A lot of us want to find ways to give back to our community! A nice way to give back as in individual, group or as a company is by volunteering! Donating your time to a charity can be a one time a year event, or you can work with the organization you select to see if there is a project or more long term need that you could be part of it. For all of the animal lovers out there, there are a lot of possibilities that you can donate your time and make a real difference at a local shelter. Before taking the plunge, there a few things you should ask yourself to make sure you are repaired for the commitment.
1st Plan ahead: Volunteering is a great thing to do, but you need to make certain the organization you want to assist has the staffing available to accommodate you. Showing up the day you want to volunteer is not recommended, as there is a lot of daily requirements the staff needs to attend to. Depending on what you want to do, training might be required so the earlier you contact the shelter before just walking in.
2nd Have an open mind: If you have volunteer experience, you might have knowledge on how certain things or projects should be completed. When starting a project with a different organization, be open to how they manage their operations. There is a chance you might learn a new way of doing things!
3rd Be Flexible: Remember the point of volunteering is giving back. There may be times that what you planned on doing is changed, rescheduled or overall canceled due to an emergency situation or a staff change. This can be disappointing, but do not let it bring you down. Remember that you are committed to giving back!
4th Commitment: Once you have a date and task selected making sure you are ready to devote the time required for the project you committed to complete. Committing to volunteering is a pledge, and if you are not certain if you have the time available to devote, it is worth rethinking if this is the right time to give back.
5th Spread the word: If you volunteered and had a great time make sure to tell other people about your experience. In the event your involvement was not very pleasant, this is an opportunity to let the establishment know there might be room for improvement. Let the organization know by a follow up phone call or letter. Try to be pleasant, and frame your feedback in a respectful way. All feedback is appreciated and allows for growth and improvement.
Giving back to the community is a great thing way to make a difference. Many establishments are able to operate do to the generosity of people, and businesses, volunteering their time to their cause. If you are interested in volunteering at your local shelter, check out their website or contact them directly to discuss your interest and availability. I hope the tips above provide some guidance on how to be a great, efficient and devoted volunteer.