Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Volunteering

Nov 21, 2023

There are many reasons why people volunteer. Some are pushed to volunteer by an ask. When directly asked for help, they agree to volunteer their time and talents per the request. Others are pulled to volunteer by a desire from within. If you sense you want to be a part of something larger than yourself, it may be a great time to become a volunteer.

Volunteering is a great way to give back and support causes you care about. Before you sign up for your first volunteer opportunity, consider these questions:

Q1: Is there something you have a personal tie to that you’d like to volunteer with? Many times, when we go through something or witness someone we love struggle, it helps to offer time and energy to a cause that’s similar. It can be healing to give back to a cause that supports what we or someone we love have been through. Additionally, you may have expertise that helps people who are new on their journey with a similar struggle. Perhaps you or a loved one overcame domestic violence or a health scare. Helping others through their journey may be of interest to you.

What do you want your volunteer experience to look like? Do you want to work directly with clients as they learn life skills? Do you want more time management skills and experience managing projects? Or perhaps the opportunity for networking with other professionals in the field is what attracts you most? Whatever it is for you, make sure it’s something that fits into your schedule and interests before signing up for an opportunity!

Q2: What example do you want to set? You may have strong beliefs about being helpful or serving others, but without taking action, they are only thoughts. Getting out there and volunteering will set an example for those who are influenced by your actions and impact them. Knowing what example you want to be to your friends and family can help motivate you to take action as a volunteer.

There are many different reasons why you might want to volunteer. For some people it is about giving back, for others it may be about learning new skills or meeting new people. Whatever the case may be, there will always be a way for you to give back in some capacity. There are many ways that you can make an impact on others' lives; this doesn't just mean giving money or donating things like clothes or food items—it could also mean spending time with someone who needs someone else's company.

Volunteering is not limited to helping out within your local community; it can also mean taking part in global movements such as volunteering abroad or supporting charities from afar through fundraisers or donations.

Q3: Is there something you wanted to accomplish?

Volunteering can be a great way to get your foot in the door, but it can also be a great way to make connections and show off your skills. If you’re looking for an opportunity where you can get noticed, volunteering is a great choice. If you’re looking for something that will help your career take off, volunteering may be just what you need.

But before you sign up for any volunteer opportunity, it’s important to know what you want out of it. Are you hoping to boost your career and be recognized by a new employer? Do you want to blend in and not draw attention? Or do you just want to help people out with their projects?

Once you know what kind of impact you want your volunteering experience to have on your life, look for opportunities that match so that when someone asks about why you volunteered there—or why they should hire YOU—you have an answer ready!

Q4: How Much Time Can You Commit?

When it comes to volunteering, there are a lot of things you can do. Do you have the time?

Most of us have jobs and other responsibilities that often take up our time and energy. Volunteering is something that can be very rewarding and help others in need, but it can also be an added stressor if you don’t have enough time in your schedule to make it work.

If you are volunteering for an event, it may have a start and finish date. Pouring your energy into it may be easier since it isn’t an ongoing situation. However, some volunteering gigs are steady. Be sure to be clear about how much time you have so you don’t over extend yourself. Keep healthy boundaries and stick to them so your volunteering remains a positive part of your life.

Q5: What Causes Matter to You?

You can't choose what you're open to, but you can set your boundaries.

When it comes to volunteering, there are so many possibilities available that it's easy to get overwhelmed by the options. If you're not sure where to start, think about what you're willing to do and what feels comfortable for you. For example:

-Are you willing to volunteer in a variety of ways or prefer to stick to specific types of volunteering?

-Do you want to work on projects that are familiar or interested in diving into something new?

-Do you want to help with one event or commit more time?

-Would you rather only volunteer for small projects or be able to fundraise for bigger ones?

Whatever kind of volunteer work sounds like fun, just be clear on what kind of experience sounds good and what doesn't so that when people ask if they could use your help with something, they'll know how much time they can count on from you right away instead of feeling disappointed later on down the road!

Before you start volunteering, it's important to ask yourself some basic questions. This will help you narrow down your thoughts and take the best path possible. It will also help avoid an unsatisfying experience and help you find the ideal opportunities to donate your time and energy.


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