There is a notable energy in the Central Indiana community that drives many of us to want to support the non-profit organizations that make our city a better place for us all to live. Whether you are interested in social services, animal welfare, public safety, the arts, veterans’ services, education, entrepreneurship, sports, environment, senior issues, food stability and so many more – there is no shortage of need and opportunity to become involved.

That is where it gets tricky. At Leadership Indianapolis, we work to help connect people to the non-profit organizations that would benefit from the time, energy and talent they have to offer. However, when faced with so many worthy ways and places to serve, it is tempting to try to do a million things at once. Many of us, at one time or another, have experienced a “bad case of the yeses” and found ourselves overextended, overwhelmed and maybe even on the road to service burn out.

To be our best selves and show up for the causes and organizations we believe in, it is essential to exercise discipline in determining the best places for our energy. And this is not something that you do once, it is a mindset you can use throughout your life as your time, resources and life experience continue to evolve.

June is “Get on Board” month at Leadership Indianapolis, culminating in a live event from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on June 27 at Newfields where participants can learn about more than 100 nonprofit organizations and their board, committee and volunteer leadership opportunities. Leading up to the event, Leadership Indianapolis is hosting a series of three virtual workshops to help participants evaluate their “why” and consider what motivates them and fuels their sense of purpose. Additionally, we will explore types of non-profit boards and their expectations while learning from those with various perspectives and experiences.

Often, people think about their relationship with the nonprofit community monetarily. However, donations are only the tip of the iceberg; how you interact with organizations depends on your stage of life. My 21-year-old son, for example, grew up in the Young Actors Theatre program (now known as React) in Indianapolis and is highly passionate about the program’s benefits. He’s a typical college student, so his ability to provide financial support is more limited than someone well into their career. However, he has the time, energy and experience to give back through an internship and volunteering. Later in life, his involvement could shift to more intermittent volunteering and a higher ability to give donations.

That’s why reflecting on what you can uniquely provide should be a lifelong habit. What makes you happy in community service will likely look different in your 20s than in your 50s, making articulating what you are looking for the key to maximizing your ability to give back and feel fulfilled. At Leadership Indianapolis, we’ve made it our mission to help people hone their unique skills, which makes “Get on Board” month, presented by AES Indiana one of our favorite times of the year as we work toward building a pipeline of community leaders that is multi-generational, multi-cultural and collaborative.

We invite you to reflect on your “why” and find your community service fit by attending our virtual workshops and the live event at Newfields. (As an added bonus, everyone registered for Get on Board on June 27 will receive free admission to enjoy Newfields throughout the day of the event!)

Register here:

June 6 – Know Your Why
June 13 – Board Basics
June 20 – What I’ve Learned Serving on a Nonprofit Board

“Get on Board” month is presented by AES Indiana and supported by Lilly Endowment.

Beth Perdue Outland is Vice President of Leadership Indianapolis. For over 30 years, Beth’s career and civic engagement have focused on building community through creative experience design, innovative programming and strategic problem-solving.