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Why Now is the Perfect Time to Volunteer

March 04, 2021

Volunteering can make you happier and live longer. The effects of volunteering on mental and physical health have long been studied and touted. According to the world renowned Mayo Clinic, Those who volunteer experience are more likely to benefit positively in the following ways:

  • Reduced risk of depression

  • More physical and mental activity

  • Less feelings of stress

  • Increased sense of purpose

  • Learning of new skills

  • Forming new relationships

Wouldn’t you love to experience all these side effects of contribution? You can count me in. Yet, volunteering in America has been on the decline over the past decade. While the reasons behind the downward trend are oft debated, one thing is clear: volunteers are still needed.

If you’ve engaged with any of our local NASPP chapters, you’ve met some of our best volunteers – those who offer their time to expand and enhance the stock plan profession in their local community.

I recently caught up with one of our longest serving volunteers at the NASPP – John Barringer of Executive Wealth Planning. John served the stock plan community as president of the NASPP’s Denver chapter for more than 25 years until just recently.  It doesn’t surprise me that John has contributed to his community for nearly three decades, but I do find myself in awe at his desire to serve with enthusiasm and commitment over such a time span. What was it that drove him to contribute at that level?

You can listen to my full conversation with John in the podcast episode: “Volunteering: Journey of a Chapter President.” In our chat, you will hear about the impact that community has had on John and how much he values the relationships he made during the years he’s been involved with the NASPP community. 

The pandemic has fueled a broad telework scenario that has replaced in person networking and contact with virtual meetings. Like everything else that has proven to adapt in the past year, volunteering opportunities (and their benefits!) still exist - we just need to adapt them to our current environment.

One thing I learned from John is that he never said "no" to someone who wanted to contribute. He sees the benefits of contribution – both for the volunteer and the recipient. One of the many things we’ve learned during the pandemic is just how much we value interaction and connection with other people. You can still grow your network and experience the bonds of community virtually, whether it's by sharing your experiences in a webinar, or by organizing a virtual networking meeting with your peers. It just takes a shift in defining what it means to volunteer and how.

If you are looking to get involved, connect with other stock plan industry professionals, and feel the upsides that a sense of contribution can offer, now's the time to do it. There are many current options for you to get involved with your professional community:

  • Speak at an event. We are currently seeking speaking proposals for three types of events – chapter, webinar and our conference, including virtual opportunities.

  • Get involved with your local chapter. Want to engage more with your peers at a local level? Reach out to your local chapter leaders and offer your help. Whether it’s joining the board, or providing resources for a single meeting, they’d love to have volunteers like you.

  • Share Your Experience in Writing or Podcast. Do you work at an issuer company and have a great process or a creative solution? Do you have a stock plan insight to share? Let us help you share that with your peers! We accept content contributions in the form of blogs, articles, podcast chats and more. To learn more about these opportunities, send a note to NASPP Content

​You may be wondering how you can possibly contribute during these challenging times. Knowing this, I propose that this may be the perfect time to get involved. With so much happening virtually, it's a great time to learn the ropes and begin to experience the positives that investing in a community can deliver. So, reach out to your local chapter, share your ideas with us, and help keep our community connected. You'll see the benefits!