Volunteering: What to think about before signing up
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If you’re new to volunteering, there are a few things to consider before signing up.
This article will help you clarify why you want to volunteer, questions to ask before signing up, and how to find an organisation that’s a good match for you.
When you become a volunteer, you’ll be joining over 32% of Australians who give their time and expertise to social causes.
And, you’ll make a huge impact on the people, and causes you’re helping.
Before volunteering, it’s important to consider why you want to volunteer and what you want to achieve.
To help find the best volunteer role for you, we’ve included a download to help you create your volunteer profile.
Your volunteer profile will help identify what roles you are interested in, and suited to. This will help you volunteer for positions where you can best use your skills and experience.
Aligning Your Purpose
The organisation you volunteer for, exists to fulfil a purpose.
Their purpose should align with your purpose as a volunteer.
There will be policies, procedures and compliance measures in place to achieve that purpose.
Most organisations have their purpose listed on their website and marketing material. If unsure, give the organisation a call to see if you would be a good volunteer candidate.
Remember, many not-for-profit organisations couldn’t function without volunteers.
Think of your P&C, SES, CWA or RFS. Without volunteers they couldn’t achieve their purpose.
If you do join as a volunteer for an organisation, read the policies and procedures relating to your role. Ask if there is a position description for volunteers. Reading these documents will help you become an effective volunteer, and help your organisation achieve its purpose.
Finding Volunteer Roles
There are many different ways to find out about volunteer opportunities. If you have decided what kind of volunteer work you’d like to do, you could approach local organisations directly.
For example, if you love cooking, you could approach your local school or sports canteen to see if they need any help. Or if you have administrative experience, you could contact some local charities to see if they need any volunteers in the office.
Many volunteer opportunities are now advertised online. Some websites to have a look at are:
- SEEK Volunteers
- Go Volunteer
- Volunteer Match
Volunteers are an essential part of many organisations and they couldn’t function without them. To make your volunteering experience enjoyable and rewarding, carefully think about why you want to volunteer and how you can best put your skills and experience to use.