Volunteer Tips: Getting Started & Online Search

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Volunteer Tips: Getting Started & Online Search

By: Francisco Gallegos | Volunteer and Service Learning Assistant
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Finding a meaningful volunteer opportunity needs a little bit of preparation. Before starting your search make sure to answer these five questions:

  • Why do you want to volunteer? Make a list of the reasons why you want to volunteer. This self-reflection will keep you focused through your whole volunteer experience.
  • What is your passion? Identify a cause you feel strongly about. If you feel passionate for a particular issue, it will most likely be easier for you to commit to that cause.
  • What can you offer? Think about what you can offer in a volunteer position. Highlight your skills, your availability and any other qualities that you might find relevant to the volunteer position.
  • What you want to learn? List the skills or abilities that you want to learn from your volunteer experience. If you know what you want to achieve, it will be easier to choose a specific position or project.
  • Do you know the organization? Visit their website or talk to a staff member or volunteer. Spending some time researching different organizations will help you choose the best place for you to volunteer.

Now that you've done some self reflection and set your goals for the volunteer position, you've got to go out and find one! Searching for a volunteer position can sometimes be overwhelming but one of the best places to start is online. Below are some useful tips that will help you out with your search:

  • Your first stop: Go toSFU Volunteer Services to find out more about On Campus, Off Campus, and International Opportunities.
  • Search engines: TryGoVolunteer.ca,VolWeb.ca,CharityVillage.com, to name a few, for potential volunteer positions.
  • How to search: Try to narrow your search by organization type, duration, location, or type of opportunity.
  • Keywords: Think of some keywords to help you search, for example: Burnaby AND Seniors AND Fundraising.

Hopefully these tips will help get you started on finding your ideal volunteer position. Once you find one, why not tell us about it by emailing volunteer@sfu.ca. We look forward to hearing about it!

Posted on December 16, 2010