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A Word to the Wise About Giving Your Time

Deciding to volunteer is a great choice and a rewarding one at that. There are a few questions you should ask yourself as you embark on this new journey. These questions should ensure you get the most out of your volunteer experience.

What kind of organization do you want to help?
Explore your passions and there you will find the answer. Whether it’s animals you love, educating children or caring for the environment, there’s an organization that could use your help. To narrow down your choices, research the goals of your top nonprofits to make sure they align with yours.

What are you looking to gain from this experience?
Of course, volunteering is about giving back. But you should gain from the experience as well. Maybe you want to improve your skills to enhance your resume for a new job. Or maybe it’s time to network with a new group of people in your community. Regardless, thinking about yourself for a moment will mean you’ll have a lot more to give when it’s time to volunteer.

What are your skills?
Are you handy with tools? Do you have some legal experience? A specialized skill set you enjoy exercising could certainly benefit a nonprofit looking for volunteers with some experience in certain areas.

How much time do I have to give?
We’re all busy. From one organization to the next, the amount of time they will need you for will vary. Make sure you’re up front about your time commitment. You may want to start with a small commitment just to get a feel for how you like the organization and then you can give more of your time if appropriate.