Option 1: Working in the local soup kitchen for a day to all the cleaning, sweeping and other physical labor. You likely will be on your legs all eight hours and do some back-breaking work including clean-ups you don’t normally do.
Option 2: Working for the same soup kitchen to help set up their email marketing system to get better communication with their sponsors and tie that back to a reporting dashboard to see contribution levels and history. You likely will work 8-10 hours from the comfort of your office with no physical labor what so ever.
If you picked Option 1, think about this for a second. You are not the best dishwasher or a cook. You hardly can lift a 20lb bag of flour without help. You slow down everyone around you. On the other hand you are an expert digital marketer and works as a growth hacker for a startup that is growing 350% a year thanks to your work. You can put all that to work for the soup kitchen as well.
Taking it to other extreme, you could hire someone to do far better job than you do to help with soup kitchen’s labor needs.
From an economic perspective it creates lot more value to have you contribute with skills you are best at vs. skills you are worst at.
And yet why do we see all volunteer activities -individual and company organized – take pride ONLY in activities that involve physical labor?