May 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts May 2002 Current Issue
May 2002

How to Start Volunteering

imageDonating your time and expertise to a worthy cause can be rewarding, but the process of finding the right outlet and making an initial commitment can be intimidating. Independent Sector ( offers these tips.

RESEARCH THE CAUSE. Find a group that works on an issue dear to your heart. Consider the organizations to which you donate money.

DRAW ON YOUR SKILLS. Look for volunteer work where you can actively use your skills. It might be a something you are familiar with from your job or a hobby you indulge in.

DON’T OVERCOMMIT. Start slowly and then build your involvement to a comfortable level that allows for personal time.

BE PREPARED TO INTERVIEW. While most organizations are eager for help, some are understandably cautious. Groups that provide services to children and other at-risk groups might require potential volunteers to be formally screened, as if applying for a job. Don’t be deterred; agreeing to an interview proves you are committed to the cause.


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