How To Volunteer As An Adult and Why You Should As A Millennial

How To Volunteer As An Adult and Why You Should As A Millennial

Let's talk about volunteering. Some people grow up with the spirit of giving back drilled into their blood, some do so in order to complete a required amount of hours, and some volunteer to develop a new skill or new found human relationships. There is no wrong reason to volunteer. Giving back to your community in any capacity is such a gift. 

I work for a local non-profit, so we see new volunteers almost on a daily basis. We also have our tried and true volunteers that have been coming in and will continue to come in for a variety of reasons. 

According to the National Chapter for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations are registered int he U.S. You know what I think that means? I think that means there are over 1.5 million opportunities for you to find a cause you are passionate about and offer your help. 

With the ease of Facebook fundraisers and everyone sharing donation buttons, volunteering gets pushed to the back of the mind. Yes, dollars are SO SO important and I would never discourage anyone to not donate to a cause. However, I do encourage you to reach out to the organization and ask if you can help them in any way as well as monetarily. 


How To Volunteer As An Adult and Why You Should As A Millennial

How do I find volunteer opportunities?

1. Volunteer Match

This is such a good platform to seek out volunteer opportunities. VolunteerMatch.org brings together people and causes with skill matching. You fill out a short survey about what causes are important to you (animals, kids, diseases, etc.), then you pick from a list of skills that you are capable of. By doing this, Volunteer Match will align your needs with a nonprofit in the area's needs and you can sign up for an opportunity right then and there! While you are seeking opportunities, nonprofits are posting opportunities so this website will filter through the plethora of options to find the positions that fit you best! Idealist.org is another really good platform. 


2. Get in touch digitally

Look up some nonprofits in your area. Good search criteria would include 'the cause you care about' nonprofits in 'area you are in.' So, an example would be "homeless youth nonprofits in the Las Vegas area." Look through a couple of websites and follow them on social media or subscribe to their emails. Every nonprofit is different but, usually, volunteer requests are sent out digital based on the upcoming needs. By signing up or following along you will have these opportunities delivered straight to your device.

3. Call a charity and let them know (Part 1 and Part 2)

It is not weird to call a nonprofit and let them know you are interested in volunteer opportunities. I want to squash this right now. Personally, the nonprofit I work for gets calls ALL OF THE TIME inquiring about opportunities. 

Part 1: Nonprofits do not always have opportunities right at the moment you call BUT they will add your name and number to a list to reach out to you when they do have an opportunity. 

Part 2: Volunteer your personal things. Let them know you have materials they can use. Generators, trucks, and bigger pieces of machinery are common to the community but don't quite make sense for a nonprofit to purchase. Let the charity know you have a piece of machinery on standby if they ever see a need to use it. 


4. Word of mouth

Nonprofits are just like businesses. If people have a good experience volunteering with them, they will let others know about their organization. Ask your friends, family, and coworkers where they volunteer. Ask them what their tasks were, how they liked it etc. Charities encourage you to bring a buddy when volunteering, so ask to tag along next time a friend goes to volunteer. 

How To Volunteer As An Adult and Why You Should As A Millennial

Why is it so important for millennials to volunteer?


Gone are the days where nonprofits run off of snail mail and paper pushing. Everything is kept in some sort of digital component. Of course, we will always need help with the typical envelope stuffing, booth staffing, and registration operations at events, but for the most part, people that are technologically savvy are sought out by SO many nonprofits.

Nonprofits NEED volunteers who are familiar with Microsft Excel, organizing digital files, and inputting information into their database systems. A lot of these tasks are time-consuming but SO easy if someone with the technical background would be willing to input their time. 

Basic knowledge of how a computer works and being able to maintain your cool when a formula doesn't work out the way it is supposed to is such a relief on the staff. The charity staff likes to have trust in their volunteers because if they have to be standing over a volunteer making sure they are doing something right, they might as well have done it themselves. 

Millennials have the knowledge and the upbringing with technology that they would thrive in these environments. I highly encourage you to reach out to a non-profit and at least let them know you have this skill set. 

A misconception about nonprofits is that nonprofits are still kicking it old school with cold calls, sending snail mail, and having everything on paper. Many think non-profits do not have all the fancy gadgets a corporation may be equipped with but they do grow with the times. Most of a charities registration, silent auction, folders/files, and giving platforms are all done in a digital capacity. They run like a business to the fullest extent their budget will allow. 


Work Perks!

Check with your HR department about volunteer hour benefits. Some companies will allow you a certain amount of hours to take time off of work and use that time to volunteer for an organization. Some will even donate a fixed amount back to the organization you volunteer with. Please talk to your community relations or HR department about how you can maximize your time with a charity.

P.S. Nonprofits usually offer up snacks while you are working, so at least you know there will be food.

I would be happy to discuss anything and everything related to getting involved with a nonprofit. I have my personal groups I donate to and I have the organization I work for that I know the ins and outs of. 





How To Volunteer As An Adult and Why You Should As A Millennial

8 comments

  1. Last November, I decided to volunteer with my local Big Brothers Bif Sisters organization and it was be the BEST decision I could have made. I was paired with such a selfless, caring, and kind little. In the few short months that we've adventured together, I have seen such an improvement in myself and her! I'm so glad to see such an amazing blog post about this!

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  2. I've been wanting to volunteer more recently!

    Briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

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  3. This is an amazing resource! I do regular beach clean ups locally by myself but I am lucky to live in a conscious community. I have been looking for other ways to volunteer in places that need more help so I will def be checking out the websites you mentioned!

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  4. This is such a great topic to blog about! It's something I don't think anyone is talking about, and this is a great reminder for us all to take action.

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  5. Thank you for writing this! My boyfriend works at a non-profit doing advocacy work and volunteers are SO crucial!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  6. I love this! It's so important to get involved and help where ever you can!

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  7. this is such a great post - i agree volunteering gets pushed back so easily with our busy lives, but it's so important!

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  8. This was such a good read! I used to volunteer a lot in High School and University, but sadly, since school I haven't very much.

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