3 Questions to Guide Volunteers on their Volunteering Journey
Posted Thursday, April 6th, 2017 by Sterling Volunteers Staff
As a Volunteer Manager, you know that volunteering is important year round. But, perhaps your friends, family members, and acquaintances do not have volunteering top of mind each and every day of the year. That’s the purpose of National Volunteer Week, taking place later this month! More folks will get excited to get out there and finally fulfill their goal of making a difference in the community through volunteering! Inevitably, with the spotlight that April puts on the amazing work volunteering does, more people are going to be asking you loads of questions about donating their time to a nonprofit. They want to know how they can get involved. Which organizations best align with their skills, passion, and availability?
Read below for questions to ask to help friends and family find the perfect volunteer position that suits their abilities, availability and makes them feel awesome about giving back.
- What Do You Want Out of It?
This may seem like a no brainer but it’s necessary to do a bit of self-evaluation before beginning to help out your local community and nonprofit. Because it’s more than just about helping others; it’s also about helping yourself feel good about being involved in something truly transformative for yourself and the community. So, is there a particular cause that speaks to you? Or group of people that you would like to get to know better? Do you prefer assisting children or are you more drawn towards work with the elderly? Whatever your motivation, the opportunities are out there, whether it’s tutoring at your local elementary school or doing pro bono communications for a big nonprofit.
- How Much Time Can You Commit?
With this question it’s always best to be as realistic as possible. Before signing up to volunteer, write out your average schedule for the week and see what times and which days volunteering will be most convenient. Going into your volunteer interview with a set schedule will make it easier on the Volunteer Manager and yourself. Are you retired and want to give as much time as possible to your favorite nonprofit? Great, an open schedule is easy to work with. Working full-time and picking up the kids after school? No problem, find a nonprofit that has weekend projects for you and the family to get involved. Whatever schedule you create for giving back to the community there are so many organizations that will work with you to begin this wonderful experience.
- Who Do You Know? Almost everyone knows someone that donates their time to an organization or is a Volunteer Manager themselves. Ask your friends and family if they volunteer or if they can put you in contact with someone who does. Utilizing your own personal and professional network is a great way to find local volunteer opportunities. You can also take to social media and do a quick scan through your Facebook friends to see if anyone works in the nonprofit field. Go ahead and send them a message asking for some quick advice – they will be happy to help you get involved with helping others. There are also some great websites that help you find organizations by your location, cause, and your skills.
How did you begin your volunteering journey and who helped you take those important first steps? We would like to hear about your amazing journey joining a cause and assisting your local community. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and share your comments below.