Volunteering: How to show up

Over the past few months, I have volunteered more with my extra time. It has been a fulfilling and a learning experience at the same time. Here are a few things to remember.

1.      It is easy to get distracted. There are many volunteer opportunities, and it is easy to get distracted and want to volunteer for everything that appeals to you—instead, focus. Take your time and choose the opportunities that speak to you, your passions, and your strengths. 

2.      Do it, scared. Some vacancies need to be filled, where you may not have the experience—volunteer to do it anyway. If you have done it right, this is where mentorship, Standard Operating Procedures, and google come into play. You can accomplish anything with a little determination and help.

3.      Bring your ideas. Depending on what type of organization you are volunteering for, it is essential to show up with ideas on enhancing the organization or the program. Again, diversity of thought is essential.

4.      Show up. You’ll need to show up (online or in person) where you are needed and on time. It shows that you are dedicated and willing to put in the work. This is also important if the organization is in partnership with other organizations. You want to make sure you represent the organization positively.

5.      Communicate effectively. Communicating your intentions with the leaders and members of the organization you volunteer with is essential. It allows everyone to set their expectation management and can limit miscommunication and misunderstandings. Finally, ensure you respond to all emails, texts, meeting requests, etc., that apply to you. It allows the organization’s leaders and committee leads to plan adequately based on the available volunteers. 

6.      Set boundaries. You can’t be everywhere all the time. Don’t overtask or overwhelm yourself. Volunteering should not feel like an additional 9-5. Instead, it should positively enhance your mind, body, and soul. 

How do you show up for the organizations you as a volunteer?

Feel free to comment below.


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