Volunteer

Use your skills for good.

Small business owners need help transforming their business potential into reality.

Volunteer your legal, finance, or marketing expertise and help a small business owner take their business to the next level.

Your efforts help ensure a generation of small businesses survive and thrive.

Become a Volunteer

2020 Volunteer Impact

4,700

volunteers

$23M

in free services provided

511

jobs supported

$18M

in revenue generation for small businesses

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Our Legal, Finance, and Marketing and Sales Program offers opportunities for professionals to volunteer their expertise and provide free assistance to small business owners.

  • Our Legal Program assists small business owners with choosing the right entity structure, navigating commercial lease issues, doing business online, advising on intellectual property and employment issues, reviewing and drafting contracts, and more.
  • Our Finance Program assists small business owners with setting up solid financial systems, bookkeeping, financial literacy, growth planning and projections, and cost analysis.
  • Our Marketing and Sales Program assists small business owners with brand identity and messaging, website and logo design, digital marketing strategy, social media, online advertising, distribution and sales strategy, e-commerce and more.
  • Pick Up a Project: One-on-one projects between a volunteer and a small business owner that focus on a specific issue. These projects are limited in scope and typically take a few weeks to complete, with a clear deliverable provided by the volunteer upon project completion.

 

  • Host a Short Consultation: One-on-one hour-long virtual meeting between a volunteer and small business owner around a specific matter, where the volunteer provides recommendations and advice to the small business owner.

 

  • Lead a Workshop: Volunteer-led virtual workshops on a specific legal, finance or marketing topic catering to a group of small business owners.

Do I have to live in NY to volunteer? 
No! At this time and because of the global pandemic, our program is running virtually. We encourage all volunteers and small business owners to connect virtually.

Does Start Small Think Big provide resources to help us get started?  
Yes! For each project or consultation, you will receive a resource to get you started (e.g. creative brief template for website and logo design). If you need additional resources, please reach out to your program contact. 

How do I get in touch with the small business owners? 
Approved volunteers will be given the contact information of the small business owner they are working with. Our team will orient you to the communication expectations based on the type of volunteering you’re doing. Communication from Start Small Think Big is mostly through emails. Once you are connected, you can decide to hold meetings over the phone or via video conference and send updates via email. 

Does the small business pay for the service? Will I get paid to volunteer?  
Small business owners access our services for free. In addition, volunteers offer their time pro bono and are not allowed to charge small business owners for their time or raise expectations of future fees (i.e. soft sell). If a project requires a small business owner to incur costs (e.g. printing business cards, purchasing a website domain, paying for Quickbooks, and incorporation or trademark filing fees), those costs fall on the small business owner. 

How much experience do I need? What are the skillsets you are looking for? 
The experience required varies by program: Marketing volunteers should be knowledgable in the services they wish to provide, those looking to provide logo design and website design services should have an active portfolio and around 3 years of experience. Finance volunteers should at least be analysts, associates and/or upward early career financial professionals with experience in Financial Analysis and Projections (eg. financial statements, spreadsheets, simple modeling/forecasting) and Bookkeeping and Accounting (eg. financial statements, familiarity with Quickbooks/Wave or other small business bookkeeping software)

What time commitment is expected?
Volunteers get to opt in according to the schedules that fit their lifestyle. The specific time commitment varies depending on the project and consultation. Please note, all projects and consultations have a limited scope and duration, our team will orient you on the expectations based on the type of volunteering you’re doing.

What is my liability during my volunteer engagement?
All small businesses we work with sign a liability release form before they accept our services and volunteers are released from any liability arising from or related to the services they offer to small businesses.

Volunteer Testimonials

Marlin Kinzey
Richard Kim
Mohan
Jennifer Musser
Michelle Hu
Kevin Kerr
Justin Sabatino
Ed Langhammer, Jr.
Chalermpol Jittagasem

Marlin Kinzey

Marketing and Sales Program Volunteer

“The most rewarding part about volunteering is meeting a fantastic group of passionate, incredibly talented entrepreneurs and helping them achieve their dreams for their businesses!

I left a corporate environment to get closer to entrepreneurs and growth. My experience has enabled me to deploy my B2B skills flexibly from a larger company setting to a smaller, more entrepreneurial one.”

 

Richard Kim

Marketing and Sales Program Volunteer

“The most rewarding part of volunteering with Start Small Think Big was connecting with diverse small business owners across different industries. I truly enjoyed listening to their entrepreneurial stories, visions, and solutions. In addition, the appreciation of volunteers by small businesses and SSTB made this experience even more memorable.

I gained practical insights into the applications of data analytics and digital transformation technologies for small businesses. For example, I discovered through volunteering with SSTB that small businesses owners needed simple, scalable, and affordable hands-on approaches to realize tangible values of data and digital innovations. 

 As an entrepreneur myself, I would say that small businesses would genuinely appreciate your volunteer contribution, skill, and time to solve their business challenges.”

 

Annie Mohan

Legal Volunteer

“Start Small Think Big’s small business community are some of the most talented and innovative people I have ever met doing this work. Hearing what inspired them to open their own business is always intriguing – whether through random occurrences, in possibilities, through technology, from others, or themselves.

I can think of several reasons to encourage someone to get involved with SSTB's work. Overall, small businesses are the backbone of local communities. They help to support our neighborhoods and communities in concrete, quantifiable ways. We need to foster a climate that encourages small businesses.”

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

Jennifer Musser

Finance Program Volunteer

“I flex-think better than ever since small businesses share a unique story with different challenges requiring tailored strategic support. I hear each situation and respond in real-time, so my ability to connect, listen, digest, and provide guidance is more vital.

I say, join the team, become part of the small business community! Start Small Think Big is a well-led, inclusive, and thoughtful organization built on a solid foundation of authentic love for small businesses.”

JLM & Associates Consulting, LLC

Michelle Hu

Finance Program Volunteer

“I have loved the aspect of working with a small business. There are so many organizational challenges - from overseeing people to running operations to managing a sales pitch— which have been new to me and insightful to learn. I have enjoyed interacting with my small business owner - she is a creative and intellectual individual with an evident passion for her business. It is inspiring to see up-close and to have intelligent conversations in a setting where I can provide my financial expertise and immediately hear her feedback.”

Kevin Kerr

Finance Program Volunteer

“You do not have to be an expert in your field to offer valuable advice. A basic understanding of your profession can help small business owners navigate the uncertainty in front of them.

Start Small Think Big allows you to tackle immediate problems with small business owners trying to make a better life for themselves. You can't help but admire the risks they have assumed in this pursuit, and some of these earliest problems can influence the outcome of their ventures. It's advantageous to take some of the burdens off their shoulders and contribute to entrepreneurs achieving their goals.”

 

Justin Sabatino

Finance Program Volunteer

"Providing increased financial clarity and support to small business owners, especially during the pandemic, has been very rewarding.

Working with business owners has improved my communication and overall business acumen, as it's challenged me to explain and apply financial concepts on a different scale"

Ed Langhammer, Jr.

Legal Volunteer

“There is such a tremendous need for the services Start Small Think Big provides to its clientele. I am grateful that I can support under-resourced entrepreneurs and business owners in underserved areas by providing information that hopefully facilitates their better understanding of the daunting "ins and outs" of California employment laws that even small companies face daily. I am grateful that our firm Cozen O'Connor supports my (and my colleagues) pro bono activities; and for the enjoyment and benefit our attorneys receive from our extensive and varied partnership with Start Small Think Big. I am also grateful to work with the terrific staff at Start Small Think Big!”

Chalermpol Jittagasem

Marketing and Sales Program Volunteer

“Creating a social connection is the most rewarding experience that I have gained from volunteering. I have learned that we can support each other and, in any circumstances, especially during the pandemic, to connect and volunteer virtually.

 There is no limitation to connect with people and support someone. If you would like to help out or even hone your skills, you could provide the interests or skill sets you have for any projects of interest to you.”