remedy for putting things right, and a great way to meet good, caring people.
Have you or are you involved in a community project? Tell me about it.