Over the last two weeks I’ve been talking about all of the great reasons to volunteer, or why I volunteer and think you should too! This week I want to give you a few things to think about when you are deciding to volunteer, some common misconceptions about volunteering.
- Just showing up isn’t enough- The workings of a non-profit can be intricate, no matter the size of the organization. Don’t expect to be doing the same thing everyday, expect to learn the ins and outs of your organization over time and by paying attention.
- The volunteer isn’t a priority to the other staff members- This is the furthest thing from the truth. An organization that is looking for volunteers is doing that because they have a need; one they are hoping you will fill. When you make a commitment to volunteer you are expected to be there, counted on, and appreciated.
- The training offered by your organization will cover everything you need to know- While training offered to volunteers is highly effective, well put together, and thorough nothing can prepare someone for EVERY situation. Keep calm and professional, be knowledgeable of who you can contact if a situation is beyond your skill set, and be ready for anything.
- You will be doing something you love every time you walk in the door- Don’t I wish! I’d like to tell you that everyday has been exciting, challenging and leaves me feeling like I really made a difference; but really, do you think I felt like I made a difference the 738th time I entered phone call data into the data system? Um, nope. BUT! It gave one of the ladies in the office a chance to work on more pressing matters and therefore-TOTALLY WORTH MY TIME, I made a difference.
So with the above, pick a cause you are passionate about, find an organization that you want to give time to, and feel prepared with realistic expectations!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Interested in Volunteering at RCASA?