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Committing to volunteer can end up being the equivalent of a part time job! It can be quite the commitment in addition to your “real job.” As you are doing your research, remember to sign up for a cause you’re passionate about, be realistic about the time commitment you are willing to dedicate to the cause, and research the organization before you sign yourself up. As you’re looking, put forth the same amount of effort into looking for a volunteer position as you would a part time job. A good volunteer posting should include:
As you begin your search, keep in mind organizations for which you have been associated with in the past at one point or another. Maybe you participated in a youth organization’s sports league as a child or volunteered at a soup kitchen in college. Can you take that involvement to the next level by volunteering to serve on their board of directors? Serving on a board doesn’t just mean giving financially, but also becoming involved in program development, community relations and networking with likeminded professionals.
As an account executive who serves board members for a living, it is always obvious when I am working with volunteer board members who have bought into the cause by doing their homework on the organization, have a history and passion with the organization, and have the right amount of time set aside each month to focus on the mission of the association.
Good luck finding a volunteer project in which you feel at home!
Ashley is SOS - Association Management Solutions’ newest staff members with 16 years experience in the nonprofit industry. She recently graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies, concentrating in Sociology and Nonprofit Administration. Ashley worked in youth programs for over fifteen years and specializes in event planning, coordinating and motivating volunteers, developing training programs and collaborative leadership initiatives. Ashley is an Arizona native who enjoys cooking, creating and baking as well as yoga and being outdoors in the Arizona sunshine in her spare time.
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Click here to read Sarah Hipolito's post, "Switching gears: How I found my place in volunteering."