In a world where you can never have enough cash and high paying jobs are glorified, it is surprising to learn there are countless benefits for giving up your time and talents without the expectation of financial compensation. That giving comes in the form of volunteer work and it can be very beneficial to you and your company. Take a look at a few of the reasons why being a volunteer should be embraced by companies and individuals alike.
In addition to helping your community, volunteer work can enhance the reputation of your employer and ultimately help solidify your own job.
“I had no idea that being a volunteer teaching basic math to kids would be so much fun,” Desmond Miller beamed as he told us over lunch about his latest volunteer work activities. “I meet with a group of kids from a nearby elementary school who have low math scores. I go over the fundamental rules twice a week. It is a great change of pace for me and an outlet for my interest in education. They bring me their tests and homework assignments. I am happy to report that their grades have improved nearly 30 percent since they began working with me,” he added proudly.
Miller said there was an unexpected advantage as a result of his volunteer work efforts. “The parents of one student were very appreciative and impressed. They asked about my day job. When they learned about the home remodeling company I work for, they decided to contact our sales department for an estimate. Not only did we get the sale, we still get great referrals from this one project.
Miller’s manager wrote a special memo about his altruistic, volunteer work efforts and included it in his personnel file.
How to find your niche
Once you decide to investigate volunteer work, finding the best place to make a contribution can be easy if you are like Miller and have a clear understanding of your skills and interests. However, if you are not so sure, don’t be afraid to check out several possibilities and volunteer programs until you have located your niche. Most non-profit agencies are constantly on the lookout for people who want to help meet the objectives of their organization. Volunteermatch.org is a great place to start. You can search for opportunities by location or by area of interest.
Serve.gov is another comprehensive online source for those looking for a place to dig in and get involved. Got a fantastic idea for serving your particular community? This website also points the way for starting up your own unique projects. You can also start your own volunteer programs if you are feeling really ambitious.
Planting vegetables in a community garden, saving animals, repairing homes for the elderly, serving as a consultant for small business owners and reading to the blind are a few of the numerous ways to give voice to your passion and to enhance your volunteer work.
You may realize that the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals as a volunteer and helping to improve the quality of life on the planet while having fun is payment in itself!
Do you volunteer on top of your full-time job? Do you have your own volunteer programs? Is your company very big on volunteer work? Let us know about it in the comments section below!