Volunteering is about choosing to give your time, energy and skills to something that matters to you. Whether you’re supporting a cause you believe in or helping out your community, when you volunteer you make the choice to make a difference.
Even better, by donating your time, energy, and skills you not only improve the lives of others and contribute to your community, you also improve yourself.
There are hundreds of reasons to volunteer. That’s far more than we have space for here so we’ve picked 8. Do you have more? Let us know why you volunteer on our Facebook page.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Volunteering is the perfect way to discover something you are good at doing or develop new skills in an area you already enjoy. It’s never too late to gain new skills and there is no reason why you should stop learning just because you’ve finished school or are working. For example, planning and implementing a fundraising event can help you develop planning, organizational and budgeting skills. By supervising and teaching other volunteers, you can develop excellent training, management and interpersonal skills. People often associate developing skills with looking for employment, but volunteering extends beyond just practical resume building. Somebody who is painting a mural or making banners for International Volunteer Day could discover a love and talent for painting or graphic arts. Explore your love for music and learn to DJ for the local youth club discos. There is no limit to the extraordinary ways you can contribute…so get creative!
No man or woman is an island. It’s easy to take the great community that we live in for granted. People and societies depend on each other for survival. Communities are a beautiful but complex mix of different values, experiences, beliefs, histories, cultures, ideas and identities. Volunteering helps us to forge links among individuals and groups in our communities that overcome differences and enrich our day-to-day life. Volunteering is ultimately about helping others and having a positive impact on the well-being of others. What better way is there to connect with your community than to give a little back? When you contribute our individual resources, skills, ideas and time, we all benefit. As a volunteer, you help build the society that you benefit from—everyone wins!
Volunteering is about giving your time, energy and skills for free. While much of your time may be spent doing things you have to—like working—volunteering is something you choose to do! There is something very liberating, empowering and satisfying about making a difference in your community in the way that best suits you! Since volunteers are motivated by a desire to help and fuelled by enthusiasm, they feel a strong sense of achievement. Sometimes volunteers are stereotyped as boring do-gooders but the truth is…what could be more interesting than someone who is passionate, involved, doing great things and creating positive change? Some people say that one person can’t make a difference…but Volunteer Wood Buffalo is an example of how “regular” people make our community better every day! It may be true that no one person can solve all the world’s problems, but what you can do is make your corner of the world a better place.
A survey carried out by TimeBank through Reed Executive showed that among 200 of the UK’s leading businesses
Also, if you are thinking of a career change then volunteering is a great way to explore new fields. If you have a passion for the arts but have a career in computing then why not volunteer at your local theatre? Or if your ambitions are to be a doctor why not find out about volunteer opportunities at your local hospital? Volunteering demonstrates to potential employers that you are genuinely interested and motivated. It shows that you can take initiative, and that you are committed and responsible. It is the ideal way to expand your work portfolio in your field and to gain insights into what working in your new career path would really be like.
Are you stuck in the rat race? Bored of the same old nine-to-five routine? Volunteering is an excellent way to escape the ordinary and add more balance to your life. Finding new interests and hobbies through volunteering can be fun, relaxing and energizing. Help run a youth radio station or website, or publish a charity newsletter. The energy and sense of fulfilment you receive from your volunteer work can carry over to a work situation. If you are doing something you enjoy on a regular basis you may find yourself less stressed, more inspired, more motivated to learn new things, and developing new perspectives on old issues. Even more exciting, a volunteer experience can lead you to learn something new about yourself such as discovering a new passion or strength. So get volunteering! You might just expand your horizons, strengthen your personal/professional mission and vision, and discover a new world of opportunities.
Volunteering is a brilliant way to gain valuable life experience. Whether you build a library or mail flyers to raise awareness for a local charity, you will experience the real world through hands-on work. For example, it is possible to volunteer in developing countries and see the direct impact of your actions on some of the most vulnerable people of the world. You could skydive for charity, a chance to experience the ultimate thrill and raise funds to help the charity continue its work.
Volunteering brings together a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Both the recipients of your volunteer efforts and your co-workers can be a rich source of inspiration and an excellent way to develop your interpersonal skills. Volunteering also offers an incredible networking opportunity. Not only will you develop lasting personal and professional relationships but it is also a great way to learn about people from all walks of life, different environments, and new industries. Networking is an exciting benefit of volunteering. You never know who you will meet, what you will learn and where your new relationships could take you.
Your friends, family, teachers, colleagues and other important people in your life are interested in who you are and what you do when you’re not with them. For example, your employer would be interested in the activities that give you a good work-life balance, or academic institutions are interested in your extra-curricular activities. Volunteering reflects a complete picture of you, and gives real examples of your commitment, dedication and interests. Show people what you are passionate about and maybe you will inspire them too!
Want to know more reasons why you should volunteer? Check out even more benefits here.