How to Volunteer in 2020
Lauren Janus – Good-Giving Planner
The Christmas leftovers are long gone, the fairy lights back in their boxes and winter has come to stay.
But before you succumb to the siren call of Netflix or your duvet to wait out the dark months, take a moment to pull out those New Year’s resolutions. Is one of your goals for 2020 to volunteer more in your community?
According to a You.gov poll, 6% of British people have resolved to do charity or other volunteer work in 2020. And it’s no wonder—volunteering is a valuable way to contribute to causes important to you, meet new people and even gain new skills.
But with so many options out there, where do you start?
- Decide what your schedule will allow. Most charities love committed, passionate volunteers. But you also need to be honest about what you can offer. The last thing you want to do is create more work for a charity by forcing them to work around your schedule. Think about your current time commitments and whether a regular volunteer role makes sense right now. If your schedule is too unpredictable, you might want to consider one-off volunteer opportunities or something less formal.
- Think about what you’d like to get from the experience. Do you want to meet new friends, fill out the resume or just feel like you’re contributing to the greater good? Volunteers who are clear about what they want out of the experience are more likely to feel empowered—rather than burdened—by their volunteer work.
- Start exploring your options. Once you know what kind of time commitment you can offer and what you’d like to get out of the volunteer experience, it’s time to do a bit of research. If you already know of a local charity you’d like to help, phone them up. Ask if they are looking for volunteers and whether you might be a good fit. Hospices, care homes, food banks and neighbourhood clean-up groups are great places to start.
If you’re looking for a more specific sort of role—maybe you’re a whiz at spreadsheets or are interested in mentoring a young person—there are national organisations that match keen volunteers to high quality opportunities.
Browse through some of the opportunities listed at Reach Volunteering to see if anything particularly excites you. Or phone up your local community foundation and ask if they know of local charities looking for your specific skills.
What’s most important is that you take that first step. The right volunteer role can bring a wealth of enjoyment and enrichment at any stage of life, and a new year is a brilliant time to see what’s out there.
As always, if you’d like to start a conversation about your charitable and good-giving plans, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren is not employed by Longhurst Limited. Lauren Janus owns Thoughtful Philanthropy Limited. Please click here for more information.
Longhurst Limited does not accept any legal or financial responsibility for the services Lauren Janus or Thoughtful Philanthropy Limited provides.
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