By Mike Colgan, PICPA Executive Director and CEO
The above headline is a quote from President John F. Kennedy that was recently mentioned in an op-ed article
written by PICPA President Jerry Maginnis. CPAs have a long tradition of volunteerism and giving back to the communities in which they live and work. The PICPA has been fortunate to be able to count thousands of our members among those who give back to the profession through service in leadership, on committees and task forces, and by sharing their expertise or insight to students and the general public on matters such as financial literacy. But the volunteer spirit of the CPA community goes far beyond service to the PICPA. Many of our members also provide pro bono work to charities, serve on nonprofit boards, and volunteer for local community organizations. Our 11 PICPA chapters also get into the volunteer spirit by organizing activities and fundraisers to support local causes.
One of the PICPA’s strategic initiatives this year is to raise the level of awareness about the contributions CPAs make to their communities. In the coming months we will be asking you to help us by quantifying the efforts and hours that our members contribute. This information will help us promote the value that CPAs bring to their communities in addition to their primary roles as trusted business advisors and strategic thinkers. It will also provide direction for our planned Day of Service next spring. The Day of Service will be a coordinated effort around Pennsylvania in which CPAs and their employees give back to community organizations and nonprofits where they live and work. Perhaps you can volunteer at a local food bank, clean-up a community park, or rehab a building in need.
Your PICPA team recently kicked off our commitment with two days of volunteering
with Habitat for Humanity in South Philadelphia. This worthwhile organization is always seeking volunteers to help them provide affordable housing to individuals in need of assistance. The heartfelt thanks from the Habitat team and the neighbors in the area where we were building houses far outweighed any aches and pains. I am looking forward to going back to South Philadelphia to see the finished product of our sweat equity later this fall. Watch a video of PICPA staff lifting a wall into place for Habitat for Humanity.
Everyone feels the pressure of not having enough time in the day, but the message that resonates with me from PICPA volunteers is that they get so much more out of their volunteer experience than they ever put in. I am sure from our experience with Habitat for Humanity that the feeling is doubled by their nonprofit and community work.
Stay tuned for more information about the PICPA’s Day of Service this spring. In the meantime, please comment to this post with how you or your firm make a difference in your local community. Your input could inspire others to take action or provide a great resource for those looking to make a difference.