What can B2B marketers do during this National Volunteer Month to help inspire and elevate the industry and the world around us?
April is National Volunteer Month, making it a great time to look at what some of the biggest brands in the world are doing when it comes to volunteering efforts, and explore some of the organizations that B2B marketers can get involved with to give back and help others.
Mentoring is also a powerful way for B2B marketers to strengthen the industry, and we’ll explore opportunities to share your expertise and time in both volunteer and mentor programs.
Let’s jump right in and take a look at ten-plus ways B2B marketers can get involved in mentoring and volunteering.
1 — Microsoft & Malcolm’s List
For National Volunteer Month, Malcolm Harden, vice president and general manager and federal partnerships leader at Microsoft created a handy “Malcom’s List” image, highlighting many of the ways professionals can get involved in community volunteerism.
Malcolm shared several of the organizations where he has volunteered his time — including the American Council for Technology – Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) — in a recent LinkedIn post.
2 — Adweek’s Executive Mentor Program
For Musa Tariq, CEO of GoFundMe, the community of connections he’s made as a mentor in Adweek’s Executive Mentor Program have been a highlight of his personal journey, as he laid out in a LinkedIn post.
The Adweek Executive Mentor Program helps advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) among corporate executives, by pairing mid to senior-level marketers with leading CMOs and other corporate suite members for one-on-one guidance from mentors.
“If marketers can get people to buy shoes and phones, why can’t we raise awareness to things that need help? We should all be using our skill set for good as much as possible.” — Musa Tariq @musa Click To Tweet
3 — Google & Start Small Think Big
Monique E. Liburd, senior trademark counsel at Google, was recently recognized by non-profit organization Start Small Think Big for her pro bono work — another way that professionals in marketing and other industries can give back to the community.
“It’s an incredible organization doing important work for Black, Latinx, and other marginalized small business communities. Definitely consider picking up a volunteer shift if you have finance, marketing, or legal expertise! The volunteer experience is efficient and well organized,” Monique noted of the group.
Start Small Think Big’s hashtag and motto, “We’re #AllForSmall. Because small businesses make a big difference,” sums up the organization’s purpose, and the group offers a wide array of volunteer opportunities for professionals in the legal, marketing, and finance sectors.
4 — Salesforce & Step Up
Pamela Aquino, environmental action and culture lead at Salesforce, has worked with the growing “experienceship” movement at the mentorship non-profit Step Up, which works to inspire girls, young women, and gender-expansive young adults through mentoring programs.
5 — AT&T & The Rewards of Volunteering
In “Choose Service: the Rewards of Volunteering,” David J. Bazan, talent acquisition manager at AT&T, shared the story of his grandmother Viola, who served as a “Classroom Granny” for over 20 years, highlighting both how volunteering can be a lifelong activity and how no matter what your experiences may be.
As our own CEO Lee Odden has said, “Everyone is influential about something,” an insight he expanded on in “Inside Influence 10: Ryan Bares from IBM on Influence Inside B2B Brands with Employees” — a video and podcast interview with Ryan Bares, global influencer marketing lead at IBM.
“I have always believed that everyone is influential about something and that sentiment is certainly true within B2B companies.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
6 — Wells Fargo & Volunteering Impact
Wells Fargo offers its workforce several paid days each year for volunteer efforts, which has led to some 4.4 million hours of employee time dedicated to volunteering since 2018, as the company outlined on its volunteering impact page.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” — Muhammad Ali @AliCenter Click To Tweet
7 — Microvolunteering’s Bite-Sized Help
It’s not only National Volunteer Month — this week is also National Volunteer Week, all the more reason to take a closer look at what you can do to share your expertise and time, whether through large international or national organizations, or local community groups, such as we have here in Minnesota with the Minnesota Historical Society and many others.
It was also recently Microvolunteering Day, a day dedicated to promoting awareness for the microvolunteering movement, which the Canada-based group Skills For Change detailed in “Microvolunteering: What is it and Should You Try it?”
The movement emphasizes “bite-sized tasks that you can participate in right here, right now,” which makes it easy for even the busiest of B2B marketers to take a few minutes to make a difference. Cause Corps is another group that strives to make doing good a daily habit.
8 — LinkedIn Learning For Expanding Your Realm Of Support
LinkedIn* has long been a top social platform for B2B marketing professionals, and through its LinkedIn Learning online video courses, a variety of on-demand classes about mentoring and volunteering are available.
In “Expanding Your Support To Strangers,” writer Maxie McCoy has explored how being generous to connections is a reciprocal process, and has looked at how professionals can go beyond specific mentoring and volunteering efforts to extend our support to include the new connections and associates we meet in everyday life.
“Get into public service. Sign up to volunteer. Knock on doors. Whatever it is that matters to you most, get into action and be a part of groups trying to change the reality that you’re feeling so passive about.” — Maxie McCoy @MaxieMcCoy Click To Tweet
9 — SCORE One For The Mentors
Since 1964 the U.S. Small Business Administration has helped operate the SCORE Mentors volunteer mentor corps, a longstanding non-profit organization actively seeking marketers and others looking to serve during National Volunteer Month and beyond.
During 2021, SCORE’s network of over 10,000 volunteers helped start more than 25,000 new businesses and create over 95,000 jobs, as SCORE Houston chairman Willy Verbrugghe recently shared.
10 — MovingWorlds & Meeting Global Challenges
B2B marketers looking to learn more about some of the ways that mentoring can take place will do well by reading the Harvard Business Review’s “How to Build a Great Relationship with a Mentor,” by Mark Horoszowski, CEO at MovingWorlds — a global group that helps change the world through efforts to scale impact with “experteering” professionals and more.
Mark points out that most professionals don’t have mentoring relationships, even though more than three-quarters believe mentoring is an important part of growth.
“It’s important to remember that while people are certainly busy, being asked to be a mentor is a massive compliment. People might say no, but it will be a positive exchange and you shouldn’t be shy about thinking big.” — @MarkHoroszowski Click To Tweet
11 — Reddit’s Mentoring & Volunteer Boards
Social news aggregator and discussion platform Reddit features dedicated groups for both mentoring and volunteering, popular message boards listing opportunities that B2B marketers may wish to explore, while groups such as Community Change focus on efforts helping low-income people — especially people of color — achieve a society where everyone thrives.
12 — Mindful Mentoring: Spark Lifelong Learning
By mentoring the next generations of marketers, you’ll not only help new subject matter experts develop, but also continue your own lifelong learning.
B2B marketing is a two-way street when it comes to mentoring opportunities.
“I think it’s really important that people seek out a person who is going to be a champion for them if they want to advance and grow their career,” Jen Holtvluwer, chief marketing officer at 3Gtms shared in our “Inside Influence 5: Jen Holtvluwer on Award Winning B2B Influencer Marketing” video and podcast.
“I’ve had so many that I still keep in touch with today that have been that champion for my cause. So I think it’s really important to not to do it alone and make sure you put in the time and that your time is noticed. And make sure that you’re marketing yourself to the right champion in the business. Then they’ll stay with you and refer you as other opportunities come up,” Jen explained.
We can do a great service to future generations by sharing our insight with aspiring young B2B marketers.
If we can spark an interest by mentoring a younger colleague, client or associate, we’ll contribute to a future of marketing that is more robust with your own personal knowledge passed along to the next generation.
We can do this by inspiring and mentoring young professionals by imparting our own passion for B2B marketing, as Peggy Smedley, editorial director and president at Specialty Publishing Media, shared with us in “B2B Influencer Marketing Advice from 9 Top B2B Influencers.”
“As influencers we are here to serve the mission and [know] that our influence on people comes from our ability to be a role model. We need to be very mindful about what we say and how we say it. We are always leaders and mentors and we need to focus on the needs of others first because we have been tasked with leading others. We always need to serve others and by doing that we are doing the best for ourselves,” Peggy shared.
“We are always leaders and mentors and we need to focus on the needs of others first because we have been tasked with leading others.” — Peggy Smedley @ConnectedWMag Click To Tweet
Giving Is A Two-Way Street For Inspiring B2B Marketers
Whether it’s through the opportunities we’ve explored here from Malcolm’s List, Adweek’s Executive Mentor Program, Start Small Think Big, microvolunteering’s bite-sized help, LinkedIn Learning, or the experienceship movement, we hope that you’ve found a way to give back that works well for you.
Creating award-winning B2B marketing that elevates, gives voice to talent, and humanizes with authenticity takes considerable time and effort, which is why an increasing number of firms are choosing to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.
*LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.