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Finding the Right Fit for Volunteering

Finding the Right Fit for Volunteering

So, you want to get involved in your community and make a difference, but you’re not quite sure where to start. There are plenty of causes you care about and important nonprofits that are working to change the world, but how can you find the right one for you? 

While it might seem simple, choosing a nonprofit organization to volunteer with can actually be a very challenging decision. There are so many options to choose from, it might become overwhelming. Even if you care about a cause, how can you ensure you’re a good fit for the position? Here are some ideas to help you find the right fit for volunteering.

Find your passion.
The first—and most important—step to finding your fit for volunteering is to make sure it’s something you’re passionate about. There are a variety of worthy causes out there, but if you work with something you don’t genuinely care about, then you will waste both yours and the charity’s time. Make a list of groups, causes and issues that elicit a strong emotional response in you. For instance, perhaps you care a lot about the elderly because you were very close with your grandmother. Or, you love donating blood because you have a rare blood type. Write down the things you care about to evaluate your passions.

Consider your skills.
Next, consider what skills you have to offer in a volunteer position. Just because you have a passion for the cause doesn’t necessarily mean you would work well there. Nonprofit organizations want volunteers at their best, so evaluate what you’re good at and how you could use that in a volunteer role. For example, maybe you don’t love working with people, but you’re great with numbers, so you could help with financial services. Or, maybe you’re great at projects around the house, and could offer free services to fix up their building. Whatever your strengths are, you can leverage them to support a cause you care about.

Ask around.
Once you’ve identified what you love and what you’re good at, it’s time to investigate charities to work with. Of course, where’s the easiest place to start? With your family and friends! Ask the people around in your life to see if they know any nonprofits with valuable causes who could use an extra set of hands. If you’re still not sure, question those closest to you where they could see you volunteering. Sometimes an outside perspective is the best one we can gain on our lives, so ask where your loved ones think you should volunteer.

Search online.
There are a variety of online databases available for people interested in volunteering. Sites like VolunteerMatch, Idealist and HandsOn Network all have networks of organizations in need and volunteer positions available. Simply go to the site, type in your location and what you’re interested in, and surprise! You have a complete list of nonprofits in your area looking for volunteers like you. Give it a try to start you off on the right foot as you continue to pursue a valuable volunteer match.

Start small.
When you have connected with a charity, be sure to start small. You might not want to dive in right away. Instead, it’s perfectly fine to take some time to get your feet wet. Volunteer when and where you can, and see how you enjoy working with the organization. Once you feel more comfortable or confident in volunteering, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to get more involved. And of course, always be sure to organize your time well and avoid volunteer burnout.

Finding a cause to volunteer with can be a challenging decision. Between all of the available organizations and opportunities, how can you choose? Keep these tips in mind as you explore the nonprofit arena and search for your right fit for volunteering.

Our Impact in 2018

January 1-December 31
  • CAPSA is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving Cache County and the Bear Lake area.

  • YCC Family Crisis Center is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center provide services 24/7 to victims and their children.

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office incorporated in 1976 committed to making equal justice a reality by providing free legal help in non-criminal cases to low-income Utahns.

  • South Valley Services is a domestic violence service provider in West Jordan, Utah. We provide safe shelter and supportive services to women, men and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

  • Today, the YWCA is Utah’s most comprehensive provider of family violence services; our programs include walk-in services and a crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing, children’s programs, and a vast array of supportive services.

  • Established in 1990, Seekhaven assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.

  • Peace House is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse through education, outreach, support services, and safe housing.

  • New Hope Crisis Center has been serving Box Elder County for 30 years. Our mission is to provide all-inclusive, integrated, victim-centered services to stabilize and support individuals, families, and our community.

  • Founded in 1984, The Center for Women and Children in Crisis has been in continuous operation for 33 years. Our mission is to provide a caring, advocating, safe, and educationally based environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • Our organization advocates for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless. Serving people in Sevier, Piute, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties of Utah.

  • The DOVE Center is the only area agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention, and prevention for clients who have been victimized by violence in their home – whether by a family member or cohabitant – that also serves victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • Founded in 1922, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, stability and self-sufficiency for low income families and individuals, as well as victims of domestic violence, through effective, efficient legal advocacy and assistance.

  • Canyon Creek Services provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

  • Valley Behavioral Health is a nonprofit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral conditions, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism and other chronic health conditions. We treat chronic lifelong conditions as well as temporary conditions triggered by traumatic life events. Our programs are tailored to people of all ages and every social, cultural and economic situation.

  • Preserve the heritage. Enhance the wellbeing. Strengthen the future of the People.

  • Our Mission: To bring hope, justice, and healing to victims of domestic violence murder by providing holistic non-profit legal representation in the civil, probate and family courts.

  • At Amethyst Center for Healing we are dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities recover from trauma and abuse, so that we may all live peaceful, empowered lives.

  • Safe Harbor, a non-profit organization, provides shelter, supportive services and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as education, awareness and resources to our community.

© 2019 Utah Domestic Violence Coalition

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