- Use volunteer time as an opportunity to explore career options, gain training and professional development. Volunteering is a great way to experience first-hand what a potential position in a particular career field could be like.
- Contact different organizations. Look for one-time events or long-term commitments. Don’t feel limited. Complete the Volunteer Opportunities Form to be referred to several organizations that meet your interests and talents. Visit our Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities Calendar for one-time events.
- Think outside the box! Research the causes or issues that are important to you. Look for a group that deals with issues about which you feel strongly.
- Utilize your skills. Whatever you are good at – computers, working with youth, environmental work – can be put to good use with nonprofits and local agencies. Similarly, you may want to think about your specific personality and how your organization skills or communication style might fit with different organizations or activities.
- Commit to a project, but don’t over-commit yourself. Make sure you come through as a dependable volunteer. Find the volunteer activity that fits your schedule.
- Meet new people! Volunteering provides a great atmosphere to meet people with similar interests.
- Ask your friends to help. Studies show that the number one reason that people volunteer is because they were asked. So go ask someone to volunteer with you and make a difference together.
- Serve with your campus clubs, fraternities, sororities, community groups, dorm-mates, or church. If there is nothing planned yet, it may be fun to organize an activity or fundraiser together.
- Participate in a one-day sponsored service event through the Volunteer Resource Center.
- Join Alternative Breaks as a participant or site leader. Learn about social & environmental justice issues faced by members of diverse communities through education, direct service, and reflection.
- Don't assume that your volunteer service has to be directly related to your major.
- Don’t give up! If you find that your volunteering experience is not all that you expected, look for other options or ideas to make it better.
(Adapted from “Volunteering in America: State Trends and Rankings”)
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