When I woke up this morning, I was planning to write a post about a different subject. However, when I saw the Go Volunteer site, I changed my plans. I realize many of the people reading this post do not live in, or want to volunteer in, Australia. However, that is not a good reason to stop reading this post. If you are not working, in school, retired, thinking about changing careers, interested in developing expertise, or looking for something meaningful to do, volunteering may be right for you.
Although I chose the Australian site as an example, I know there are similar sites in various parts of the world. The purpose of this post is to mention some of the many benefits of volunteering, rather than a review a specific site to find or post a volunteer opportunity.
According to Go Volunteer, millions of people “make a difference by volunteering each year, doing a wide range of tasks for a wide range of organisations. People volunteer for many reasons and in many different ways. Some use volunteering as way to gain new skills or add to their CV [resume]. Others use it as a way to meet new people, make new friends or try something new. Making a difference to the community and having a sense of purpose are also popular reasons for volunteering. Whatever your own personal reason is for volunteering, rest assured it is a two way exchange – you give but you also gain.”
One aspect of the Go Volunteer site I like is the site is focused on the individual searching for an opportunity. If you are looking for a site to find the ideal opportunity for you, look for a site that allows you to select some or all of the following criteria:
- Preferred Location (city, state, zip code, proximity, etc.)
- Cause (animals, community, disability, etc.)
- Your Interest (clerical, fundraising, support, transportation, etc.)
- Duration (project, short term, long term)
- Opportunity Type (middle school, limited English, disability, etc.)
- Availability (Mon, Tues, Wed . . ., daytime, afternoon, evening)
Another aspect of the site I like is it allows qualified organizations to easily post opportunities in terms that interest volunteers.
If you are interested in volunteering, search for a site that allow you to search for the things that are important to you. If you would like a volunteer to help your organization, find a site that is likely to attract the volunteers you need. Remember, volunteering is a win-win scenario for the volunteer and the organization.