7 Questions To Answer Before You Decide To Volunteer.

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This week is Service Week, here at Bliss Habits. To me, service refers to volunteering. I’ve been a dedicated volunteer for a number of nonprofits over the last decade or so of my life. Everything from teaching literacy to socializing shelter dogs. My current volunteer endeavor is with a nonprofit who pairs services dogs with disabled veterans.

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People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons. The reason I volunteer is because of the impact it has on the community. By giving myself in a variety of different ways, I improve the quality of life for all of those around me, whether they walk on two legs, four legs, or ride on four wheels.

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Volunteering is not only beneficial to others, but it also provides me with the ability to feel useful. I could go on about the emotional confines of a wheelchair, but the bottom line is, I need to feel like a valuable member of society. For me, I accomplish this through volunteering.

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The problem with volunteering, and the reason why most people don’t, is that they have no clue how to get started.

So here are 7 questions to ask yourself before you put your time (and maybe your money) where your mouth is.

1. What are you interested in doing as a volunteer?

2. Where or with what population would you like to make a difference?

3. Do you want to contribute by doing something you’re already proficient at or you want to learn a new skill?

4. How much time are you willing to donate to an organization?

Every day, once a week, once a month? During the day, only during evenings, or only on weekends.

5. Do you have an area of expertise that would benefit an organization?

Maybe you’re a skilled carpenter or an HR specialist.

6. How do you plan to get to the volunteer location?

Transportation is often tricky. Will you drive, walk, or use public transportation?

7. Once you’ve answered these questions, ask yourself one last thing – Is this a good match for me?

To be a good volunteer you must be prepared, punctual, willing to participate, and committed. These 7 questions will put you on the right path to becoming the best volunteer you can be.

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Autumn Tompkins is the head sass-master at ink well copy. She is a skilled copywriter who creates dynamic copy that captures her clients’ expert voices and generates genuine sales, turning maybe’s into most definitely’s.

2 thoughts on “7 Questions To Answer Before You Decide To Volunteer.

  1. Excellent advice Autumn! I think it’s especially important to be realistic about how much time you are willing and able to commit – and then sticking to your guns. I went through a period several years ago where I got sucked into way too many volunteer commitments because I couldn’t say no. I remember one time offering to help out in the office at our local food bank – walked out the chair of the county food drive! I wouldn’t change any of my experiences and feel good about my contribution, but after serving on the board of nearly every major non profit in my area and chairing 3 county food drives I burned out and pulled back all together. It’s only now that I’m getting back into it but I’m much smarter about managing my commitments this time around. Thanks for the informative article!

    • Thank you. I completely understand burning out. The one thing I should’ve added to this post was being ready for internal conflicts within the nonprofit. These have caused me to burn out often faster than donating too much time.

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