So you want to volunteer?

Helping others fulfils a deep need in our souls and usually results in a feeling of connection and self worth. There are tens of thousands of opportunities to volunteer, in this article we suggest how to go about finding the right fit for you.

There are many reasons why people find volunteering so rewarding. Giving back to others less fortunate is often the major driver but it may also be due to the pleasure of learning new skills or meeting a new group of people or just getting a break from the usual routine.

Successful volunteering occurs when the work is deeply satisfying for the volunteer and adds real value to the organisation. Think about what really stimulates you and also what special skills you have. There is more chance of a successful match when both of these factors can co-exist. But don’t despair if you don’t feel that you have a relevant skill: many charities can provide training for a new role.

How much time can you commit?

In most situations you can have more impact by regularly performing a task, even if just for a short period. When you first make a commitment we suggest that you pitch it at a level that you are confident you can maintain, because unreliable attendance puts a big strain on the organisation. It’s much easier to increase your commitment later on if that seems appropriate.

Finding out more
NCVO:
This NCVO webpage has some useful information and links to external sources of volunteering opportunities.
Volunteer match:
Site that facilitates micro volunteering.
Giving is Great:
This page on Giving is Great has some detail on volunteering options from some high impact charities.
Reach volunteering:
UK based site that connects people with at least 3 years professional experience.
Universal Giving:
The site to use if you want to travel and volunteer overseas.