Tis the season to give back! As the holidays quickly approach and New Year resolutions are being determined, many of us will volunteer in order to show our gratitude and give back to the community. There are countless organizations in need of volunteers. Luckily today, there are more tools than ever to help find available volunteer opportunities. But, how do you find the right volunteer options for you? Here are some things to consider:
Know What You Have to Offer
Many nonprofits look for volunteers who can help them in specific areas, such as fundraising, marketing or finances. Consider what skills you currently have, and see if you can utilize these skills to benefit a local charity or organization.
Why are you volunteering?
Many people aren’t geared towards a certain cause or organization when they set out to volunteer. But, if you have a specific cause you would like to champion, research organizations with that in mind to find volunteer work that benefits the causes you care about.
Determine Where You Want to Volunteer
Do you want to donate your time to a local nonprofit where you can work with other people in the local community and see firsthand the impact of your efforts? Or would you rather volunteer for a larger national effort? Perhaps one that allows you to work on your own via your computer? All these factors can help decide where and how you would like to volunteer your time.
Be Realistic About Your Time
If you are commuting 2 hours one way to volunteer for a 4 hour shift on a regular basis, you may quickly burn out. Before committing to volunteer, be realistic about the time you are willing to devote to the organization and make sure that your commitment is reasonable. Some organizations let you interview before committing your time, which gives you the opportunity to check out all of the contributing factors to determine if the organization’s agenda is a good fit for you!
Research Your Opportunities
There are countless websites available online that can help match you with volunteer opportunities, such as VolunteerMatch or Idealist. These sites allow you to filter results based on cause, skills and time commitment. Some sites even offer virtual volunteer opportunities! City councils and government can also be good sources for local volunteer projects. Don’t forget to take advantage of your network of friends and neighbors to find other volunteer opportunities.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and with a little prep work, finding the right volunteer opportunity for you can be easy!
What is your favorite cause to benefit? Share in the comments below!