How to Get Started as a Skilled Volunteer
We hear you’re interested in donating your skills and time to a non-profit! While volunteering has obvious personal benefits and there are tons of projects available on our own matching platform, we know that going into your first volunteer position can be daunting.
But not to worry! Here are a few tips on getting the most out of your very first volunteer experience.
Find a Cause You’re Passionate About
If you’re looking to maximize your impact as a volunteer, it is crucial that you find an organization that supports a cause you truly care about. Think about your personal experiences and your values, and do research on the different causes you’re attracted to.
Finding the right match will keep you motivated in the long run and compel you to do your best work!
Identify Your Goals
Volunteering should not be completely selfless. While you’re helping others, you should also be able to enjoy and learn from your experience. Choose a program that aligns with your specific interests and that will benefit you in the long term.
What are your career goals? What skills do you have that you’d like to develop further? What industries or topics are you interested in learning more about? Ask yourself what exactly do you want out of your experience and make the most out of it!
Learn All You Can About the Role
After shortlisting the volunteer opportunities you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to get in touch with the organizations and ask questions—whether it’s about the position, the organization, or who you could be working with.
Treat it almost like any other job interview, because at the end of the day, you will both be looking for a great match. If you feel you’re not qualified for the job, don’t be afraid to ask for a change in role or look for another volunteering opportunity.
Choose Your Projects Carefully
You should be comfortable with your job and organization. When starting out, it’s best to choose a project that offers a low time commitment and flexibility. This will allow you to figure out how you can best fit volunteering into your existing schedule, and whether you are actually interested in the cause or position you signed up for.
Getting into a high-commitment project only to find out you can’t deliver is not a great experience for everyone involved. Only sign up for projects you are 100% sure you can complete.
Once you’ve accepted a volunteer position, show up to your volunteering opportunity prepared, focused and committed to your task. Non-profits depend on volunteers to complete their tasks efficiently and at a high level, so they can continue serving their communities effectively. Who knows, your contributions might even be able to 2x, 3x or 4x their impact!
The best experiences benefit both the volunteer and the organisation. Have fun and learn from the opportunity—One day you’ll love back and be proud of your growth and the goals you’ve achieved!
Take a quick scroll on our website (https://timeauction.org/projects) to discover a range of skills-based volunteering opportunities ranging from 7 hours to 2 years long! If you are part of a non-profit organisation, we welcome you to post a project on our platform to find the right volunteer to further your cause.
Written by Mia Pao | Edited by Kristeen Romero