In an increasingly capitalistic world, a widely accepted notion is that time is money. If you’re a conscious and kind individual who wants to contribute to the world with not just your money but time as well, we commend you for taking the step! At the outset, volunteering may seem like an outlandish or vague concept. However, if you’re looking to make the most of your time working for the betterment of your community through volunteer work, here are a few things you should know.
1. It’s a dynamic environment
If you’re someone who likes making a plan and sticking to it, volunteering will soon break that cycle for you. At a nonprofit, the ideas depend on various factors. Further, most of them are managed by one or two people, who take decisions as they go, based on what is most suitable for the nonprofit. So, be ready to embrace change and roll with the punches. This will help you be more adaptable and troubleshoot faster.
2. Your presence will be appreciated
If your work involves working with patients at a hospital or residents at a home, you will quickly realise that people love having company around. Seldom would you find grumpy people who don’t appreciate your presence. As a team of employees who love volunteering, we have discovered that human relationships are most appreciated by people who find them in a rarity. So, cherish the time you spend working at a hospital or an old age home. You may even go home with few pearls of wisdom from the residents.
3. You will make new friends
A lot of nonprofits have volunteering programs where you can team up with groups of people to work with. It’s a perfect opportunity to meet new people and make lasting connections, since even the other volunteers at the nonprofit are there to pursue similar interests. This can come as a relief, especially if you’re settling into a new neighbourhood, or even a new city. Making friends can be unnerving, but in an open and welcoming environment like a nonprofit, it just makes things easier.
4. Keep your schedule locked
Few nonprofits who regularly have volunteer visits have fixed schedules and timings for when the volunteers can come in to their facilities to render their services. For some others, the schedules are flexible where you can choose when you can come in and for how many hours you plan to stay. For volunteering on a long-term basis, what works best is if you have a set schedule, even if it just for yourself – so you’re not over or underworked, and still spend quality time more frequently.
5. Know what you want to do
Nonprofits need people from various backgrounds and skill sets to do specific tasks for them. You can choose to pick up a new skill if there’s someone to mentor you, or stick to what you’re good at, and help the organisation out. Either way, having a conversation with the person of contact at the nonprofit helps both the parties understand and agree upon your roles and responsibilities. This removes any ambiguity and leaves you in a better headspace to contribute.
If you’re planning to volunteer over the weekend, we suggest you go ahead and download the SAHAVE app. We send you volunteering opportunities based on your skillset, schedule and number of hours you’re willing to work, so you can save time and head straight into volunteering, without the hassle of picking what’s most suitable for you. Giving back is beautiful, join the 2,50,000 people registered with us, and already experiencing it.