What’s the Best Way to Pay It Forward? Give Your Time

Giving makes us richer. When we give to others, we become part of something larger than ourselves. But simply writing a check or raising money from the privacy of our own homes and offices doesn’t provide a meaningful connection. To reap the full rewards, you have to get out into the community.

According to a Harvard Health study, volunteering creates a “happiness effect.” When you volunteer on a weekly basis, you can improve your well-being on par with something as life-changing as a salary boost. What’s more, these good works contribute to a more positive environment for all.

Community Connections—IiO’s Day of Service

Because we believe in the inherent power of giving, Invest in Others hosts “Community Connections” events that give financial advisors an opportunity to get out into the community, connect with industry colleagues and be a force for good. We started this tradition as a day of service in conjunction with our annual gala. But why limit a good thing to just once a year? This year, we put two events on the calendar with several more to come in 2019:

Morristown, NJ – Community Soup Kitchen

On November 14, 33 participants from 10 financial firms came together to prepare and serve meals to homeless and needy families at the Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown, N.J.

Boston, MA – Christmas in the City

On December 17, we joined the nonprofit Christmas in the City at Monday Mania to distribute presents for underprivileged families. In total, we had 119 participants from 23 financial firms volunteer through Invest in Others.

Small Acts Can Help “Change a Life”

Among those who attended the New Jersey event, Jody D’Agostini, 2017 winner of the IiO Catalyst Award, said she was moved by how a small gesture seemed to go a long way.

“We were able to serve others at the soup kitchen but also extend a welcome smile and hopefully show kindness and caring to a population who often doesn’t receive much in their day,” said D’Agostini, of the Falcon Financial Group in Morristown. “I was left to wonder how challenging their days are and how a warm meal served can change a life.”

For Private Advisor Group, a large hybrid RIA that partnered with Invest in Others to co-host the event, the experience was such a positive one that the firm is now planning to deepen its volunteer relationship with the Community Soup Kitchen.

“Private Advisor Group was grateful to partner with Invest in Others to give back to a cause in our own backyard,” said John Hyland, an executive officer at Private Advisor Group and Invest in Others board member. “Our team was so inspired that we decided to continue to pay it forward as a firm and volunteer at the Community Soup Kitchen on a quarterly basis.”

Smiling Faces for the Holiday

This past week we helped distribute gifts to 3,000 families in need through the volunteer-run nonprofit “Christmas in the City.” Invest in Others had the opportunity to organize over 100 volunteers to assist their efforts. Among our volunteers was a large group from Daintree Advisors, a Boston-based RIA firm.

“We cannot thank you enough for organizing the day and giving us the chance to help lots of people,” said Bill Speciale, Partner and Senior Client Advisor at Daintree Advisors. “We were glad to contribute our time and money to a great cause. Seeing all those smiling faces today was priceless. Can’t wait for next year!”

Working Together to Help Others

Beyond the good that comes from helping others, charitable events like Community Connections also give members of a highly competitive industry an opportunity to come together in common cause. In addition, given that many advisors focus on philanthropy in their practices, volunteering helps them strengthen their general outlook.

“As an advisor, I have a core focus in incorporating giving and philanthropy into my business,” said Yale Levey, an advisor with Next Generation Wealth Planning. “Teaching clients how to incorporate this into their lives is regularly part of our planning process. Practicing what I preach is paramount in my life (not to mention the joy I derive in giving back).”

In 2019, Invest in Others is planning three events to be held in California, Philadelphia and Nashville. As we add more events across the country, we will also look to expand the types of charities we support. Ultimately, our goal is to support the causes that our partners are passionate about.

If you’d like to learn about opportunities to volunteer in your own community, browse our list of more than 150 charities.