Tips for Volunteering

1)  Research the causes or issues that are important to you, and identify the organizations working to resolve those challenges.  Groups to which you already donate money may be a good place to start.

2)  Consider the skills you have to offer.   Find something you already enjoy, and start contributing to an organization or cause.  

3)  Learn something new.   Some positions will expose you to a new skill or situation, such as writing and editing; or they can give you a break from the office with more varied work.

4)  Combine your goals.   Look for volunteer opportunities that will also help you achieve personal goals for your life.  

5)  Do not over-commit your schedule.    Make sure the volunteer hours you want to give do not interfere with family and other priorities.  It may be helpful to start slowly until you determine the level of commitment and your ability to fulfill it.  

6)  Nonprofits may have questions, too.   Be prepared to fill out an application and go in for an interview.  While most organizations welcome volunteer help, they also want to make certain your interests and skills are needed.  When working with children or other at-risk populations, there are legal ramifications for the organization to consider.  

7)  Consider volunteering as a family.   Families who serve together become closer, share and create memorable experiences, and teach children the value of giving their time and effort.  (View Projects for Kids and Families" on this website.)

8)  Volunteer from Home.   People with time or transportation limitations may want to consider a computer-based position.  Examples of virtual volunteering are giving legal advice, typing for a person with a disability, or communicating by phone or email with someone who cannot leave their house.

9)  I never thought of that!   There is no limit to the volunteer opportunities—hospitals, libraries, museums, churches, day care centers, schools and colleges, after-school programs, neighborhood watch, prisons, halfway houses, theaters, drug rehabilitation centers, food banks, Meals on Wheels, community musical groups, parks, sports, youth organizations, shelters for homeless or battered women and children…   View Projects for Kids and Familieson this website.   

10)  Give voice to your heart through giving and volunteering!   Your heart, sense of humor and enthusiasm are a "priceless gift."  What you get back will be immeasurable!  

Read the entire article:  The USA Freedom Corp’s website,” Ten Tips for Volunteering Wisely”