Volunteering is, without a doubt, a very good thing for both those being served as well as for those who are volunteering their time. That being said, volunteering can bring more difficulty and stress on those who end up giving their time than they may have thought. There is also the overwhelming options for volunteering; the importance of choosing the right thing can’t be overstated and can directly affect whether someone might volunteer their time again. With that being said, here’s a list of 5 things to know before you decide about volunteering.
- Know what you want to get out of it: This one can’t be overstated enough. Just like doing anything, jumping into a volunteering situation without any clear idea of what you’re doing or what you want to accomplish is going to lead to frustration and disappointment. Knowing your skills and how you want to help will help you choose the right project so that you can be the most efficient and effective volunteer you can be. People always worker harder and are happier when doing things they’re interested in.
- Know what you want to give: How do you want to get involved? There are so many different ways and things to volunteer and knowing just how you want to volunteer is important. If you’re only looking to donate money, why would you sign up for a soup kitchen? If you really like writing and want to use that, find a charity that will speak to your specialties so that you don’t get discouraged throughout the process and regret your decision.
- Know what you can commit: Why would you sign yourself for a series of midday volunteering activities if you work a 9-5? Knowing just what you can volunteer is important to finding a niche that helps motivate you to work. The initial rush of excitement might end up with you signing up for more than you can do and so it’s important to be intelligent about your efforts and where/when they happen.
- Learn about what’s out there: There are so many incredible philanthropies and charities that serve a huge number of different causes and needs. Do research so that you can choose both the cause as well as the charity to support that most fits your beliefs and ideals.
- Know who’s out there: One thing about volunteering is that you’re going to be with other people and you probably have friends who have experience in what you’re thinking of doing. Ask them for advice and for names and anything else that will help you get more comfortable and motivated. They might know someone or something you don’t that could be exactly what or who you’re looking for.
Volunteering is easily one of the best things a person can do with their life and time. It’s best be educated about all of the opportunities and what you can and want to offer so that you can help the most people possible. If you’d like to read more, the link is here.