How to Find a Charity You’re Passionate About
People volunteer because they want to help others, and also because it makes them feel good. There’s nothing selfish about deriving pleasure from volunteer work; while your main motivation should be to provide a helpful service, there’s nothing that says you can’t have fun while doing it! But with so many charities out there to choose from, how is one supposed to know which one will give them the most joy and feel the most meaningful?
All it really takes to find a cause you care about is some time and research on your part. If you stop and take the time to ask yourself some deep questions and then do your research to connect yourself with whatever cause you’d like to support, finding a charity you’re passionate about is totally within reach. There’s always a need to fill in the nonprofit sector, so whatever cause you’d like to get behind could use your services. Here are the steps you should take to get started.
Identify your passion
The very first thing you should do, before even exploring what’s in your area, is ask yourself what you care about. This will dictate how you conduct your search. Do you love animals? Then maybe you’d like to volunteer at an animal shelter or veterinary office. Do you love children? Then you could look into summer camps, hospitals, preschools and daycares, tutoring, and programs that will allow you to serve as mentor like Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Find your passion and then go from there.
Evaluate your skills
Many nonprofits are also in need of your skills in addition to your service. Skills-based or pro-bono volunteering is highly valued, and it’s also great for your professional development. Make a list of your skills or work with your place of employment to find a local nonprofit that could be in need of your services. By applying what you already know how to do, you will allow the organization you are partnering with to get the most benefits out of your time.
Do your research
Next, once you’ve identified where your passions and skills lay, do a simple internet search to find opportunities in your area. Pretty much whatever cause you want to support should have some way for you to get involved in your area. Luckily, websites like VolunteerMatch make it easier for people to find causes in their areas. Their mission is to “bring good people and good causes together.”
Once you find your local chapter of the cause you want to support, reach out to the organization directly to find out how you can help. If the website has a contact form, fill it out, or send an email. If they provide a number, call it so that you can speak to someone and find out right away how you can fill their needs.
Get out there!
The final step in finding a charity you’re passionate about is the easiest and most fun. Now that you’ve done all the hard work of finding the charity, all that remains to be done is getting out there and volunteering. If you’ve done your job right, then you should feel enlightened and invigorated by it.