Top Tips to Become a Great Volunteer
Are you looking to volunteer, or do you already participate? Giving service is the core ot healthy communities both home and abroad. If you are wondering how you can be a good volunteer, or improve your skills check out our top 10 tips on how to be a great volunteer...
1. Choose the Right Project/Organisation
It is important you enjoy what you are doing and find it worthwhile, the happier you are the better the experience will be. You should reseach the work the organisation does, check their website and view feedback on websites like Facebook. Does their aims match yours? Does it sound like something you would like to be involved with?
- Wildlife Conservation Programs
- Building and Construction Volunteer Projects
- Volunteer with Children
- Orphanage Volunteer Programs
- Community Development Projects
- Conservation and Enviornmental Projects
- Marine Conservation Volunteering
- Healthcare Volunteer Programs
- Volunteer with Refugees
- Summer Volunteer Abroad
2. Carefully Pick Where to Participate
Maybe if the idea of volunteering abroad appeals, but you don't have the time, why not consider applying locally to where you live? Or if you do want to go overseas make sure you choose a destination that appeals to you. Search projects by continent here:
- Volunteer Africa
- Volunteer Asia
- Volunteer North America
- Volunteer Central America
- Volunteer South America
- Volunteer Europe
- Volunteer Oceania
3. Actually Turn Up
A lot of people who sign up to volunteer either locally or internationally sometimes do not actually start. Some people get other commitments like employment offers or after thinking about it, decide it might not be for them. If you have reservations, or you don't think you have the time, discuss this with the organisation. At least give it a go to see if it is right for you. Even if you think you lack the skills or experience to make a difference you will be able to help.
4. Be Willing to Learn
You will find some staff will have probably worked for a long time and will have lots of advice and information to help you learn and develop your role. People can really help you improve and enhance your knowledge, both with the specific projects and more wider issues. Working in teams is also a great way to form bonds and work together for a more a successful project. You should also give your opinion if you see any improvements - don't be affraid to ask questions and give advice - this will be beneficial to the organisation.
5. Be Flexible
Be willing to do anything and be open to working different hours and be open minded to what is asked of you even if you think it might be boring/not that meaningful. Even if you think something might seem boring or not interesting, give it a go, you might enjoy it.
6. Dress Appriopriately
Assess what you will be doing and try to get the right balance. If you are going to do a community volunteer program do you really need a suit? You really want to blend in and also be comfortable.
7. Give a Long Term Commitment
Volunteering long term is beneficial to you and the organisation. It can take time to train you for the role, and also for you to adapt to what is expected of you. Joining for a short period can have a detrimental effect because it won't allow you to make a worthwhile contribution whilst the organisation will also suffer due to loss of time/effort.
8. Recommend to Friends/Family
You don't need to volunteer solo, you could apply with friends and family and then have someone to share the experience with! Or after participating you might want to inspire others to give back and do something similar which has a long term positive effect for volunteering organisations who sometimes struggle to recruit new participants throughout the year.