A Gift More Valuable Than Money

Group of teenage friends gardening.

When volunteering – as with any form of philanthropy – research, evaluation and action plans are critical first steps.

Begin by assessing what you have to give. Do you love to read? Consider tutoring or recording for the visually impaired. Do you have down time between carpool runs? Drive a senior to the grocery store. Don’t feel you have a specific skill to share? Build networks. Bring others together for an event or rally friends for a cause.

Next, determine a time commitment you are comfortable with. Today anyone can find the opportunity to volunteer but, as with anything in life, striking the right balance between volunteering and your other commitments is key.

Just as the internet transformed the working world, it is providing innovative volunteer opportunities. You can volunteer to build your favorite nonprofits Facebook presence, edit its newsletter or handwrite thank you notes, all from home. Or bring a volunteer opportunity to your workplace. Most businesses put a high value on activities that provide teambuilding and networking opportunities for employees. Imagine the potential found in a first year analyst swinging a hammer next to the company CFO at a Habitat site!

An easy way to get started is to take stock of your skills and offer them to a nonprofit you are already funding. Still not sure where or how to begin? We are here to help you determine where your skills, passion and hobbies intersect with pressing community needs.