How to Become an Active Volunteer

The new school year is the perfect time to start giving back. Become an active volunteer by following these simple steps.

Find Your Passion.
Volunteering allows you to pursue your passions. If you think literacy is important, then volunteer at the community library. If you love working with children, then find an after-school program to donate your time. If you enjoy playing with dogs, then volunteer at an animal shelter. There’s an organization to fit almost every passion — you just need to decide what’s important to you.

Use Your Skills.
The next step is to assess the skills you can offer an organization. If you’re bilingual, then provide ESL lessons. If you’re a natural cook, then volunteer at a soup kitchen. If you’re good with numbers, then serve as the treasurer for an organization. Once you start volunteering, you’ll hone and develop your skills.

Start Somewhere.
If you still can’t decide where to volunteer, then search for national nonprofits that may be in your area. Visit and to narrow down your search.

Look at Your Schedule.
Even if you’re excited about volunteering, don’t stack your schedule. Assess when you work the best, whether that’s in the morning, afternoons, evenings, or weekends. Start with volunteering a few hours a week, and then graduate to more time.

Build a Community.
Once you start volunteering, you’ll be able to meet new people and make new friends. Your fellow volunteers are likely to have the same interests and passions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the other volunteers and build a foundation of friendship.


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