|1. Become Involved.|
The first, and most important thing about volunteering, is to become involved with an organization or event that you truly believe in, something that correlates with your particular values and beliefs. If you pick something that you love, you will make the time to do it, and, as a result, you will feel a sense of personal success.
|2. Choose a Cause.|
Once you have chosen the cause you want to be involved with, focus on identifying a specific organization associated with the cause. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Ask colleagues at your alumni association which organizations they are involved with. When you hear the same organization mentioned a couple of times, investigate further.
|3. Learn about the topic.|
Start reading magazines, articles, and other publications related to the type of organizations you are interested in becoming involved with. The more you know the better decision you will be able to make.
|4. Show Up.|
When you identify your target organization, the best thing to do is, show up, show up and show up. Show a commitment to the organization by attending a lot of functions, making friends and getting to know people.
|5. Do Something.|
After you have become involved, figure out how you can make a significant contribution to the organization i.e. accounting, newsletters, photography, fundraising etc. Take on one project, do a great job, and before you know it, your reputation will lead to future leadership opportunities.
|6. Host an event.|
Hosting an event is a great one-time project, even if it is just hosting a meeting at your home. Though it can take some work, hosting an event can reap great results, and be a lot of fun. Fundraisers are always exciting because you are raising money for something you believe in and you can invite friends and contacts that are not involved with your organization. You could even have the event catered or inquire if restaurants you frequent can donate food in support of your organization.
|7. Use Your Skills.|
Seek out opportunities to use the same set of skills you have developed through your life and career, to use in your volunteer work. Though you can be involved with the one-on-one side of volunteer work you can also approach volunteerism in other ways. While you may not have the time to tutor one child, you can present a class to teachers on how to use some form of technology and they can take the information back to their students. Your skills may best suit you to sitting on the boards of organizations, or keeping the books, or anything else along those lines.
|8. Bring your family along.|
If you are canvassing for a political candidate, painting houses, or feeding the homeless, do it as a family. If you sit on the board of an organization, see what they have going on for kids, make it a family activity. Community involvement is a great way for a family to spend time together.
|9. Volunteering is Fun.|
Do not think of volunteer work as simply another job- it should be something that you consider to be fun. Although it may cause stress at times, overall it should be an enjoyable activity. Volunteer work should recharge you and give you balance in your life. It is a chance to develop and use skills that you may not need in your daily work.
|10. Make Time to Volunteer.|
It is possible to be an active member of your community while maintaining a healthy career and a happy home. Once you have found something you love, you won¹t have to worry about finding the time, because you will make the time.