12 Tips to Get the Most out of Volunteering

I’m a huge advocate for volunteering. There are so many opportunities – you just have to make the time! Volunteering obviously benefits your community and/or the organization you’re supporting. Bonus: when you volunteer, your personal wellbeing gets a huge boost, too! Check out these 12 tips to get the most out of your efforts.

Tip #186: Value volunteering

In our everyday lives, we volunteer so much of our time+talents (i.e., offering without expecting compensation). So why don’t we value it more? Be proud of it, prioritize it, account for it (in the GDP), and yes, list it on your resume!

Tip #187: Schedule do-good gigs

If you want to make volunteering a priority, schedule it. I’m a big fan of “set it & forget it.” Besides, a regular volunteer gig (weekly, monthly) can result in big impact. Some nonprofits/community groups rely on long-term commitment.

Tip #188: Join a service group

A do-good group has the double bonus of keeping you accountable + giving you a sense of community! Rotary International is one excellent service org. So is Habitat for Humanity. Or look around you for a group that volunteers locally.

Tip #189: Make volunteering personal

It may be tough to volunteer if it’s seen as competing with personal priorities, so find opportunities with direct personal benefit. This will keep volunteering high on the To Do list. Example: Have a kid? Work at her school, etc.

Tip #190: Raise socially-oriented kids

It’s never too soon to get kids active in helping others! True, many organizations have age restrictions (liability?), but you can find some like food banks or field gleaning that are kid friendly. Or just help your neighbors πŸ™‚

Tip #191: Support service projects

Is your kid doing a “fun run” to raise money at school or is her dojo running a canned food drive? Help her go the extra mile & tell her how proud you are that she’s helping others. Then watch her organize her own charity bake sale πŸ™‚

Tip #192: Serve on a nonprofit board

This role combines the 3Ts: time, talent, & treasure. We give time during meetings & the work in between. We give talent on committees where our skillset is most useful. Treasure, of course, is πŸ’². Nonprofits need help, period.

Tip #193: Share your strengths

Get the double wellbeing hit by finding your flow while helping others. For me, my strengths are in strategic planning & writing, which nonprofits often need. If I can help others while doing what I love, time flies & I feel great!

Tip #194: Work pro-bono

No, this tip doesn’t mean working for U2. It means for free! If you can afford it, do some free consulting or contract work for a social impact organization whose mission resonates with you. That way you boost their impact & yours, too!

Tip #195: Volunteer virtually

One silver lining of #Covid is that much more work is being done online now, which means you can volunteer from the comfort of your couch. Check out @catchafire which matches volunteers with nonprofits. They make sure both sides benefit.

Tip #196: Volunteer on vacation

I know you want to just lie on that beautiful beach, but consider volunteering with a nonprofit when you travel. It’s a fabulous way to connect with locals & learn about another side of life. Or do both – sea turtles need saving, too.

Tip #197: Dive into immersive volunteering

I’ve had the most amazing experiences when I lived + worked alongside people I aimed to help. Peace Corps is a perfect example, but there are shorter term options, too. Learn about other cultures & yourself at the same time!

Next Week…


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