3 Great Short Volunteer Opportunities

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Many people want to give back to their communities, but they don’t think they have the time to devote to a big project. They envision volunteering as a full-time situation that can require a substantial time commitment. In truth, there are plenty of ways that you can volunteer and do some good in your spare time.

Charity begins at home

While this is often used as a cop out, there’s really some truth in it. There are many ways that you can do good right from your own home. You can gather unwanted items and donate them to area organizations, or you can sell the items in a yard sale and donate the money to your favorite charity. Additionally, you can host a food drive for the needy or even a blood drive. Before you make plans, check with area charities to see what items are most in need. This can help you determine the best way to help.

Choose a single day

Some organizations want volunteers to commit a certain amount of time each month to the charity. For most people with modern lifestyles, this time commitment doesn’t work. We are all constantly busy with work, family, school, and other obligations. It can be hard to find time to commit a specific amount of hours to a new activity each week. However, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities that last for a single day. Keep a look out for flyers or posts on social media sites about volunteering. Contact local organizations and see if any of them have upcoming events that they need extra volunteers for.

Volunteering in smaller ways

For quicker ways to do some good, take just a few minutes to sign a petition about a cause that touches you. You can also spend just a few minutes visiting hospital patients or signing get well cards. Brighten up a soldier’s day by writing a letter. If you’re looking to combine a love for the outdoors with volunteer work, help an elderly neighbor with lawn maintenance or with gardening. You might also bring a trash bag with you on a walk or run. You can stop to pick up litter along the way.

These are but a few of the part-time volunteering opportunities that await you. Whatever your specific area of interest, there are ways you can volunteer and give back to your community in your spare time. You might not think you have much time in your schedule, but you have more than you think.

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6 Guaranteed Ways of Keeping Volunteers Happy & Making Your Philanthropy Succeed

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When your organization utilizes volunteers to remain in operation, it is essential to keep the individuals happy with these tips. I’ve written before about the importance of keeping your volunteers happy, but now I’d like to share some tangible ways to actually accomplish this goal. When you have happy volunteers, your philanthropy is much more likely to achieve its goals and succeed.

Tip 1: Provide training for your volunteers

To help your volunteers feel more confident, make sure to provide training for them. For example, if your volunteers are helping out in an assisted living center, then teach them about emergency first-aid procedures. When you are training volunteers to work in a crisis call center, teach them how to remain calm while talking to someone who is having suicidal thoughts. Make sure to update the volunteers’ training occasionally in order to keep them abreast of the best developments in the field they’re working in for your philanthropy.

Tip 2: Have group meetings for your volunteers

While it is possible that your volunteers don’t work at the same times, it is important for them to know each other. Have group meetings on a routine basis so that your volunteers can communicate with one another. This is a good time for your volunteers to make suggestions to you concerning any changes in an organization as well as share their experiences and ideas with other volunteers.

Tip 3: Get to know your volunteers

Take time to talk to your volunteers to understand their knowledge. It is possible that a volunteer has specialized education and experiences that will make them more valuable for your charity. By knowing more about your volunteers, you can place them in the best positions in an organization and both of you get get the most from their volunteering.

Tip 4: Offer rewards to your volunteers

Reward your volunteers to make them feel more valuable at your philanthropy. At least once a year, have a reward dinner to give out certificates or plaques to your volunteers for things such as having excellent attendance or providing extra services to a client. This step also helps you retain great volunteers who can continue to help the charity.

Tip 5: Permit volunteers to choose their own schedules

To make volunteers happy, permit them to choose their own schedules. Many individuals want to volunteer, but they must have an open schedule that works with raising a family or working a full-time job. Some volunteers may only have a few hours available each month, but if they’re dedicated to your cause, they can still help make a difference.

Tip 6: Treat your volunteers with respect

Volunteers aren’t getting paid for working for you, and they also don’t get health care insurance or retirement benefits. Make sure to treat your volunteers with respect by acknowledging how valuable they are to your organization. Determine how a volunteer wants to help you with your philanthropy so that you can place them in the correct role that suits their interests.

Learn How to Take Your Charity to the Next Level with this Simple Step

It can be a challenge to find stupendous volunteers for your philanthropy. There are lots of people out there who want to donate their time to an organization, but far too many of them are only doing it to put on their resumes or meet a requirement for something. You want to find the best volunteers for your organization, which means you need to put a little extra effort into locating them. While you do not want to be too picky when it comes to volunteers (most charities need the free help in order to continue running and further their causes), you should be slightly selective in choosing volunteers and what tasks you assign them.

Ask for a resume

First off, most volunteer opportunities ask for basic information on their volunteers. Usually, volunteers have to fill out a short application, but receiving a resume could be more beneficial. It’ll save both parties time because it gets rid of the need to fill out a separate application, and it lets you see if the applicant has any former volunteer experience or seems to have a good work ethic. While a sparse resume isn’t a reason to count someone out, it can help you identify great volunteers.

Conduct an interview process

Some philanthropies just don’t have time for this step, but if you do, it should be something you prioritize. Just taking a few minutes the first day someone volunteers, you’ll be able to get a better idea of who they are as a person. Ask why they wanted to volunteer with your charity in the first place and what they’re hoping to get from the experience.

Determine what they can handle

Before assigning tasks to volunteers, ask them what experience they have and what they’d like to work on. You could also have new volunteers try out different tasks and see what they excel at the most. The longer volunteers are with you and the more adept they show themselves to be, the bigger tasks you can trust them with at your philanthropy.

Match them with a mentor

If your organization has been around for a few years, you can match new volunteers with those who are more experienced. Giving new volunteers a mentor provides them with a chance to get thorough training and it also helps you gauge what kind of volunteer they are. If you choose to conduct a mentorship program with your volunteers, make sure you aren’t giving seasoned volunteers too much to do and preventing them from helping the organization.

Give back to them
When you finally do find fantastic volunteers, make sure you keep them happy. Provide them with a meaningful experience and offer to be a reference when they look for a job or apply for something. You might also want to consider giving your loyal volunteers some kind of gift around the holidays or just make it a point to recognize those who are doing a great job.

Children are the Future: Teach Them to Be Philanthropic

People focus on what we should and should not be teaching children so often and how best to prepare them to be the leaders of tomorrow, but teaching them about philanthropy is unfortunately not a common part of these discussions. Philanthropy is a mindset that more and more people are adopting, which is made easier with how technology has connected people across the world. Teaching children the importance of empathy and philanthropy provides them with the tools to truly make the world a better place.

Donate frequently

One way to donate is by going through the possessions already in your home. You’re sure to have a significant amount of unused clothes and items sitting around the house, so take a day or two to go through different rooms and gather up the items you no longer need. Take time to do the same thing with your children and their rooms, then sort through the items. Anything in good enough condition can be donated to a donation center, plus you have the added bonus of more room in your home.

Another way to teach your children the value of philanthropy through donations is by buying items for local shelters or drives and dropping them off. If your kid is an animal lover, go out and buy some pet food then take it to your local animal shelter. Maybe even stay and give a few hours walking dogs or helping socialize the animals; most kids would love it! You can also donate food or toys to drives by local philanthropies. Keep an eye out for events and the lists they provide for what they need.

Volunteer together

A great way to show your children how to be philanthropic is by teaching through example. When you have spare time, volunteer at a local organization for a cause you feel passionate about. Most philanthropies will allow parents to bring along children to help in some capacity. You can also encourage them to participate in charity events at their school, whether it’s a fundraiser or simple donations or a larger event.

Teach them kindness

If you teach your children the importance of kindness, you’ll teach them how to be philanthropic. Teach kids that everyone deserves kindness, no matter what their circumstances may be. By teaching your children to treat others with respect and kindness, you’re raising them to be good adults who will go out of their way to help another person. Even smiling at someone and greeting them could make their day; it’s important children know that they can always make a difference with kindness.

Help out a neighbor

A simple way to help your child become involved in philanthropy is through helping out a neighbor. You might not know your neighbors well, but it’s always a nice gesture to offer to rake their leaves or shovel snow. Ask if there’s any other way you can help out, even if it’s something simple like pet-sitting while they’re on vacation or stopping by with some food. It’s good to know your neighbors and even more important to help them out.