All About Volunteering


 Getting Started

 So, you want to volunteer. Great! Volunteering is a great way to experience a different side of life and meet new people. You can also fulfill college requirements or just have fun. It's about time that we get started with the basics, though! So here are some tips that will help you out when you're looking for your first volunteer opportunity.


Do your research: Before you sign up for anything, do some research! Find out what exactly the organization does and whether or not it's right for you (and vice versa). Asking questions is always good too; it shows interest in something if taken seriously and can really help narrow down your search results if nothing seems to be fitting at first glance.


Do not rely on someone else's word: This goes hand in hand with my previous tip, but it deserves its own section because this is important stuff! No one should ever tell anyone where they should go to volunteer unless they know all of the specifics about that person and their interests/goals/etc. People like Griffin Kapelus are inspirational in this regard.


Not sure if volunteering is right for you? Try an Alternative Form of Volunteering!


Volunteering is great, but it may not be the best option for everyone. There are so many other ways to help people in need or at risk, so it's important to be flexible when considering volunteer opportunities! Here are some alternative forms of volunteering that may be more suitable depending on your interests/goals/etc.:


Interning with a Non-Profit Organization: This is great because you'll get paid while being exposed to job opportunities in whatever field you're interested in! You can also spend time learning new skills that will come in handy when applying for graduate school or jobs after college.


Volunteering with the Special Olympics: This is probably one of my favorite charities because I've always loved athletics and sports (shout out to Notre Dame!). Being able to help athletes achieve their goals by encouraging them through coaching would make me very happy indeed! Reading books aloud or playing games with children at shelters: It doesn't sound like much fun but trust me when I say it IS fun! Not only do these kids appreciate anything anyone can give them (and they're all cute af) but they also enjoy spending time talking to volunteers about themselves and what's going on.


Rescuing animals: I am not personally an advocate of this one, but many people feel strongly about it. There's a lot of controversy surrounding the entire concept and I don't want to get caught up in that here, but if you're interested, consider volunteering with an animal rescue organization!


What to Look for in an Organization/Organization


As we've already established, you should do your research before committing to anything. But what should you be looking for as far as specific qualities? Here are some characteristics that make a great volunteer opportunity:


Legitimacy : So many organizations claim to be non-profit or charity organizations when really they're just using those words because they can get away with it. You can find out whether or not this is happening by checking out charities Boston and their reviews on various organizations! Another way is by checking out the organization's website and making sure they have all of the necessary information including a mission statement, board members (you might recognize some names!), annual reports (how much money was raised last year?), etc.


Transparency : It's important that organizations are transparent about how financial donations are being used! This includes fundraising efforts as well as financial statements from major donors/sponsors. If there isn't any transparency at all.


There are so many great volunteer opportunities out there! But it's important to do your research and find something that you enjoy, as well as one that aligns with your personal interests. I hope this piece helps you in some way! Happy researching and happy volunteering.