Giving Compass' Take:

• Elysia Gabe, writing for VolunteerMatch, lists five steps to take when thinking about where and how to volunteer. 

• How can volunteers help each other with this process? What are some volunteer opportunities in your community?

• Read about the benefits and motivations of volunteers. 

Happy National Volunteer Month! It’s the time of year when organizations across the country take time to celebrate the dedicated volunteers serving their cause and inspire others to get involved.

For those new to the world of volunteering, this post provides simple step-by-step instructions on how to find an impactful volunteer opportunity that’s meaningful to you.

If you have no idea what you’re looking for, this vast array of options might be paralyzing — that’s what social scientists often call “the paradox of choice.”

Don’t let this stop you from taking action. We’ve broken down the process into five easy steps — from figuring out how you’re able to serve to what to expect on your first day volunteering.

  1. Reflect On What You Want To Do If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s going to be really hard to find! That’s why the first step to finding your volunteer match centers around self-reflection.
  2. Research What’s Available If you’re already familiar with organizations in your community that support causes you care about, start there. Find out what help they need right now, how people usually volunteer with them and what you can do to contribute.
  3. Reach Out To The Organization You Want To Work With Once you find a volunteer opportunity you’re interested, the next step is to reach out to the organization and let them know.
  4. Make Your Decision Now that you’re in touch with the organization and have learned more about the opportunity, it’s time to determine whether or not this position is the right one for you. Just like during a job search, an organization might be screening you, but you’re also screening them!
  5. Get Started! 

Read the full article about how to volunteer by Elysia Gabe at VolunteerMatch.