blue ribbon commission charlottesville

Community Engagement: Why We Do It and How We Choose What to Do

By Communications

October was an absolute whirlwind for Jaggers Communications. The firm was busy ramping up with a number of new client projects and, in the off hours, I was writing a book, 100 Things To Do in Charlottesville Before you Die (due out in spring, 2014) and devoting extra time to election work and volunteer hours to the Blue Ribbon Commission for Sustainable Schools.

I’ll admit, it’s the extra stuff I take on that sometimes pushes the limit of what can be accomplished with the time that exists and, unfortunately, much of it was concentrated in the month of October! November and December are calming down just a little (except, oh yeah, the holidays!) and I hope to be able to get back to providing more valuable content here on the Jaggers Communications blog in short order.

So why take on the extra stuff, when there’s an already full schedule? Mostly I do it because it’s contributing to the community in which I live in a meaningful way, and I feel strongly about that. I don’t have big bucks to make donations but I can give of my time and talent, my thoughts and expertise, to causes that are important to me. Among these, and the areas in which I’m likely to contribute include: health care (particularly diabetes-related causes), poverty (homelessness, in particular), and education (often, for the underprivileged).

What benefits do we reap? Well, for the most part, knowledge that we’re helping to make a difference, but with every volunteer experience I learn more about the community in which I live or that I’m supporting. I meet interesting people who often become lifelong contacts and sometimes, future business referrals. I get to use my brain in a different way than in the day to day way I do for my business or my clients. All of these things have great value to me.

It’s the time of year when Jaggers Communications starts looking for a nonprofit community partner to support in the coming year. Do you have a compelling case to make for a health care, poverty, or education cause that could use some PR or marketing help in 2014? We’d love to hear your pitch.