Getting the Most Out of Volunteering - Sarah Laud

When you decide to give back to your community, your primary goal is to help others. This doesn’t mean you can’t get something out of the experience or that you should feel guilty about getting a benefit from volunteering. The best way to feel good about doing something for others is to choose a cause that concerns you. Additionally, these tips can make the experience more rewarding.

Look For a Good Fit

If an organization has an open position that requires you to be available eight hours a day, and you’re looking for something less structured, you should feel okay about passing on that option. There will be plenty of other volunteer opportunities for you to explore with other organizations that seek to benefit from the exact causes. You should look for opportunities that fit your schedule, interests, and talents. You won’t feel as good about helping out a reason if you feel forced into a situation contrary to your interests.

Reach Out to Local Organizations

If there’s a charitable organization within your community that interests you, reach out to them via email or phone call. Even if they’re not publicly seeking help, they probably need the assistance of volunteers who are willing to pitch in. Find out if they have any openings for volunteers with your skills or talents. If not, ask them to keep you in mind for future openings. They may also recommend similar organizations to check out elsewhere in your community.

Grow Your Path

Starting in volunteerism is much like starting a career in that you may have to take an assignment you can find in the beginning. However, you should look for any opportunity to work your way up in an organization. Try to focus on positions that allow you to do work that you find meaningful and rewarding. If you can’t move into an advantageous position in one organization, look for opportunities with other charities in your community.

As you begin volunteering your time to help others, you’ll experience a sense of enrichment within yourself. This is a positive benefit because it will encourage you to spend more time volunteering with worthy organizations. The positive feelings that volunteerism generates will be good for you and for those you want to help.