Source: Independent Sector – www.independentsector.org
- Research the causes or issues important to you.
Look for a group that works with issues about which you feel strongly. You might already be giving money to one of these organizations, and that might be a good place to begin your volunteer experience.
- Consider the skills you have to offer.
This sort of position allows you to jump right into the work without having to take training to prepare for the assignment.
- Would you like to learn something new?
Perhaps you would like to learn a new skill or gain exposure to a new situation. Consider seeking a volunteer opportunity where you'll learn something new.
- Combine your goals.
Look for volunteer opportunities that will also help you achieve your other goals for your life. For example, if you want to lose a few extra pounds, pick an active volunteer opportunity, such as cleaning a park or working with kids.
- Don't over-commit your schedule.
Make sure the volunteer hours you want to give fit into your hectic life, so that you don't frustrate your family, exhaust yourself, shortchange the organization you're trying to help or neglect your job.
- Nonprofits may have questions, too.
If you contact an organization with an offer to volunteer your time, you may be asked to come in for an interview, fill out a volunteer application, or describe your qualifications and your background just as you would at an interview for a paying job.
- Consider volunteering as a family.
When a family volunteers to work together at a nonprofit organization, the experience can bring them closer together, teach young children the value of giving their time and effort, introduce everyone in the family to skills and experiences never before encountered, and give the entire family a shared experience as a wonderful family memory.
- Virtual volunteering?
Yes, there is such a thing! If you have computer access and the necessary skills, some organizations now offer the opportunity to do volunteer work using a home computer.
- I never thought of that!
Many community groups are looking for volunteers, and some may not have occurred to you.
- Give voice to your heart through your giving and volunteering!
Bring your heart and your sense of humor to your volunteer service, along with your enthusiastic spirit, which in itself is a priceless gift. What you'll get back will be immeasurable!
Network for Good – www.networkforgood.org/donate
VolunteerMatch – www.volunteermatch.org/volunteers/gettingstarted/