Why should I volunteer?
Category : Blog
July 30, 2015
By Rebecca Vogel
The question “why should I volunteer?” is a no-brainer. Modern Americans feel connected and want to help. Our deep-rooted kinship with other people creates an innate need to promote the principles of social justice: equality; opportunity; and preservation of human, animal, and natural life. But in all seriousness, I’m a self-employed mother of three young children and my plate is nearly always full! I’m not alone. Most of us share overly busy lifestyles. So, perhaps it’s more productive to ask: “how can I volunteer?”
First, seek people and organizations that share your passions and goals. Simply put, you are leveraging your resources to accomplish more together. I’m a non-profit development professional, and I spend my days researching, planning, and wordsmithing proposals to show that my organizations are making an impact. For paid and volunteer jobs, I seek out organizations that are already doing the things that are important to me and are doing a good job. You will be most productive if you join with like-minded people and organizations and work toward common goals.
Second, what if you can reap the benefits of your hard work while you help an organization that truly makes a difference? I’m not referring to the satisfaction that comes from helping others, although that can be very powerful. I’m describing skills-based volunteering: a way to apply your unique skillset to maximize your volunteer impact. When selecting volunteer work, be strategic: the volunteer work you perform should strengthen your skills and enhance your professional experience.
No more excuses! Volunteer work is flexible and it can fit into your schedule. Busy professionals, retirees, and recent graduates all have time to volunteer, although your commitments will vary. Deadlines are real, but skills-based volunteer projects can be very flexible. Many projects can be performed at home and at the times that are convenient for you. Commit to volunteering with the time that you have: even if it is just one hour a week. Trust me, you won’t regret it.