Giving Thoughts


Engaging America’s Citizenry through Service

By Alice Korngold


False and deliberately misleading stories in the media threaten freedom and democracy by distorting our understanding of vital issues. Our institutions can help combat false information by encouraging and supporting volunteer service. Volunteers see first-hand the true challenges facing society and engage in seeking solutions that work. Volunteers who bear witness can tell the story and take action. Companies, foundations, schools, associations, and religious groups can play a powerful role in advancing freedom and democracy by promoting service.

Through nonprofit board service in particular, people can deepen their understanding of social, economic, and environmental challenges; play a valuable role in finding and driving innovative solutions; and become compelling advocates. Nonprofit board members have unique opportunities to work with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives who share a passion for the mission. This experience can broaden their awareness of barriers and remedies in providing education and healthcare, stimulating job training and employment, promoting equal justice, and addressing climate change.

Companies can further enhance the benefits of employee engagement by providing forums for people to share their experiences. Volunteers who participate in nonprofits to improve education, for example, can discuss the various approaches they observe, while others who help organizations that provide access to healthcare can compare their insights. Nonprofit leaders can be invited to lend their expertise in the discussions as well. Conversations can explore how social, economic, and environmental problems have an impact on the company as well as the community. Additionally, the forums can provide opportunities for volunteers to examine how the experiences have helped them to grow, personally and professionally.

Through volunteer and leadership service, we can combat fake news by learning and promulgating meaningful insights about real problems facing our communities. This is how we will help build a more just, peaceful, responsible, and prosperous world for all.

About the author:

Alice Korngold

Alice Korngold
A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solving Global Problems…Where Governments Cannot

Alice Korngold is co-editor of Giving Thoughts and the author of A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solving Global Problems…Where Governments Cannot (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Engaging Businesses (Jossey Bass, A Wiley Imprint, 2005). For over 20 years, she has been training and placing business executives on NGO/nonprofit boards and consulting to corporations, foundations, and NGOs/nonprofits on board governance, CSR, and sustainability. Twitter: @alicekorngold

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