We are very lucky to live in a country with such strong volunteer culture. Statistics Canada shows that in 2013, 12.7 million people (44% of Canadians aged 15 and over) volunteered their time and contributed almost 1.95 billion hours. This is an incredible amount of time dedicated to different causes. There are thousands of non-profit organizations that not only are open to volunteers, but are also dependent on their work. This is a great opportunity for prospective volunteers as they have many opportunities available. But, how can we choose the right place to volunteer? Here are three things to consider when choosing an organization:
- What causes or issues am I most passionate about? Look for organizations that are aligned with your values and committed to the social issue you are passionate about. Take a look at the organization’s annual report, work in the community, and success stories; do you think it is doing a good job? Volunteering your time is rewarding, but it is also important to choose the right place where you feel your time is going towards something meaningful.
- What do I want to do as a volunteer? There are many ways a volunteer can help an organization. From pantry cleaning volunteers to Casino volunteers, there are volunteer opportunities for every person. Are you looking to utilize your skills and talents or are you looking for general tasks? It can also help to identify tasks you do not want to do. The happier you are, the more you will enjoy your volunteer experience.
- How often do I want to volunteer? It is important to be honest with yourself and be realistic about the amount of time you will be able to commit. When you start a volunteer role, you might be extremely enthusiastic and willing to contribute many hours, but the reality is that we live incredibly busy lives; we have jobs, family, and friends, so it might get tricky to fit volunteer hours into your schedule. After you decide on a realistic number of hours, look for a volunteer opportunity that will suit your schedule and be beneficial for both you and the organization. Remember, quality is better than quantity and organizations will appreciate every minute you gift to them.
There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities around the city and you should take the time to decide which one you would like to commit to. Visit our website or take a look on Propellus where you can find a wide range of volunteer opportunities in your area.