Practical Tips on Choosing A Good-Fit Type of Volunteering
Choosing a good-fit volunteering program isn’t as easy as it seems.
Once you’re able to get yourself into a program, it’s worth your effort. Volunteering allows you to engage in worthy causes locally or abroad. Volunteers enjoy the following benefits when they join a cause:
- Develop new relationships
- Share a lifetime of experiences
- Help make the world a better place
- Advances your career
- Fights depression and anger to make you happier
With various tools available, finding the right volunteer organization or program has been made easier. They also help you choose a good-fit program for you.
According to a John Hopkins University study, there’re over 970 million volunteers worldwide. This figure translates to more than 125 million full-time workers. Whereas some volunteer their time and skills, others help their neighbors and communities directly.
You donate your hours to benefit the organizations you volunteer to join their cause. It’s rewarding and allows you to harness your untapped energy into a cause as a way of giving back to a local community or one abroad.
Volunteering also requires lots of commitment from you. You need to do some research and soul-searching to help you choose the right volunteering opportunity or program. Here’re some tips to help you choose the right volunteer program or organization:
5 Tips for Selecting the Right Volunteering Organization or Program
Why do you want to volunteer?
Determine why you’d like to volunteer. Most people volunteer their time and skills with the main purpose of giving back. Harnessing your energy into a cause or working hard to achieve a goal is more fulfilling than most activities.
However, people also give to receive. Therefore, find out how you’re also bound to benefit from volunteering apart from giving back.
For instance, you can make new friends, awaken dormant skills, enjoy your hobby meaningfully, develop professional contacts, and have fun. You can also explore likely career paths and grow into a new role.
It’s important to be realistic in regards to your skills and what you can offer. Determine your personal and professional goals to help you choose the right cause. Neither feel guilty nor promise something you can’t deliver.
Let your passion guide you
Choose a volunteer program or organization based on your passion if you aren’t sure of where or how you’d like to give back. Is there a cause you’d want to be solved or one close to your heart?
What are your interests, hobbies, or your favorite topics? A local community garden is a perfect fit for those who love growing fresh veggies to prepare in their kitchen.
Otherwise, get advice from friends and family. Also, check out ideas on sites that match opportunities with volunteers.
Opt for something that aligns with your strengths and skills
Use your strengths and skills as guidance once you’ve determined the right cause to volunteer your time and skills. Whether you prefer sitting behind a desk or getting your hands dirty outdoors, make the right choice.
Do you prefer to work on your own, remotely, or as a team? Is yours an advisory role that involves sharing your expertise or working directly with an organization’s beneficiaries? Know your strengths and skills, and use them to benefit a cause.
Understand the cause, organization, or program
Choose a program, cause, or organization whose goals align with your interests, skills, and values. Check their financials for fund allocations and ascertain that their affiliations match your intentions.
Whom do they serve and what impact do they make? Find the right statistics.
Determine the program’s or organization’s reputation. Check worship or community centers for information. Look through their mission or web portals.
Start volunteering small
Choose from one-off projects that occur sporadically or those with ongoing needs. How much time can you volunteer? Do you prefer working offsite with the option to communicate?
Begin volunteering a few hours to kickoff, and prevent burnout. Giving has boundaries and limits to enable you get some rest and recharge to stay sane. This is truer for those serving in the frontline.
Take care of yourself first before you can care for others. Communicate as need arises, especially if you’ve found out that you’ve overcommitted to the cause. Simply get the conversation started.
Speak to your supervisor to find a viable solution. You’ll work best when in content with your supervisor as in a paying job. Give notice early and follow through on pending commitments if you must leave.
Whether you want to volunteer locally or abroad, it’s important to choose the right cause or organization. Take time and do some research to ensure that you choose a good-fit organization for you.
Make sure you opt for something you love and enjoy doing to make the most of the available opportunity.