To find the most rewarding volunteer experience it’s absolutely crucial to find the right organization. Just like any job hunt, you should be looking for a position that best suits your skills.
There are some strategies you can use to make sure you land in the right spot. From asking for interviews to mapping out your time commitment before you even start looking, finding the right volunteer experience takes a bit of effort.
Make a difference
Most people volunteer because they want to make a difference in their community. Finding out where you want to help will make sure you find the most rewarding volunteer experience. There are many small not-for-profit organizations that will need help. From groups that support children who live in poverty to agencies that care for seniors, you can find the absolute perfect group for you.
It’s a job
Treat your volunteer position like a job. Pick organizations and positions that you would like to one day join professionally. This strategy will help with your enjoyment level of the work, while you gain experience that will help you land a similar paid position.
Identifying your skills and interest will also help with finding where you best fit within an organization. Many not-for-profits need help at all levels, whether it’s on the front lines of service delivery or in the boardrooms. Do you want to bring meals to the needy? Do you want to be the creative force on the marketing team? What your interests are should determine where you land.
Know your commitment
Before you even commit to any organization, make sure you know your availability. How much time can you give each week. This approach is integral to your success.
Mapping out how much you can volunteer allows you to tell your team what they can expect from you. Many volunteers can get frustrated by joining an organization and then being overwhelmed by the workload, all because the time expectations were not identified in the beginning. Discussing your time in the beginning also gives you something for you to refer to later if there is ever an issue about it later.
Interview your boss
Remember that you’re as valuable to the organization as they are to you. You should be talking to several groups to find out the best fit. Ask for interviews before committing. Meet your potential superiors and see how your personalities work together. This discussion will benefit both sides and will set you up for a prosperous experience with whatever position you end up taking.
You may be eager to head out and get to work right away in a volunteer role, but there are many aspects you should consider before you start your search. Think about where you want to be adn how you want to help your community. Then make sure there are positions that best match your skills and interest. Do a few of these steps and you’ll know exactly where you need to be.