Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Volunteering: What to ask before you commit

Maybe you're interested in volunteering, and have even chosen a few organizations you would like to contact, but aren't sure exactly what to say to them. Here's a helpful guide of questions to ask when you contact the group:
  1. What do volunteers do with your non-profit?
  2. How many hours a week do typical volunteers give to the group? Is this an ongoing opportunity?
  3. What is the age range of other volunteers or employees, and recipients of the aid?
  4. Are you a 501c3 certified non-profit?
  5. Will I be expected to solicit donations?
  6. Is there a training session I should attend or reading material I should review?
  7. Do I need any special equipment or skills? Do I need to wear any special clothing?
  8. How can I get there? Is there parking?
  9. Should I arrive early my first time?
  10. Do I need lunch or a meal?
Remember, employees of non-profits are almost always doing 10,000 things at once, and/or may be volunteers themselves, so be persistent. If you email and don't hear anything, call and leave a message. Always make sure to follow-up, even if you don't think it will be a good fit for you.

These questions (and the answers you receive) should give you a good gauge as to whether the non-profit is a good fit for you. So - armed with these tips, you should be good to go! I'll see you out there...

A family staying with Christopher's Haven

Related Posts: International volunteering for teens; What makes you want to volunteer?; Sock monkeys for charity; How to be happier; Who is happier?

No comments: