Tips for Volunteering….Anyone?

January 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

There is no end to the creative avenues for volunteering, just as there is no end to the need for volunteers.  Sounds good huh!   Here is what you need to know about volunteering:

 1. Research the causes or issues important to you.

Look for a group that works with issues about which you feel strongly. You might already be giving money to one of these organisations, and that might be a good place to begin your volunteer experience.  

2.  Consider the skills you have to offer.
If you enjoy outdoor work, teaching, or just enjoy interacting with people, you may want to look for volunteer work that would incorporate these aspects of your personality. Many positions require a volunteer who has previous familiarity with certain equipment, such as computers, or who possesses certain skills, such as ability in athletics or communications. For one of these positions you might decide to do something comparable to what you do on the job during your workday, or something that you already enjoy as a hobby.

3.  Would you like to learn something new?

Perhaps you would like to learn a new skill or gain exposure to a new situation. Consider seeking a volunteer opportunity where you’ll learn something new. For example, volunteering to work on the newsletter will improve your writing and editing abilities – skills that may help you in your career.

4.  Combine your goals.
Look for volunteer opportunities that will also help you achieve your other goals for your life. For example, if you want to lose a few extra pounds, pick an active volunteer opportunity, such as cleaning a park or working with kids.

5.  Don’t over-commit your schedule.
Make sure the volunteer hours you want to give fit into your hectic life, so that you don’t frustrate your family, exhaust yourself, short change the organisation you’re trying to help or neglect your job. Better to start out slowly than to commit yourself to a schedule you can’t or don’t want to fulfil.

6.  Nonprofits may have questions, too.
While most nonprofits are eager to find volunteer help, they have to be careful when accepting the services you offer. If you contact an organisation with an offer to volunteer your time, you may be asked to come in for an interview, fill out a volunteer application, or describe your qualifications and your background just as you would at an interview for a paying job. It is in the organisation’s interest and more beneficial to the people it serves to make certain you have the skills needed, that you are truly committed to doing the work, and that your interests match those of the non-profit. Furthermore, in volunteer work involving children or other at-risk populations, there are legal ramifications for the organisation to consider.

7. Consider volunteering as a family.
Think about looking for a volunteer opportunity suitable for parents and children to do together, or for a husband and wife to take on as a team. When a family volunteers to work together at a non-profit organisation, the experience can bring them closer together, teach young children the value of giving their time and effort, introduce everyone in the family to skills and experiences never before encountered, and give the entire family a shared experience as a wonderful family memory.

8.  Virtual volunteering?
Yes, there is such a thing! If you have computer access and the necessary skills, some organisations now offer the opportunity to do volunteer work over the internet. This sort of volunteering might be well suited to you if you have limited time, no transportation, or a physical disability that precludes you from getting about freely. Virtual volunteering can also be a way for you to give time if you simply enjoy computers and want to employ your computer skills in your volunteer work.

 9. I never thought of that!

Many community groups are looking for volunteers, and some may not have occurred to you. Most of us know that hospitals and libraries use volunteers for a great deal of their work, but here are some volunteer opportunities that may not have crossed your mind:

10.  Give voice to your heart through your giving and volunteering!
Bring your heart and your sense of humour to your volunteer service, along with your enthusiastic spirit, which in itself is a priceless gift.

What you’ll get back will be immeasurable!  go ahead …Volunteer…

if you would like to volunteer at Zakat House please send email to

Entry filed under: Our Community, Social Enterprise.

Thinking about others… while doing our thing Zakat is not just for Ramadan…

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