What is your reason?
Volunteering is a huge topic, there are literally hundreds of different project types, and twice as many different organisation to choose from. Everyone volunteers for a different reason. Some people choose to volunteer to gain work experience, meet new people and to visit different parts of the world. Some volunteer to develop themselves as a person, complete a personal challenge, help bring change to a community and to provide sustainable aid to an area that is affected by poverty. There are thousands of reasons as to why someone would choose to volunteer.
- Write down your reasons for wanting to volunteer.
What type of personality do you have?
There is also a lot of different types of people who choose to volunteer, some who are highly confident, need no or little support and want to get involved with a project straight away whilst other people might need some more support. Showing them an opportunity just isn’t enough and they need to know answers to everything. Some people might be very nervous about getting involved with a volunteering project and worried or even scared about what they are getting involved with.
Write down the following answers:
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How do you feel at the thought of being overseas for 6-12 weeks?
- Are you normally confident or shy?
Is there a specific location you would like to travel to?
Like I mentioned earlier, a big reason for a lot of people volunteering is the ability to travel to a new country and experience the culture. Whether you want to stay in your home country, there are plenty of local organisations who operate cross country so you are able to visit different places that you haven’t been able to, at the same time, should you decide to venture to different parts of the world, then volunteering is a great way to do so. A great number of people choose to volunteer on a gap year, if you are planning on doing something similar, you’d be interested in looking at Gap Year Inspiration.
- Write down your top 5 places you would like to travel to.
- Write down your top 5 places you would like to volunteer in.
If you have any matches from your two answers, then you have a great idea as to where you are travelling to next.
What type of project would you like to get involved with?
So you’ve now got some form of action plan to your volunteering experience. You’ve worked out why you would like to volunteer, how you would feel on a volunteering project & where you would like to spend your time volunteering. The next question you need to ask yourself is what type of project you would like to get involved with.
There are plenty of different options to choose from. Are you an expert in the medicine field or do you have a knowledge of sports coaching? Do you spend time at home empowering women and young people to stand up for themselves or do you volunteer to tackle homelessness locally?
- Write down your hobbies and interests.
- Write down what project you think you would like to involve yourself with.
- Be specific with what you write down.
How are you going to fund your project?
Unless you are volunteering with a government funded project, a lot of the time, you will have to fund the project yourself. Are you able to save up for the project or would you be looking at fundraising the allocated amount? Have you got enough time to take off at work? Are you leaving yourself in the clear for when you return or are you planning on travelling for an extended amount of time after the project?
- Write down how much you think it will cost you.
- Write how you think you will be able to fund it.
- Mention the idea to the people you know at home (Boss, family & friends)
- Write down the possible methods of raising the funds if required.
- Write a backup plan for when you return from your project in case you aren’t able to continue your employment.
If you have completed the tasks and answered the questions, you should hopefully have some idea as to what project you would like to take part in, how long you will be willing to volunteer for and the organisation you would like to partner with.
If you have any questions, would like some advice or just want to speak about the different options available to you, please post your comment below or fill out the form on the Contact me page.
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