Finding the right volunteer opportunity can be tough. Getting to know the organization you are serving is a great start and can lead to you finding your perfect match. Need some help knowing how to build this relationship? Read on.
- Ask for an interview before you begin. Some orgs already offer this as a way to get to know their potential volunteers. But if they don’t, ask for it! This is a space for you to ask anything and everything on your mind to really get to know the work they are doing. First impressions are everything and you’d be surprised how much you can learn from a 30 minute coffee.
- Do a little research. Whether it’s research on the organization itself or the cause, read all you can. This understanding can either help you have a deeper passion and understanding for the cause, or it can tell you the exact opposite – that it’s not the right fit for you. WHICH IS OKAY. Everyone cares about different things. Do what YOU love.
- Get to know the staff. Staff are everything. It is crucial that you get along with the people you are going to spend your time with while volunteering. No matter how much you care about the cause, not getting along with the people surrounding you can completely shatter the experience. Staff also shape the organization and it’s programs, so getting to know them can tell you a lot about the org!
- Ask questions. This may be a no brainer, but some people may not want to ask questions at the risk of “not being prepared.” Well we’re here to tell you to ask anyway! The staff are passionate about what they do and will love talking about the cause they give their life for.
- Attend events. Another great way to get information. Regardless of when you do this in your volunteer journey, events can be a great place to learn about the cause. Whether it’s a gala, golf tournament, 5k, or benefit concert, organizations will be on their A-game and prepared with all the information you could need. Plus, you get to meet and be surrounded by people who care about the same cause you do!
- Become an advocate. This may come after you’ve done many of the above things, but talking to people about what you care about can easily deepen your passion and understanding. People may ask you questions you don’t have answers for, prompting you to do more research and think in a new way. And what do they say the best way to retain information is? Learn it and then TEACH it. Plus it’s a bonus that you may spark someone else’s passion for the same cause!
Getting to know an organization takes a little bit of time and some diligence, but it is well worth it once you find that perfect fit. You will walk away feeling more knowledgeable, passionate, and great about being able to make a difference. Once you do find that match, learn more about what you should expect as a volunteer.
Needing help finding your next volunteer opportunity? Contact us!