One of the most common misconceptions about volunteering is that there are not many people willing to give their time and effort to a worthy cause. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), more than 62 million people volunteered in the U.S. in 2016, giving 7.8 billion of their hours to help generate more than $1.8 billion in services.
Here are seven common myths about volunteering, debunked!
- Myth #1: You don’t need any qualifications or skills to volunteer. While you might not require extensive experience, most volunteer opportunities need people who have a particular skill set or affinity.
- Myth #2: You know the needs of the community. Learning new things and meeting people from various walks of life can enrich your outlook.
- Myth #3: You can only volunteer if you are a student or a fresh graduate. Data from the CNCS shows that in 2015, 19.2 million volunteers were baby boomers, 4.8 million were veterans, 11 million were 65+, and 19.9 million were Generation Xers.
- Myth #4: You can’t afford to have the time off work. Volunteering doesn’t have to happen during standard work hours.. You can offer your service on weekends or evenings. If you work for a company, check and see if they offer paid volunteer time off (VTO).
- Myth #5: You don’t need to work hard because you are just there to help. You’re not helping if you are unreliable or inconsistent in your service.
- Myth #6: You will change the world. Doing your part in helping the world become a better place is admirable, but you have to be realistic. You may not immediately see the results of your actions.
- Myth #7: You have to be selfless to volunteer. You can’t abandon yourself. Doing so doesn’t make you selfish. When you enjoy helping good causes, you feel happier and healthier.
Read the full article about myths of volunteering by Basil Sadiq at Volunteer Match.
Volunteering is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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If you are ready to take action and invest in causes for Volunteering, check out these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects related to Volunteering.