I have always had a lot of respect for friends who have helped out with nonprofits. I found it inspiring to see them give their own time to help with causes.

While I admired their work, I never did anything like this myself. Nonprofit work was something I would consider doing in the distant future. I didn’t give it much thought. My line of thinking was that I am young and should focus on building my future. Maybe once I’ve made it, I can spare my time and give back.

This fall, Affirm started a nonprofit employee foundation, Affirm Cares. It is employee-run, so the opportunity fell into my lap. With this right in front of me, I joined without really thinking about it. I decided to focus my efforts on fundraising.

I’ve written about how time is a great asset to give. That post was more in the context of gift-giving to friends and family, but some concepts also apply to charity work. My time is valuable, but if I can leverage it, I can have an outsized impact.

That thought is one of the reasons why I chose to focus on fundraising. It’s the hardest part of nonprofit work, but the results are the easiest to quantify. What are the fruits of your efforts? Well, how much did you raise? I am in sales for a similar reason - my performance is measurable.

But why am I doing this now? Wasn’t I going to focus on myself? The short answer is, I still am. The change is from the realization that it doesn’t have to be a binary decision. And now that I’ve actually committed to it, I realize it’s actually an easy time commitment. It’s a win-win. A tiny outlet for me that can have a big impact.

I’m excited to see where this goes. For Affirm Cares, it has a solid mission and a great team of people behind it. I hope we’ll be able to make a real difference to some people. For myself, I hope to prove I can manage this other outlet without feeling like I have to make a sacrifice. If so, maybe I’ll do more of this in the future.