Coding is a powerful skill.
It lets you create web pages, develop new sites, and even build apps.
So learning to code can give you the hook-up on amazing, Recession-proof job opportunities, increased income potential, and legit entrepreneurial opportunities that have the potential to land you the coveted titled of tech’s Next Big Thing.
But, know what else coding offers? The opportunity to give back.
Regardless of your coding skill level – super beginner to programming pro – there are multiple ways to give back through your coding experience, paving the way for new tech talent and opening doors for mission-focused organizations.
Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday – let’s talk Giving Tuesday.
A relatively new campaign, Giving Tuesday was introduced by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to holiday themes of non-stop consumerism.
By shifting the focus from buying stuff to helping others, Giving Tuesday provides an awesome opportunity for people just like you and me to donate resources (time, money, food) to organizations dedicated to making our world a better place.
I’ve sworn off the post-Thanksgiving shopping activities for the past five years. Instead of standing in line for more stuff, I’ve made it a priority to support at least one organization on Giving Tuesday.
This post is brought to you on behalf of Reward Volunteers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring organization.
Immediately following my high school graduation, I bought a one-way ticket to Beijing, China.
I’d only been on an airplane once and had never traveled internationally before, so this travel excursion was quite the adventure. I learned enough Mandarin to greet others, say “Yes” and “No”, and communicate about basic navigation. I’d received a slew-full of additional vaccines from my county health department, and leafed through a few travel books on China’s capital province. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I knew it was going to be exciting.
Seeking a more meaningful experience than my peer’s Greek rush weeks, I decided to spend the summer volunteering at two poorly-funded orphanages located a few hours outside of the capital city. I was still pretty clueless at this time about what I wanted to do with my life and whether or not I wanted to go to college. I hoped this summer of philanthropy would provide me some direction. Maybe I’d realize the nonprofit sector would be a good fit for me, or I’d make some international relief work contacts; either way, I wanted to help others and understaffed orphanages on the other side of the world seemed like a good place to start.
Millennials are all about giving back – we support socially conscious brands, practically invented crowdfunding, and are repeatedly reported to be one of the most financially generously generations in American history.
But what about giving back to our community?
What about giving back through our professional skill set?
What about serving on a nonprofit board?
Truth bomb: I didn’t have any interest in serving on a nonprofit board until I was invited. I assumed that was simply something retired professionals and politically-inclined individuals sitting on a cushy pension or salary used to fill their time; I had no idea it was even an option for young professionals like myself.
Giving back is everywhere – from corporate initiatives to local entrepreneurs – profit plus purpose is quickly becoming a common theme with 21st Century start-ups. Pledging a double bottom-line went to something expected of Forbes’ listed billionaires to everyday entrepreneurs.
Integrating this philanthropic element into your company has gone from novel idea to essential implementation; courtesy of socially conscious millennial consumers. Championing internet slang such as #YOLO and #giveback, Generation Y wants to make the world a better place—one purchase at a time.
More than 85% of millennials correlate their purchasing decisions and their willingness to recommend a brand to the social good efforts a company is making. Millennials’ desire to be a part of initiatives that serve a “greater purpose” and are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Just look at social conscious brands that’s products characterize millennials’ shopping lists: TOMS, FEED, Sseko Designs, Proof, Whole Foods.
Are these products purchased to “fill a need”?
Certainly. But why are these brands purchased over their lower-priced alternatives?
Because they not only fill a need, but they also make the world a better place.