The benefits of volunteering

It really is okay to ask, “What’s in it for me?”

Volunteering can be far more than simply doing a good deed.

In fact, volunteering at True Friends can be a great way to develop skills, learn more about career options, make friends, garner new professional contacts, get exercise, spend time outdoors/with animals/with kids & adults, or even just shake up your routine. We have many opportunities available year-round in areas working with clients, working alongside our executive team or even completing college internship requirements.

Volunteers rarely speak of the benefits of volunteering to themselves — maybe it feels a bit too self-centered, or too far from the altruistic vision of the selfless volunteer. But who says that doing good and enjoying yourself while meeting your own personal/professional goals can’t happen at the same time?

Part of finding the right volunteer opportunity is being honest about what you hope to learn and accomplish.

If in the process of meeting your personal and professional goals, you are also serving as an effective volunteer, helping to meet the goals of your particular volunteer project or role, and/or helping to move an organization’s mission forward, it’s a win-win situation.

Personal and professional benefits of volunteering

With that in mind, here are some of the personal and professional benefits one can gain from volunteering with True Friends:

Skill development

Always wanted to learn about human services or sustainable business methods? Have experience creating public relations materials and would like to try using them as an advocacy tool for a nonprofit? Volunteering helps you learn new skills, keep skills sharp, or use existing skills in new ways.

Career exploration

Regardless of your age or career level, volunteering will introduce you to new professional paths.

Volunteering can be an excellent way to learn more about a particular role or sector, workplace or office culture, or cause.

Also, never underestimate the power of networking; True Friends volunteering offers the opportunity to cross paths—as well as, in many cases, quickly bond—with people from across your community, including many with whom you may otherwise not have had contact.

Personal growth

True Friends’ Volunteer Services offers lifelong learning including hands-on experiences as a volunteer which can teach you about causes ranging from physical disabilities to public health to challenges and joys experienced in non-profit organizations in today’s climate.

Need a break from your day-to-day life? Recharge by playing basketball with kids, or assisting with a one-time or on-going fundraising event. Need to work off some energy? Consider some of the more hands-on roles like helping in a cabin, leading a program activity or clearing downed trees and over grown bushes.

Lastly, don’t forget that sometimes it just feels good to be valued; our volunteers contribute unique skills, experiences, and perspectives. For example, you might be a retried bookkeeper, or someone who is great at leveraging social media as a recruitment tool, and we want to leverage your skills and help you build more.

Socialize & Have an impact

In addition to professional networking, volunteering can be a fun, meaningful way to make new friends. New to the community? Looking to branch out socially? Simply looking for something to do with new people? Volunteer and get to know others who care about the same cause as you do and together have a real and lasting impact on the world.

Thank you and credit to the Volunteer Resource Center of Idealist for assisting with the creation of the above material and linked resources.