Volunteering your time has a variety of benefits: you get to help others who are in need, you get to meet new people, and you may even open the door to new career opportunities. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and can also put the experience on your LinkedIn profile to attract employers and recruiters.
Did you know that 20% of managers acknowledge that they’ve hired candidates because of volunteering experience?
ALL OF THESE BENEFITS CAN DIRECTLY WORK IN YOUR FAVOR TO BOOST YOUR CAREER AND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES; THUS BOOSTING YOUR INCOME POTENTIAL!
How Do You Find Volunteer Opportunities?
1) Search Engines
If you know the exact organization in your area that you’d like to volunteer for, you can usually find volunteering opportunities and information on the non-profit’s website. Just use a search engine like Google and search for the “city name” and keywords such as “volunteer” or the “organization’s name” if you know it.
Most non-profits are largely dependent on volunteers, so they typically make it easy to find volunteering information on their websites. Look for words like “Get Involved,” “Volunteer,” or even “Donate,” to find more information.
For example, the San Francisco SPCA has a “Get Involved” tab in its main navigation where interested volunteers can get more information about opportunities.
VolunteerMatch is a volunteer opportunity database that promotes and aggregates a variety of opportunities in a location. Simply go to their site, enter your location, and specify an interest (or leave it blank to see all opportunities.) Then just view the available volunteering positions.
You can filter results by cause, local or virtual opportunities, and by age group. You can also get detailed information about the opportunity, such as:
- The number of hours for shifts
- The skills you’ll need
- Details about the organization
I personally think this website works just as good or better than a Google search.
While some organizations will advertise volunteering opportunities in the local newspaper, other non-profits cannot justify the high cost of newspaper classifieds. This makes Craigslist an ideal place for advertising volunteer opportunities because posting the ad is free.
To find volunteer opportunities on Craigslist, head to the Craigslist homepage for your city/town, and look for the “volunteers” category under “community”.
Like everything on Craigslist, it’s important to use caution when providing personal information for posted volunteer opportunities. While many of the posts will be for legitimate opportunities, not even the volunteering section is without scammers.
A good practice might be to find an opportunity you’re interested in on Craigslist and then sign up to volunteer through the organization’s official website so you can evaluate the validity of the organization and opportunity.
I hope you found these tips helpful! While most people won’t like the idea of working for free for a good cause, it just creates a much, much bigger opportunity for those that will. Have any experience volunteering? Share your thoughts in the comments.