Volunteering can be a fun, exciting new adventure! But you may have some questions before you begin…
- Why Volunteer?
- What does a Volunteer Look Like?
- Where Can I Look to Volunteer Outside Sonoma County?
- How Much Volunteering Happens In Sonoma County?
Volunteering adds your effort to the work of others making everyone’s lives better and builds on the strength of our community. It also is a great opportunity for you to experience something new.
Below are some examples of why people volunteer:
- Share a skill
- Feel needed
- Get to know a community
- Demonstrate commitment to a cause or belief
- Do your civic duty
- Gain leadership skills
- Keep busy
- Help someone
- Do something different from your usual routine
- Have fun
- Meet new people
- Learn something new
- Build your resume
- Have an impact
- Explore a career
- Be challenged
- Be useful
- Earn academic credit
- Keep skills active
- Be part of a team
- Be an agent of change
- Be a watchdog
- For religious reasons
- Because of personal experience with the problem, illness or cause
- To have an excuse to do what you love
- Because you were asked
You probably have some special reasons of your own, or you may discover another gift that comes from volunteering!
What does a volunteer look like?
Just like in a job, volunteers must follow some important guidelines while completing their responsibilities. Below are some tips to follow when volunteering to make sure you have an enjoyable experience:
Be prepared! Make sure you know ahead of time what you are expected to bring and how you need to appear. Whether it’s working in the office or out in a field, be prepared!
Ask questions. When talking about the volunteer opportunity and getting trained onsite, ask many questions because it lets the agency know you are informed and helps you feel more confident.
Sign up to volunteer when you’re available. Be honest with yourself and the agency about your availability. There’s no joy for anyone in having no shows.
While volunteering, be excited! There’s nothing like a bored volunteer and that’s why it’s important that you find the right opportunity that you’ll enjoy. The agency won’t benefit from an unhappy volunteer and neither will you.
Take the initiative! Nonprofit agencies are seeing more and more need in the community. Help them out by taking the initiative and helping out where you can. Volunteer to do something you can and want to do and that addresses a need that the agency will be so happy to see you handle.
Where can I go for volunteering outside of Sonoma County?
If you are looking to volunteer outside of our local community, check out these great websites:
Making a Difference Through Volunteering and Accessing Your Fit?
Here are some interesting facts about volunteerism in Sonoma County:
There is a core group of 500-800 nonprofit organizations in Sonoma County and over 1500 organizations that qualify for tax exemption.
For large cities, Santa Rosa has the highest percentage of volunteerism in California.
Over 30% of Sonoma County residents volunteer each year, and that’s more than the national average of the United States.