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3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Volunteering

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that volunteering is one of the most life-enriching hobbies out there. Volunteering is one of our most popular hobbies for this very reason. Not only does it allow you to help others, but millions of volunteers have found that they gain tremendous personal benefits from their work as well.

If you’re considering volunteering for the first time or are hoping to renew your commitment to an organization, stay tuned for the full volunteer guide, which will cover everything from overseas work to starting your own organization.

This article covers the basic question most beginners ask themselves:

What kind of volunteer work should I do?

The answer, of course, is deeply personal. When deciding on what type of volunteer work to commit to, you must be honest about the answers to 3 important questions.

The 3 Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Volunteering:

  • What are my interests?
  • How much time do I have?
  • What are my skills?

All three of these questions are extremely important. I suggest getting out a piece of paper and jotting down some of your interests, time-restraints, and skills.

This is what my lists looked like:

What are my interests?

  • Reading
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Running, hiking with the dansko shoes.
  • Children’s issues

How much time do I have?

  • Very busy during the week
  • Somewhat available on weekends
  • Very available during the summer months

What are my skills?

  • Writing
  • Computer skills
  • Tutoring experience

Based on my interests, I decided to volunteer at a shelter for children where I was free to garden, cook, and write as much as I pleased. Oh yeah–and it was during the summer months only.

If you need a little extra help, there are also great online sites such as Volunteer Match, which allow you to search for–you guessed it–volunteer matches based on your location and interests.

After deciding on the type of volunteer work you want to do, call or email the head of the organization to get a better feel for their mission as well as what they want you to do. Have a list of questions ready and be prepared for any questions they might ask about your interests or experiences.

Stay tuned for the next article in the series, “Volunteering Overseas”

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