7 Tips – Volunteering

Tip Thursday with a difference.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

To volunteer means to spend your time, energy, skills and abilities and talents in service of others. There is no better way to live a full and productive life than volunteering. diGJamaica makes this possible by providing various links in our Directories section to numerous organizations with volunteering opportunities.

However, one needs to know what type of organization they want to work with, what best suits them and how they can volunteer. Tip Thursday is here to help you with this noble task with providing informative tips on how to find the RIGHT volunteer opportunity for you.

  1. Find out the importance of the issue. Before you sign up, think about what issues or causes are important to you. Whether it’s animal cruelty, the environment, the arts or early childhood education and development, think about what you care the most about and what excites you. You are more likely to have a positive experience if you volunteer for a cause you believe in.
  2. Research is key. Research the organizations involved in your specific cause. This information can help you make a decision about what area of work you want to be associated with. The credibility of the organization is a factor as you want to know that you are making a difference. Research and be aware of what the institution stands for.
  3. Know your skill set. Consider your strengths and weaknesses when looking to volunteer. Think about aspects of your personality and match these to various volunteering opportunities. Are you good with children, do you enjoy working in groups or alone? Can you sing, dance or are you more inclined to technical work? Play to your strengths and volunteering will be a joy.
  4. Commitment and Need. Be aware of the amount of time and energy you are willing to expend for the cause. Are you willing to be a lifetime volunteer or are you seeking a cause for a shorter period of time. Placing a time-frame allows you to better plan your actions and guide you while you choose.
  5. Looking for opportunities.  A lack of knowledge is often times a factor in more individuals not volunteering. Ask family and friends about various opportunities for giving your time and whatever else you would love to give. Ask questions online, at companies and even from employees. Civil society organizations such as Do Good Jamaica provide valuable information on projects.
  6. Know your limit. Once you find your volunteer opportunity, be sure to schedule enough time. Do not over commit yourself to tasks that clash with your schedule. You do the organization and yourself a disservice when you only work at half your ability and capacity.
  7. Volunteer what you can. There are many ways of volunteering. You may not be able to be there physically but your skills in other ways may be extremely useful.

To get even more information about Volunteering, see Network For Good.