Volaby Voice:

3 Things to Consider Before You Choose to Volunteer

Where should you start when you want to volunteer?

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ATTENTION INTERESTED VOLUNTEERS – this week’s Volaby Voice is for you 🙂

If you are excited or nervous by the idea of volunteering and want to know more, we have put together 3 things to consider when you are thinking about volunteering. Lots of people come to us excited and wanting to know more but not sure how or where to start. Before you dive in headfirst, there are a few things that might make your search easier and find you have a well suited and long-lasting fit. This article will hopefully make you fully prepared for what’s to come and eager for the journey ahead.

 

First, let’s start with how available you are?

Sit down and have a look at your schedule, how much time you are able to give up in a week and when. Do mornings, afternoons or nights work best for you? What time in your schedule do you have free? Looking at your availability will also help determine what shifts you could take on regularly, this could be weekly or fortnightly.

If you are looking to first try a once off opportunity or really want to do some volunteering when you don’t have time regularly. Go Volunteer provides a list of once off volunteering options on their website, click here to check out.

Important to know – many organisations rely heavily on volunteers to remain operational, and although your gesture to help is a wonderful thing, many organisations may require you to commit to a weekly/fortnightly roster to make sure they can plan and keep their service operating. It might also be worth reaching out to places of interest (where you might like to volunteer), and first ask what they might need from you? It will be a great chance to align expectations and it will also show them you are serious and considerate (which they will love!).

 

Skills and experience or qualification

Volunteering can come in all shapes and sizes! There are so many different roles and skill sets needed; there is a role for everyone. Varying roles within different organisations will need checks for you to continue as a volunteer. This could be, for example, a Police Check or Working With Children Check, that you may need to look into before applying to volunteer. So have a look at the industry you may want to gift your time to and what you may need.

Next is what skillset the volunteering position needs; is there somewhere you can be helpful with your current knowledge or previous experience? Your specific skills may be really useful in an organisation in a particular role. Also, “people don’t know, what they don’t know” so it might even be worth offering a skill you possess that they aren’t advertising for, and that you think they could really need. For example, do they need someone to run their social media account? Do they need someone to help with the legal/financial admin support?

An alternative way to start looking is what experience or skills would you like to gain from this experience? Volunteering work looks great on a resume and can teach you valuable transferable skills for the workforce. So, what can you gain for your future and build upon whilst helping others?

 

You’re ready to start but don’t know where?

Do your research! It’s exciting to learn about the many incredible organisations and volunteer roles there are out there. Read around and look at the incredible work they are doing, think about when and where they need their volunteers and if this is a good fit for you. Seek Volunteering can help you, click here to browse some of your options or get a better idea of what you might like to do.

 

Volunteering is an incredible opportunity and can be a mutually beneficial situation, so make sure you do your homework and find a great fit as there are so many options.

We hope this helps you feel more confident about making a start!