This originally appeared as a guest post on VolunteerSpot’s Summer of Service blog series.
Iknow what many people say. They want to give back but they don’t know how. They want to get involved and volunteer in their community but they don’t know where to start. Well, we’re here to help!
In just one hour, you’ll have the ideas, tools, resources and motivation to get started. So let’s start this summer off with a new sense of how to give back.
For a lot of people, they go online to volunteer websites and start scrolling through the options. Everything looks good, or nothing, or somewhere in between, and they’re not sure what to pick. This is the vortex of indecision, and not where you should start!
First, block an hour from your calendar when you won’t be distracted and can sit and focus on the task at hand. Sit in a comfortable place with a blank piece of paper or in front of a blank document on your computer (with your browser closed!) and follow along with the exercise below. You’ll be identifying the key components needed to finding a nonprofit right for you and then we’ll provide the resources where you can find that match. Ready? Let’s go!
Write down the names of nonprofits that interest you. These can be nonprofits you’ve donated to in the past — maybe you’ve participated in a walk or event or have read about a cause or charity and are interested in learning more. Geographic location doesn’t matter; just start making creating a list of those nonprofits.
Write down the type of nonprofits or causes that you’re passionate about. My list would look something like: economic development, grassroots environmental groups, women’s issues (specifically girls’ education and financial literacy), health issues (specifically malaria prevention and treatment) and poverty alleviation. For you maybe it’s children or pets or house building. There is no right number to write down, if the list gets longer than five, prioritize your list to make going back later and looking at it easier for you. Continue reading